Volume 10, Number 31 -- September 7, 2010

Vanguard Adds Graphical Workflow Features to IBM i Imaging Solution

Published: September 7, 2010

by Alex Woodie

Switching from paper to electronic documents has emerged as one of the fastest and easiest ways for companies to save money during the current recession. Vanguard Systems, which develops IBM i-based document imaging and management systems, is one of the vendors serving this growing market. The company recently launched a new release of its imaging system, IMS/21, which should allow customers to get even more out of their electronic documents, the vendor says.

The IMS/21 document imaging system is designed to save customers time and money by converting paper-based documents into electronic documents, which are cheaper to store and easier to retrieve than paper-based documents. The suite, which Vanguard started developing in the 1990s, integrates document capture with other document-related functionality, including archiving, workflow, retrieval, and backup capabilities.

Many IMS/21 customers use the product's "linking" capability to tie documents to IBM i business applications. This requires some extra configuration, but may be worth it if employees are required to routinely pull up lots of documents. In addition to storing IBM i spool files, IMS/21 also works as a clearinghouse for customers' PC documents, such as PDFs and MS Word docs, as well as faxes. The software also connects with Elite Forms, the IBM i forms management product obtained in Vanguard's 2007 acquisition of Elite Documents.

In April, Vanguard unveiled IMS/21 Version 7.0, which it says is the "most significant version" of the product in its history. What makes the new version so significant? The most compelling new feature in IMS/21 7.0 is undoubtedly the new Vanguard Dashboard.

A Dashboard for Your Work

The Web-based Vanguard Dashboard product provides a graphical homepage, if you will, that shows each user what tasks they need to do, and which they can customize to their liking.

The most important widget on each user's Dashboard will be the workbasket, which lists their tasks. Various filters in the workbasket grid should help employees use their time effectively, such as making sure that high-dollar-amount payment vouchers don't sit for too long before being approved. The capability to drill down into actual documents from the workbasket or other graphical depictions of jobs that Vanguard provides should be a real boon to productivity, the company hopes.

The dashboard in IMS/21 version 7.0 allows users to choose and arrange various widgets, which give them a graphical view into workflow activities.

Users can populate their Dashboards with other widgets, such as one that resembles a speedometer and shows how many active jobs are in their workflow pipeline. There's also a classic pie chart that shows how many Accounts Payable vouchers are open. Users can arrange the widgets on their Dashboards by simply dragging and dropping them into place.

Vanguard says the new Dashboard will also enable users to "mine" for data in their documents. For example, the filter could enable users to view all invoices for over half a million dollars. This provides some rudimentary business intelligence capabilities.

Also, the capability to assign tasks to others and to leave comments in a "discussion thread" stored in the workflow system will allow employees to communicate more effectively, and to stay better connected regarding work events and customer situations. (Social media might be the second coming of the Web, but Facebook doesn't address customer problems or run the payroll, the last time this reporter checked).

Other IMS/21 7.0 Enhancements

A new browser-based document and image viewer is also included in version 7.0. This viewer brings new searching capabilities, including batch search and "fast" searching. Users can also use the new Web client to mark up their documents with annotations, add watermarks or timestamps, or even redact sensitive data, such as Social Security numbers. Users can read PDFs and Word docs directly in the new Web client. (Most documents are stored and pulled up as PDFs in IMS/21.)

Administrators also get into the graphical game with a new Web-based dashboard in version 7.0. Vanguard says the new dashboard almost eliminates the need for admins to use 5250 screens to administer the product; the next release, version 7.1, will completely eliminate the need for the old green screens, the company says.

The integration between IMS/21 and EliteForms has been bolstered in version 7.0. This will have the effect of eliminating the need for PC servers, and simplify the use of the products, the vendor says. This release also brings new server-based e-mail and faxing capabilities, as well as batch e-mail and faxing capabilities.

Security has also been bolstered in several respects. For starters, Vanguard now offers encryption for stored documents. And user profiles can now belong to more than one user group, which will help to simplify security from an administrative perspective. \r\nVanguard, which did not respond to requests for additional information prior to this newsletter's deadline, also did some work with .NET with this release. (The company sells Windows and IBM i versions of IMS/21). A .NET-based software development kit allows customers to build their own custom IMS/21 applications. This release also supports Microsoft Windows 7. For more info, see www.vansystems.com.


Vanguard Systems Buys Elite Document Solutions

Vanguard Systems, Document Imaging Solutions Merge

                     Post this story to del.icio.us
               Post this story to Digg
    Post this story to Slashdot

Sponsored By

Take an object-based approach to exit point security.

