DOCMAN - Document Management
What is DOCMAN
DOCMAN is the Document Management interface. It operates either integrated with ITAS or as a stand-alone product. It offers a flexible and secure solution for document storage and retrieval from many sources, the Document Management infrastructure allows the entry of searchable information that is stored with each document. This information includes contract number, counter-party, TRADE Group No, commodity codes, Vessel names, Container, WIP reference, Journey Ref and a free-form search parameter. In addition, information associated with actions performed on the document can be maintained, e.g. Document deletion, ITAS printing, chase letters, email and so provide a full audit. All of this information is available from within the DOCMAN program. The explorer-style interface in DOCMAN allows the organisation of Folders/Document Types (location, description etc) and the standard document access facilities (open, rename, move, delete etc).
The DOCMAN program is only a part of the infrastructure supporting the ITAS document management subsystem that includes auto-entry of associated information for system-generated documents and document-index search facilities in TRADE, CLI, TRS, DOCENT and WIP. The CLI process of forms is designed to access the docman database so that chase letters can be produced, despatched and logged as associated information.
Every document can be indexed with the details of which DOCDES template best fits the style e.g. Broker Advice, Shipping Notification, Customs Clearance. Documents created in ITAS will automatically be assigned their origin template name. The ITASweb application Docs Recall allows authorised users to view/print/email the Company documents from a web browser. Selected indexes are available for search parameters to be entered and the resulting list of documents can be individually viewed. The only restriction to viewing different document types e.g. .pdf, .doc, .xls is the availability of the relevant readers from your browser.
A summary of some of the features in DOCMAN; it can operate in ITAS, stand-alone or linked to other legacy systems, the indexing/search parameters are controlled by the Administrator using gf/IDD, security features for access denial, web enabled viewing, log of who has viewed/amended/printed/emailed any document, bulk indexing, bulk email.
External Document Collection
ITAS/email processes handle collection/save/docmanagment of all ITAS collected incoming/outgoing emails (both the message and attachments). This allows the DOCMAN system to access all secured documents from DOCMAN, CLI, TRADE, WIP.
There are ‘add-ons’ (designed by Hivedome but not supported) for Outlook and Windows Explorer that enable direct access to the DOCMAN indexing subsystem. These need to be setup by the IT department of the operating company as they pertain to each windows user. Using these ‘add-ons’, ITAS can secure and integrate any incoming documents either email (message and attachment), scanned images or C2C transferred images. However these ‘add-ons’ can only operate where there is a direct link between office email systems and the ITAS application server. These add-ons are NOT supported by Hivedome in their ITAS maintenance agreement, because of the different Windows versions.
There is another ‘add-on’ ( a webservice) named as DocmanServer, that can be installed by Hivedome. This enables users from their Outlook to forward selective emails and their attachments to a corporate/company mailbox(s). The Webservice is continuously polling these mailboxes and will place the files in the nominated (/net35/docmanserver.exe.config) ITAS server folder (part of Docman structure). The files will be named for ease of recognition, with prefix of date YYYYMMDD, time HHMMSSSSS and forwarders name. These files can then be subsequently DocMan indexed to become an integral part of ITAS.
Folders: The folder properties are stored in the document management subsystem and each item specifies the physical location on the local machine/network. By default, the ITAS folder structure includes a COMP folder, and within this there are subfolders for each company. Within each company folder there are numerous configured System Folders (aliased as TRADEDOCS, CONTRACTDOCS etc). The Properties of these folders can be viewed via the Options menu and include a description of the folder, it’s full path and user privilege access. To create a new folder, highlight the Miscellaneous item (or select a Group – see below) in the left-hand pane and choose New Folder from the Options menu. The user can browse for a folder if it already exists, or the user can enter the full path to a DOCMAN folder that the user wants to be created. The Folder can be located anywhere, Windows security dictates whether a user can create the new folder and subsequently for users to access that folder; see Properties of the folder where UNC-style path is accepted.
Groups: Grouping folders allow organisations to store and move related documents together. By default there is no grouping applied and System Folders will appear as Miscellaneous items. However, the System Folders have a common parent; a folder named using the company abbreviation. This can be nominated as a group by selecting the DOCMAN item and choosing the New Group feature from the Options menu. For example, a company named XX would have a folder root\itas\comp\xx and within this would be the folders TRADEDOCS, CONTRACTDOCS etc. By creating the group ‘company folders’ and selecting the path of root\itas\comp\xx, by implication the System Folders would be put within this group as their direct parent folder has been nominated. Now it is possible to Move (select the group and choose Move from the Options menu) the group, which will update the paths to the subfolders automatically and move all contents.
Document Indexes: An index is a unique record created either automatically by the ITAS application in document production or manually via the DOCMAN interface. It contains information about whom, where and when the document was created and can store related information that can be used to subsequently identify the document. It is important to understand that the DOCMAN interface displays information based on these indexes and NOT the physical document. If a document is not listed it is probably due to it not being indexed. Specific folders can be created as temporary holding areas e.g. scanned documents, and these would only contain non-indexed items. The ‘Create Index’ process would require a target folder for permanent residence. When DOCMAN is operated as stand-alone, the user has a right-click feature to maintain the names of the index items, although the number of indexes and maximum size is pre-determined.
All functions are available via the Options menu. The menu (also available via mouse right-click) is context-sensitive and the availability of the options listed will depend on the item highlighted in the explorer-style interface. For example, if a folder is highlighted (left-hand pane) there will be options to Search, Find etc but if a document index has been chosen (right-hand pane), the user will be able to Open, Delete, Move etc.
