Saturday, October 20, 2012

Introduction to IBM Datacap

Recently I had an opportunity to work on the IBM Datacap. Datacap is a good document capturing tool and is acquired by IBM in 2010. I have used the Datacap Taskmaster Capture product and the version is 8.0. Recently IBM released the version 8.1 of Datacap Taskmaster Capture.

Previously I have worked on the IBM FileNet Capture so it is very natural that I will start comparing the Datacap features with FileNet Capture when I start working on this product. In the first look Datacap seems to be more complex than the FileNet capture and it requires a steep learning curve. I can say that the Datacap is a framework rather than a tool as it is flexible enough to extend the functionality.
At a very high level, the advantages of Datacap over FileNet capture are
  • Datacap having the web client so it is a true distribution capture tool
  • Datacap having inbuilt data recognition capabilities where in FileNet capture we need to use ADR for recognition
  • Datacap is flexible enough to integrate with repositories other than FileNet 
From architecture point of view Datacap is very flexible. It offers a vast set of predefined methods in the actions library and most of the scenarios these predefined methods are enough to fulfill the project requirements. These actions library items called as rules are grouped to form the rule sets and these rule sets are grouped together to form the task. All these tasks are grouped together to complete the job. So developer having the fine control over every action as the tasks are developed using the rules and these rules are set by the developer. Remember that the rules are executed in the order so it is important to set the order of the rules.

The troubleshooting also simple as it provide the logs for each task but I fell that the detailed exception logs are missing. The log data, images and other application data will be saved to configured physical drive. The Datacap Studio tool provides the option to debug the rule sets and debugging process also very simple.

IBM Datacap comes along with MS Access database and developer having the option to configure with Oracle or SQL Server. The installation process is very simple and doesn't take much time. IBM Datacap comes with sample projects and developers can use these projects as a reference.

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