Document-imaging management software does most of the work relating document imaging and its management component. To start with, it’s software that converts the light information captured by the scanner (from paper-documents and objects) into a graphic image in a standard format.
Text in these document images are not machine-readable. Computers can read text characters only if they have been saved in ASCII or other text-specific standards. So a character recognition software like Optical Character Recognition—OCR—or Intelligent Character Recognition—ICR—is needed to recognize the text characters and convert them into ASCII etc.
The original paper document is thus converted into a computer-readable and editable digital image and can become part of the electronic workflow of the business. It has to be indexed before it does finally become an integral part of the flow, however.
Indexing software links relevant words to the document. That means the document can be retrieved by using those words when searching. The words linked to the document could be all the words in the document, or a few relevant tags that indicate the nature of the document’s content.
Search software uses the index file created by the indexing software to retrieve the documents relevant to user queries. It displays a list of documents relevant to the search query and the user can then select the particular document he or she needs.
It’s at this stage that the document becomes an integral part of the enterprise content and joins the enterprise’s electronic workflow.
The document can now be accessed, reviewed, worked upon, commented upon, or whatever else is needed to support the workflow.
Document-imaging management software has thus moved the paper document into the electronic workflow. The document now becomes accessible not only on the local intranet network but also on the whole enterprise extranet that could reach the other end of the world.
Document imaging has become an integral part of today’s enterprise content management scenario. Large enterprises, particularly global enterprises, just cannot manage their business processes with the traditional paper-based documents.
And it’s document-imaging management software that helps the content management system to capture paper documents into its fold.
The basic scenario outlined above does not give the complete picture. A number of supporting software services are typically needed in practical situations. The quality of the image created by scanning might be poor. A basic character recognition software process might have trouble distinguishing between closely related characters.
Image quality depends on color depth, resolution, and density range. Document-imaging management software can contain sophisticated features to detect exposure conditions and make suitable adjustments that produce acceptable quality images.
For example, it could make adjustments that have the effect of increased contrast. These days, imaging management software can produce images that are better than the originals in legibility and appearance.
Large enterprises might need production level facilities for document imaging. Such facilities could include scanning equipment that can control multiple scanning stations, working on the same or different projects. It’s document-imaging management software that provides such capabilities.
Document-imaging management software completes the basic tasks of saving the light information from paper-documents into standard graphic image formats, converting image text into machine-readable text characters, indexing documents into searchable content, and so on. Paper documents thus become part of the enterprise content management software that can be accessed speedily from anywhere in the world.