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EBSCO PUBLISHING of Ipswich, MA provides online research databases for schools, libraries, and research institutions. Their products can be found running in nearly any public library. EBSCO’s team of developers use the Atalasoft DotImage toolkit to add image viewing and document workflow capabilities to their in-house applications used to automate internal processes.
The process at EBSCO involves digitizing publications such as the Harvard Business Review. Value is added by breaking down the publications into
articles, and attaching headings and authors. Citations and abstracts are written resulting in searchable content available in a web application. This process involves between 50 and 100 employees who add content to these articles with thousands of pages being processed each day.
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“The application we’re developing is significantly transforming a critical business function for us” says Joe Aparo, Senior Developer at EBSCO. Before, people would go to physical bins, pull out, and then manually view magazines to extract content. Now, existing images are brought to the user and seamlessly integrated into the abstraction process in a unified web application. Thin client features such as navigation, zooming, and image zoning coupled with OCR, have leveraged imaging into a more active part of our abstraction process.
“ Working with Atalasoft has been
‘awesome’. The Atalasoft support team
was helpful in getting us familiar with
the product. DotImage speaks for itself
– the organization, the API, and level
of abstraction. Kudos to Atalasoft”
EBSCO Senior Developer
The team at EBSCO selected Atalasoft DotImage to add web image viewing, PDF Viewing, and TWAIN scanning to their workflow application. “When selecting technology to leverage in our workflow application, we looked at imaging apart from technology, selecting the product that was the best solution and most configurable” says Aparo, “We’re a Java shop and committed to that technology, but chose Atalasoft DotImage even though it’s a .NET product.” A dedicated Windows Server running IIS and ASP.NET hosts the image viewing portion of their application. Other aspects of the application including workflow is built using Java. The image viewer is located in an IFRAME and accessed using Cross-domain scripting for a seamless application combining both Java and .NET technologies.
The development team at EBSCO will be using Atalasoft for a Quality Control product currently in development. This product will examine images resulting from batch scanning fixing skew, removing markings such as crayon marks, and cleaning up the documents before the process as described above is started. “Before we learned about Atalasoft, we were planning on writing this as a thick-client desktop application. With the AJAX enabled Image Viewer, thumbnail control, and annotation capabilities, we are now planning on developing this as a thin-client browser based application to reduce the deployment and maintenance costs. ”Other technologies such as Atalasoft’s Advanced Document Clean-up and Color Detection capabilities will provide useful in automating or semi-automating some of these tasks.