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Document Capture and Scanning Workflows: What are the possibilities?

Document Scan Capture

The essentials in brief


Document Scanning Workflow: The possibilities

Scanner (TWAIN/Network Scanner)

Often, the DMS is used to archive after scanning paper documents. These must first be captured through a document scanning sorkflow in order to create a digital document. We recommend here to use a special document scanner to achieve an optimal result.

The bitfarm-Archiv importer offers the possibility to connect document scanners directly via the TWAIN interface. Through a configuration dialog, the administrator can change the scan settings (e.g. black and white or colour) and provide different scan profiles for different scanned material.

The use of so-called "Virtual Rescan" software is not necessary, because bitfarm-Archiv can already edit the documents optimally by itself. Capturing the electronic documents from the scanner is then done with a single click. The Importer displays the scanned pages directly, allowing the user to perform a quality check before the archiving process. Defective pages can be removed, pages can be rotated and straightened, and missing pages can be easily added. The arrangement of the pages in the document is possible by drag & drop.

Optionally, the scan pool can be used by the user to scan a batch of documents first and then determine the affiliation of the individual pages to a document on the computer. Pages can be moved back and forth between the document view and the scan pool as desired.

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Document Capture

File import (Windows Explorer)

Importing pdf files and any other types of documents is possible in the same way. For this purpose, bitfarm-Archiv has anchored itself in the windows context menu. 

The user selects one or more files - or even whole folders and chooses "send to" after a right click. Here bitfarm-Archiv appears with the options to copy or move.

The user chooses where in the tree the documents should be archived, fills additional fields, defines user and tasks, creates links and sends the documents to the server with a click on "archive".

Would you like to see how file import looks in practice? We would be happy to invite you to our YouTube series (please activate the English subtitles).

Monitored Folders

In order to send documents e.g. via network scanners or from other applications into the DMS, it makes sense to create a corresponding directory, preferably on the DMS server, and to release it for file storage. After a path for the monitored folder has been created, all subdirectories that you may create will be monitored by the spool service.

All files that are copied into the two folders are automatically captured by the spool service and moved into the processing loop. This usually happens so fast that the monitored directories are ideally always empty.

The documents from this or other monitored directories defined as such are archived to the "undistributed" archive in a standardized manner; "System" is selected as the user behind this action. Sorting rules can be used to define and reach other target archives if required.

Sorting can also be done by the name of a subdirectory in the monitored directory. For this one puts the documents into a directory, which carries the same name as the target archive.

In addition to these options, sorting by document name is also possible. It is also possible to define a different user name instead of the default system.

Monitored Folders

MS-Office and Mail-Archiving

A corresponding function is also built into MS-Office and Open-Office by bitfarm-Archiv during installation.

There are also similar solutions for Lotus Notes, David, Thunderbird and various other systems.

Another example of an e-mail that is archived with the options of archiving all attachments and metadata such as subject date received. If desired, the user can only archive the attachments.

In the viewer, this mail can then be retrieved at any time via "Original file" - even if it has long since been deleted in the mail program.

bitfarm-Archiv also automatically creates a link for each attachment of the e-mail, so that mail text and attachments exist as individual documents in the DMS, but the connection is always visible.

Monitored Folders


It is also possible to use specially configured archive-printers, which print directly into a predefined archive without bothering the user with further questions.

The archive printer is available for importing documents generated by other applications. This printer works like a virtual "PDF" printer, so it does not output paper, but only archives the printout in the DMS. Also the import tool opens with the known options.

These printers can even print paper on a physical printer at the same time. This method is often used when documents from an ERP are automatically archived when they are printed.

Monitored Folders

What is the fasted way to scan documents?

As useful as many of these options are during the import, they might be a hindrance in other cases.

Especially in the case of mass processing of similar documents, it is hardly desirable to open the mask again for each document - even though default values can be specified or the mask automatically suggests the last entries.

Therefore bitfarm-Archiv offers other possibilities for mass processing:

  • Autoscan Feature
  • Outlook Automation
  • Sorting Rules
  • Barcodes
  • Automatic Keyword Tagging
Checklist for open Source DMS

Autoscan Feature

With the tool "Autoscan", for example, functional scan jobs can be created, where scan settings, target archive and, if necessary, keywords are already defined.

Here is an example: The button "Scan business cards" captures the inserted scan material in color and pushes it directly into the archive business cards. In addition, a separate document is created from each inserted card. Such specialized scan jobs are of course also suitable for other types of documents, e.g. invoices could be sorted correctly with one click.

For files there is the possibility to create folders monitored by the DMS. The target archive is then simply derived from the folder name. As soon as a file is stored here, the archiving takes place automatically. This procedure is also used, for example, if scangut is to be set into the DMS via network scanners. This procedure is also used, for example, if scangut is to be set into the DMS via network scanners.


Outlook Automation

For e-mail systems bitfarm-Archiv knows the automatic archiving on the client side with the help of Outlook automation, as well as the automatic import of POP3 and IMAP4 accounts on the server side.

Emails are also archived automatically from systems that export eml or msg files, e.g. David or the Kerio server. This is often used to automatically feed messages from functional e-mail addresses to the DMS, e.g. to immediately start a so-called workflow.

An MS-Exchange interface is also available, as is the possibility to automatically archive faxes from different fax servers.

Outlook Automation

Sorting Rules

However, if different documents have to be processed together during mass processing, it is often no longer possible to get by with the assignment to an archive.

If the requirement is, that documents targeted at different archives come in via the same import process, the computer can handle the assignment to an archive itself.

For this purpose, bitfarm-Archiv offers the possibility to use rules to automatically sort the individual documents. In order to utilize this, different criteria are defined for each document type - usually recurring components of the content such as an invoice number. When these occur, the rule takes effect and the document in question ends up in the correct archive.

If no rule takes effect, the document remains in the predefined target and can then, of course, be sorted correctly by the user.

Sorting Rules


With scan capture, there is also the option of working with barcodes. These can either be glued on, or enclosed as a separator sheet during scanning.

The barcode can perform various functions at the same time. For example, it separates documents, allowing large batches of documents to be scanned in a single pass. 

It can also provide for pre-sorting into departments. In addition, sequential numbers can assign the scanned documents in an ERP system or serve other purposes.


Automatic Keyword Tagging

Not only bitfarm-Archiv's automatic sorting is a powerful tool for mass processing. Keywording can also be automated by a set of rules. If important numbers or contents are always in the same place on certain documents, the bitfarm-Archiv server can read them out via a mask that has to be defined once, in Order to store them in an additional field or use them for linking.

Alternatively, a method via full text search is available, which also considers relative positions. This is achieved through state of the art optical character recognition (OCR).

The pattern search function has proven to be very powerful. If your order or project number has an unmistakable form, the bitfarm server can recognize this on all documents and use it e.g. automatically as a link, without having to write special rules for the individual documents.

Of course, this works across all document types. bitfarm-Archiv recognizes the order or project number and links the documents to a virtual file, no matter if this number is on a scanned document, appears somewhere in an Excel spreadsheet, or occurs in an e-mail.

If further, special functions are required, there are also various plug-in interfaces for the processing process, where programmatic intervention is possible. Here are the degrees of freedom unlimited. Many server plug-ins are already available and can be used by customers free of charge and modified as required.

Keyword Tagging

Further reading: Sources and interesting links

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