3 Managing Oracle WebCenter Content: Imaging

Oracle WebCenter Content: Imaging provides organizations with a scalable solution that can be used to develop process-oriented imaging applications and image-enablement solutions for enterprise applications.

This application is available as part of the Oracle WebCenter Content suite of tools. Oracle WebCenter Imaging is also available as a separate product. This chapter discusses the functionality of Imaging as part of Oracle WebCenter Content.

This chapter covers the following topics:

Oracle WebCenter Content: Imaging is documented in the following manuals:

For additional information, see Installing and Configuring Oracle WebCenter Content and Enterprise Deployment Guide for Oracle WebCenter Content.

3.1 About Imaging

Oracle WebCenter Content: Imaging combines multiple Oracle technologies, providing a streamlined document imaging platform on which numerous business solutions can be built by leveraging image enablement, application extension, and long term archiving. Imaging adds a metadata-focused document management model, a powerful viewer tool, image annotation capabilities, high volume ingestion and storage of data, and advanced searching tools to these solutions. To support business transaction needs, Imaging manages many kinds of physical and electronic documents, including scanned documents, faxes, email, HTML, XML, electronic forms, Microsoft Office documents, enterprise report management data and reports, and even computer output to laser disk, and others, all from a single user interface.

Oracle WebCenter Enterprise Capture can be added to capture and categorize transactional content to include physical and electronic documents. Imaging leverages Oracle WebCenter Content Server as the document repository which allows the use of Oracle WebCenter Content with records management features enabled to be used to manage the life cycles and dispositions of Imaging content.

An easily configured integration with Oracle BPEL injects Imaging document content directly into automated core business processes to reduce manual steps and increase efficiency.

Organizations can quickly extend these solutions by integrating with Oracle enterprise applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne. Customers thus benefit by having a single source for all transaction-based content.

Oracle WebCenter Content: Imaging manages documents through the entire document life cycle, from image capture to archiving. Documents are uploaded into Imaging either singly by individual users or in bulk through a background agent. After uploading, a document becomes part of an application, which is a type of container for documents that defines metadata, storage information, and BPEL process configuration for all documents within it.

Applications are defined by the system administrator based on a specific business need. For example, an Invoicing application may track invoice number, date sent, date due, status, and any other metadata required by an accounting department.

Depending on how your repository is configured, uploaded documents can be stored within an Oracle database, on a file system, or in storage-specific hardware for retrieval. Security is applied to an Imaging document based on its application, ensuring access only by authorized users. In addition, Oracle WebCenter Content: Imaging can be configured to initiate a business process instance within Oracle's BPEL server.

Users can retrieve stored documents using a predefined search. Predefined searches are created to find documents based on document metadata and full-text indexes. With the proper permissions, users can:

  • View documents in a standard web-browser

  • Print, download, or email the document to others

  • Annotate documents

  • Upload documents and initiate a BPEL process if one is defined in the application

  • Delete, copy, or move documents

3.2 Imaging and Content Server

Oracle WebCenter Content: Imaging resides within Oracle WebLogic Server, connected to a database. Imaging events are routed through WebLogic Server using Java Messaging Service (JMS) to communicate with its background agents.

Custom applications can interact with Imaging through its set of application programming interfaces (APIs). Custom applications wishing to integrate with an Imaging system can communicate with Imaging through the Imaging public API. The API is available in two forms:

  • through standard web services generated with the Java API for XML Web Services (JAX-WS)

  • through Imaging Java APIs, a set of portable Java class files

Oracle WebCenter Content: Imaging provides architectural features designed to help business managers simplify the process of building imaging solutions. Features such as applications, searches, and inputs provide convenient constructs that can be used to organize data, apply security to user groups, and facilitate the movement of those constructs between systems such as a development and production instance.

Imaging agents operate in the background to perform tasks not associated with immediate requests from users. The Input Agent facilitates high volume ingestion of document content and the Workflow Agent handles any interaction with the BPEL server as required by document activity.

Standard Java Management J2EE Beans (or MBeans) are used to configure the operation of Imaging's business logic as well as its agents. The values of these MBean configuration objects can be manipulated through Oracle Enterprise Manager and WebLogic Scripting Tool, allowing you to choose the best system management tool for your needs.

3.3 Imaging Integration with Oracle Technologies

Oracle WebCenter Content: Imaging integrates with several other key Oracle technologies:

  • It works with Oracle application adapters to allow document processing of workflow tasks and allows related images to be easily invoked, viewed and acted on. Two adapters are available for use with Imaging: the Oracle E-Business Suite Adapter, described in Oracle E-Business Suite Adapter for WebCenter Content Server and Imaging and Oracle PeopleSoft Adapter, described in Oracle PeopleSoft Adapter for Content Server and Imaging.

  • It integrates with Oracle WebCenter Enterprise Capture to allow you to convert physical documents into an electronic format to be uploaded to Oracle WebCenter Content: Imaging.

  • It leverages Oracle WebCenter Content Server as a repository for document storage and retrieval. Oracle WebCenter Content Server supports both out-of-the-box content management services and open, customizable integration options that can manage a broad range of enterprise content such as email, documents, and images from different content sources. WebCenter Content Server supports Oracle and SQL Server databases to allow indexing and storage of content in a variety of ways. Depending on the database and configuration, documents and metadata can be stored within the database, on a file system, or a combination of both. Flexible search options allow you to configure the repository to support either metadata searching or full-text searching as configured within the Imaging application to provide the most applicable search capabilities.

  • It integrates with Oracle WebCenter Content: Desktop to allow users to view or add Imaging content directly from Microsoft Windows Explorer, Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), and Microsoft Outlook.

  • It is designed to leverage many of the features of Oracle WebLogic Server including its standard J2EE architecture, integrations with Oracle security components, scalability, clustering, and system management tools like WebLogic Scripting Tools, and WebLogic Server Administration Console.

  • A connection to a workflow server is used to initiate a workflow process when documents are uploaded to Oracle WebCenter Content: Imaging, allowing for business process integration across the enterprise using key technologies such as Oracle BPEL Process Manager.