Secure your system and access to data more efficiently with
the object-based approach of StandGuard Network Security.

Simplify your security by focusing on the intent of
the request rather than its syntax to create and enforce security policies
in less time and at lower cost
. StandGuard Network Security provides
a non-intrusive, phased-in approach that meets your regulatory compliance
needs on Power Systems running IBM i.

Try StandGuard Network Security free for 30 days.

Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik,
Shannon O'Donnell, Timothy Prickett Morgan
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
Advertising Sales Representative: Kim Reed
Contact the Editors: To contact anyone on the IT Jungle Team
Go to our contacts page and send us a message.

Sponsored Links

PowerTech:  FREE Webinar! Protect IBM i Data from FTP, ODBC, & Remote Command. Sept 15, 10 am CT
looksoftware:  RPG OA & Beyond Webinar. Sept 28 & 29. Enter to win an Amazon Kindle™
COMMON:  Join us at the Fall 2010 Conference & Expo, Oct. 4 - 6, in San Antonio, Texas


IT Jungle Store Top Book Picks

Easy Steps to Internet Programming for AS/400, iSeries, and System i: List Price, $49.95
The iSeries Express Web Implementer's Guide: List Price, $49.95
The System i RPG & RPG IV Tutorial and Lab Exercises: List Price, $59.95
The System i Pocket RPG & RPG IV Guide: List Price, $69.95
The iSeries Pocket Database Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket SQL Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket Query Guide: List Price, $49.00
The iSeries Pocket WebFacing Primer: List Price, $39.00
Migrating to WebSphere Express for iSeries: List Price, $49.00
Getting Started With WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries: List Price, $89.00
Getting Started with WebSphere Express for iSeries: List Price, $49.00
Can the AS/400 Survive IBM?: List Price, $49.00
Chip Wars: List Price, $29.95

The Four Hundred
Entry IBM i Server Deals Greased With License Discounts

Prices Jacked on Power Systems Tape Drives and Expansion Drawers

The Server Racket Strengthens in Q2, But Will It Hold?

Mad Dog 21/21: Craft Nouveau

IDC Raises Global IT Spending Projections for 2010

Four Hundred Guru
An Introduction to Python on IBM i, Part 1

DB2 for i: Process Stored Procedure Result Sets as Cursors

Admin Alert: One Year Out--Preparing for Your Next Power IBM i Upgrade

Four Hundred Monitor
Four Hundred Monitor's
Full iSeries Events Calendar

System i PTF Guide
September 4, 2010: Volume 12, Number 36

August 28, 2010: Volume 12, Number 35

August 21, 2010: Volume 12, Number 34

August 14, 2010: Volume 12, Number 33

August 7, 2010: Volume 12, Number 32

July 31, 2010: Volume 12, Number 31

TPM at The Register
Semi biz starts to cool off

HyTrust takes auditing, monitoring to the clouds

MokaFive outs bare-metal PC hypervisor

Cray and SGI push upgrades to latest supers

Gartner chops PC shipment forecasts for 2010

SGI bleeds less than expected

Xsigo rejiggers virtual I/O director for Ethernet

Big Blue finally punts an Opteron 6100 server

Project Horizon: VMware's plan to restitch the desktop

Retired joint chiefs chairman dons a Red Hat

Citrix eats VMLogix for self-service clouds

Voltaire chases cloudy server networks


ProData Computer Services
RJS Software Systems

Printer Friendly Version

MKS Offers Full Support for IBM i 7.1 in ALM Tool

Vanguard Adds Graphical Workflow Features to IBM i Imaging Solution

Valid and TGS Gang Up on Buddy Punchers

Quantum Adds Fibre Channel to Midrange De-dupe Boxes

CCSS Cracks Down on IBM i Jobs with Excessive I/O

News Briefs and Product Shorts:

PowerTech to Overhaul Free IBM i Security Policy Template . . . Wavelink Finds Another Use for Smartphones . . . BackOffice Unveils Cloud-Based Data Migration Tool . . . IBM Moves Rational Cafes to New Website . . . Why Surging Security Vulnerability Rate May Be a Good Thing . . .

Four Hundred Stuff


Subscription Information:
You can unsubscribe, change your email address, or sign up for any of IT Jungle's free e-newsletters through our Web site at http://www.itjungle.com/sub/subscribe.html.

Copyright © 1996-2010 Guild Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Guild Companies, Inc., 50 Park Terrace East, Suite 8F, New York, NY 10034

Privacy Statement