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ECM and business processes

  Asked By: Meredith    Date: Jan 23    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 1176

I am looking for using the ECM as a tool that would run along with processes and not use it as a supportive tool to business processes. In other words it has to become the tool i will be using througought the whole process of an activity. The problems that i would appreciate your comments over are:
- i do not have a clear cut workflow as each transaction would carry it's own way of handling it (banking transactions)
- the process will be composed of inter activity with 5 capture modes simultaneously "scanning, mailing, faxing, core sytem, swift" it will have to be integrated to the automated systems (fax server, mail, swift, cors system.."
- the system should cover multi processes (different processes handled by multi users, each process will be compsoed of diversified flows with no clear cut ones)
would u think that and ECM could cover the above? surely this would require adequate hardware, and most probably other tools to insure it runs safely
technical details are not the issue, the issue is would an ECM serve the intended purpose?



2 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Beatrice Serrano     Answered On: Jan 23

Well, if you are tolking about Sharepoint ECM (assumed by forum name), I would say you can get all customization to use it as a bank software, but you will definitely need skilled Sharepoint architect to tailor the applications. No chance to build it yourself even with help of this forum.

Answer #2    Answered By: Maya Lewis     Answered On: Jan 23

Ok, let me try to review your requirements here, hoping that more senior people correct me if I wrong.

- i do not have a clear  cut workflow  as each transaction  would carry it's own way of handling  it (banking transactions)
well, state-machine workflows scould handle most of cases I can imagine. But banking transactions will probably require  some additional efforts to implement because of more strict requirements on data security and integrity (there are already good OOTB security and integrity, but not sure this is enough for bank. And you will definitely need "roll-back" implementation here.).

- the process  will be composed of inter activity  with 5 capture  modes simultaneously  "scanning, mailing, faxing, core  sytem, swift" it will have to be integrated  to the automated  systems (fax server, mail, swift, cors system.."
actually there is ASP .NET behind the scene, so feel free to use any proprietary or 3rd party componets here. No integration problems  usually, according to my experience. And you can definitely find some Sharepoint-oriented components here. And you can implement them if you have very special requirements here.

- the system  should cover multi processes  (different processes handled by multi  users, each process will be compsoed of diversified flows with no clear cut ones)
you will have it by design. One of the many Sharepoint benefits is scalable and robust architecture, so you can just plan the hardware  for the farm according to estimated workload.

they are worried about the response time during the acitity, which instead of gaining on time the opposite will happen (lagging) and time loss will be the consequence. according to them the ECM is usually used as support to the process and never was it used as fully integrated in the process itself, unless the process is well define and the solution is used as a process workflow solution
well, there are several key parts of network response time. Some of them are environment-related (network speed etc) and they are equal for all solutions so we take them out of discussion. Then we have request size optimization. It is usually critical for low-speed internet connection and not so important for intranet. Assuming intranet is your target environment, let's ignore this factor as well. The most important part left is back-end processing time.
Having MS SQL server  as data storage you usually have comparably good speed here (with corresponding hardware ofc), so all the rest depends on business  logic code. Data access layer (sharepoint itself) is also can handle very loaded cases (according to some case studies, unfortunately I still haven't worked with such solutions. Will find you some links if needed.) The benefits are good security (AD integration), office integration and base platform ready to be customized for your needs.
Looks like most of the actions will be inside the workflows. As I mentioned above, you may find useful state-machines here (if your process not well-defined). It's also not a big problem, because SP use WWF (workflow foundation) from .NET 3, so you can create WF of any complexity.

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