by November 17, 2005 0 comments

This is a document-management solution that’s supposed to do everything from image capturing/inde- xing, searching/retrieving, archiving to managing records. It’s meant for companies having a pile of records stacked in cabinets or even in digital format, and are facing difficulty managing them. The software will become the central repository for all kinds of documents. One thing we liked about ViewWise is that you can be install it on all major platforms that include Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 Server, Novell NetWare, SuSe or RedHat Enterprise Linux servers. Like any other enterprise application, it also requires a database, which can either be SQL Server 2000 or Oracle 9i, along with their full-text search components. It would have been nice had it also supported MySQL and PostgreSQL, as that would save the additional cost of procuring a commercial database. The software can be used in either client/server or Web-based modes. For the latter, it can work with Microsoft’s IIS, Apache, or NetWare Web servers. 

All documents in ViewWise are stored accordingly in cabinets and drawers, just like the real world, making it easy to manage them

The software we received for evaluation wasn’t very install to install.If we compare its installation and configuration to Xerox DocuShare, which we reviewed last month, it doesn’t come anywhere near that. However, the vendor did promise that they always ship a single installable pack to their customers. Using ViewWise isn’t very difficult, if you use it for the basic document management. There are input trays set up by default on the client. These are nothing but paths to folders where documents should be placed for importing and indexing in ViewWise. It has specific trays to input documents from Microsoft Office, