What Enterprises Need: Highly Configurable Platforms

By Jean Ouellette | June 16, 2011

This is the fifth installment in our weekly technical blog series about Enterprise Content Transformation: What Enterprises Need. The series kicked off with an overview of the reasons your organization needs an ECT platform, and has covered the importance of linear scalability, high availability and easy integration with existing systems.

The 2010 IDC report, “Embedding Additional Value into Applications: What Enterprises Need Most from Application Vendors” states that “over 30% of IT’s time is spent on maintaining or enhancing existing application code and integrating legacy applications within the IT environment.” Not only is this expensive, but it reduces business agility.

We’ve incorporated a number of capabilities in our new platform that reduces your IT maintenance and integration costs, but also increases your ability to adapt rapidly and efficiently to changes in your business environment. Our approach is to make the platform highly configurable and eliminate the need to develop custom code to meet your Enterprise Content Transformation needs. This is achieved by providing the following capabilities in the Adlib Platform:

  1. Natively Consume Business System Metadata – The ECT system is driven by the business system metadata, allowing the metadata to alter how documents are transformed at the time the transformation request was made. This eliminates the need to development code to integrate with the business system metadata, and reduces the configuration effort.
  2. Rich set of System Component and Content Transformation Settings – This provides users a high level of control of the ECT system and transformation requests in order to achieve the required system configuration and resulting PDF features respectively.
  3. Rules Engine – This allows users to create rules to build business intelligence in the ECT system. A user interface is provided to let you incorporate Boolean logic in rule conditions. A source view of the condition is also available for creating complex conditions using JScript.NET. Rules can be used for both system component and transformation request settings.  Rules can also be used to conditionally create metadata. For example, new metadata can be created to associate with the resulting PDF added to the business system.
  4. Variable Substitution – This can be used to substitute user defined variables as well as metadata associated with the transformation request. Variables can be used in rule conditions (e.g. if “${Document_Status}” = ”Draft” then add a Watermark) and in the transformation settings (e.g. Watermark text = “${Document Status}”).  The latter allows adding metadata information to the PDF as text on the pages. Add information such as Document Status, version, last modified date etc. provides context for person viewing the PDF without having access to the business system (e.g. SharePoint).

Leveraging the above capability makes it easy to configure both the ECT system components as well as the transformation settings themselves. The Adlib Platform’s comprehensive capabilities and fine control over these features enables it to meet a broad range of enterprise demands. The rules engine, driven by the business system metadata, binds the ECT system with the business system and makes it possible to achieve an extensive range of transformation requirements that are specific to your business processes and their stages.  Since there is no custom code required, the Adlib Platform is easily tailored to meet your changing business needs.

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