Overview on the Integration
As a web-based collaboration and document management platform, Microsoft SharePoint enables the creation of websites that allow people to contribute/collaborate and keep track of immense amounts of content. As such, SharePoint plays a key role within the application/platform offerings that make up the ECM landscape.
This solution brief focuses specifically on the integration of Sagemcom’s solutions with SharePoint via a Sagemcom connector developed specifically to enable the funneling of fax, document and scanned data into the realm of SharePoint.
How Sagemcom's Connector for Microsoft SharePoint Works
With reference to figure 1 above, Sagemcom’s software based connector for SharePoint accepts document jobs that have been outputted from various Sagemcom software based (i.e., XMediusFAX, XMediusDOC Capture Express, XMediusDOC Content Enterprise), appliance based (i.e., OpenLine A4 Server, OpenLine PR Server, OpenScribe Scanning Station, OpenScribe Content Server, A4 Station) solutions or from generic sources (i.e., multi-function devices (MFDs)), and publishes the documents to a configurable destination in a Microsoft SharePoint existing site (list or library).
Furthermore, figure 2 above illustrates various source applications and/or devices which produce a document with attributes of the document (a.k.a. metadata) which are sometimes found in a separate file linked with the source document (see phase 1). The document and the associated metadata are referred to as a “job”. The job is delivered by the source application/device to the SharePoint connector by placing it (see phase 2) in a predefined folder that will be polled by the connector. The job is then routed by the SharePoint connector to a SharePoint destination according to defined rules established within the connector (see phase 3).
Figure 3 illustrates the SharePoint connector web interface (including a dashboard) from which users will be able to:
- perform all configurations associated to the connector (i.e., global settings, connections, source applications/devices);
- manage existing configuration items;
- monitor all transactions performed by the connector on a daily basis for the last 7 days and take actions on any failed transactions.
To ensure consistency with SharePoint connector requirements, adherence to the following requirements must be met:Source Applications / Devices
All applications / devices to be used as sources for the SharePoint Connector must:
- be properly installed and working;
- have access to the network where the SharePoint Connector can be reached;
- have the ability to deliver (drop to folder) a Job (file with attributes);
The host computer where the SharePoint connector is installed must:
- have Microsoft Windows installed;
- be reachable from any application / device that you are going to use as a source for the SharePoint connector;
- have access to the network where the SharePoint server can be reached;
- have a web browser installed for accessing the SharePoint connector configuration interface (also applicable to any other computer used for this).
The SharePoint server (version 2007 and higher) where the destined jobs will be sent must:
- be properly installed and working;
- be reachable from the SharePoint connector host;
- be configured (sites, lists, libraries, folders and subfolders) to allow for the receiving and storage of documents via the connector.
Key Benefits for Integrating Sagemcom's Connector with Microsoft SharePoint
1. Cost Reduction:
- Eliminates manual steps associated to data entry; hence saving time and money.
- Lowers total cost of ownership by leveraging existing SharePoint investments.
- Central point of data convergence offered via the SharePoint server enables time/cost savings.
2. Security & Compliance
- Content transferred to SharePoint sites can be controlled, monitored, and audited by authorized users upon configuration by the IT administrator of the SharePoint server.
- Authentication/encryption methods within SharePoint ensure data derived from Sagemcom solutions is secure.
- Permission granularity down to the item level (e.g., for individual documents) enables exceptions by giving temporary access to a single document, without the need to change the overall security rules.
- SharePoint enables information consolidation and allows its users to make sense of immense amounts of content and the way in which it is presented.
- Sharepoint allows searching capabilities via a built-in search engine.
- Sharepoint can be extended/customized to build custom workflows either organically or via third-party additions.
With the ever increasing adoption of SharePoint by IT departments within organizations worldwide to either complement the ECM solution they currently have in place, or as their point solution, connectors may be needed in order to bridge the gap regarding functionality that is not inherent to the platform. With this in mind, Sagemcom’s connector for SharePoint provides the ability to easily port information from Sagemcom solutions via metadata inheritance into SharePoint sites for storage and future processing. Enterprises of any size can leverage the connector web interface to easily integrate their faxing and document management content into a workflow process of their choosing.