Search By Index: This function is either available from the root item (DOCMAN) to scan all nominated Groups/Folders, or explicitly for an individual Group/Folder. The standard ITAS filtering is presented to the user for entry of items such as contract number, folder alias, creation date etc. If the user proceeds, all documents found for the search criteria entered are shown in Search Results. Normal operations can be performed on this list, which can be refreshed by clicking the Search Results item in the left-hand pane. The search criteria is stored in memory and so at any time the user can return to the search list by once again clicking on the Search Results item. To perform a new search, choose the Search option as before and enter the new criteria.
Find Unindexed Documents: As with the Search facility, the Find Unindexed Documents feature is available for an individual folder. It is used to determine any documents that do not have an associated index. The usual reason for this process is where scanned/secured documents/texts have been placed manually in a temporary folder e.g. ‘scanned’ and need to be indexed and transferred to a secure storage folder. The user is prompted for a start date and this is compared against the creation date of the document being scanned, with the documents older than the date entered being ignored – this significantly improves the speed of the search. Another search option is by Name 'matching'. Any documents discovered are listed in Search Results as above. Normal operations can be performed; the difference being that the user will be prompted to create an index manually or auto-create index, before carrying out the chosen operation. Apply bulk indexing by select/highlight more than one document and request appropraite action.
Note: If the indexing procedure leaves the document(s) in the temporary folder, then increasingly slow performance will occur because the find unindexed procedure will need to process more and more documents, to locate un-indexed items. It is important to remember to re-locate the document to its’ storage folder.
Auto-Create Indexes: The selected documents are parsed individually looking for a pattern match of ITAS document reference e.g. SI1400012 whereby on a match the index will populate SRC details for Doc ref, CLI account and any WIP accounts. Other pattern matching is only applied in specific DOCMAN folders e.g. INVOICES where match is basis a TRADE reference expressed as XXXXXX_XXX. CLI and WIP accounts will be populated, if found. When auto-index process and NO matching is achieved, then no index is created.
Group Documents By: This feature allows to list the document pane with sub folders e.g. Counterparty, Contract Ref, WIP a/c. The user can then open these sub folders to view individual document. The group ‘unspecified’ is a catch-all for where that index element has no content. When the user closes their DOCMAN session, the last settings will be applied when re-open DOCMAN
Choose Additional Columns. This feature allows the user to change their document view grid to include Counterparty, Group No, Contract and WIP Account. This is only relevant when Group Docs By = ‘No Grouping’. When the user closes their DOCMAN session, the last settings will be applied when re-open DOCMAN
Show Document Preview. This feature will create a viewing pane of the document content as the user scrolls through the list of documents in the upper pane. Note1, the viewing of the document content is mainly controlled by Windows & I.E. If there is no suitable viewing application associated with the document type, the document can NOT be shown, this is NOT an ITAS issue but will be managed by the I.T. department of the user company. Note2, when the user closes their DOCMAN session, the last settings will be applied when they re-open DOCMAN, so would inherit preview etc
Request document Sweep: This task is an administration process where it has been determined that some documents have been left in their user/temp directory, when the company operation is the ultra-secure style. DOCMAN has been updated with a message that a document is to be transported by ITASSERVER and it can not be found in the storage folder. This may occur where ITASSERVER is failing or folder permissions are setup incorrectly.
Open: This is the default action for items in the right-hand pane and so double-click will have the same effect. The Windows nominated application for the file type of the document selected will be activated and the document opened e.g. .pdf/Adobe. It is NOT an ITAS failure if DOCMAN states that it can not open a certain document type. That issue would need to be resolved by the companies I.T. department i.e. nominate correct application to the file type.
Open With: This option gives the user an opportunity to open the selected document using a specific alternative application to the document’s standard software. The main alternative is notepad, RTF documents can be opened using the Hivedome RTF Editor and HTM documents can alterantively use the Hivedome HTML Editor.
New *: Available at all Folder levels; new Group, new Folder within the selected Group or Document within the selected Folder.
Rename: Available for documents only. A dialog appears to allow entry of new name that is verified as unique for the folder. The new name should not contain the file extension.
Move: Available at Group Folder * or document level. If moving a group, choose a new location for the parent folder and all immediate subfolders will also be moved. If moving individual document(s), the user can choose an alternative folder by alias.
Delete: There are three Delete options; Group *, Folder * and Document. When a Group is deleted, the child folders are moved to Miscellaneous. If a Folder is deleted the indexes are removed but the documents are unaffected (note: only non-system folders can be deleted). If a Document is rqeuested for Delete, the user can either archive where the index is updated with the Delete status and the physical document is moved to a subfolder named ‘Old’ (note: only the creator of the document is permitted to action a delete) OR return the document to Un-Indexed status.
Print: Users may print documents directly for the following types only; RTF, DOC, TXT, XLS, HTM and IRP. These are the standard file types used within the ITAS system. If a document of a file type not listed needs to be printed, e.g. PDF, the associated application can print when the document has been opened.
Print Advanced: This option allows the user to either save a copy of the selected file to their home folder/corporate Prints folder, email or, where available, fax it. Bulk email is a feature where several documents can be attached.
Properties: For Groups * and Folders *, this option will show the description, full path and privilege access. For Documents the index information will be shown as per IDD specification of table docman. Also included are the associated information, creation date/time and audit details. The log details will show all related activities for the document e.g. email, chase letter, printing within ITAS application (not Word printing), viewing and document amendment. If an user has been given DOCMAN Admin rights in CMP, they can unlock a document if it appears to have been erroneously locked, right-click feature.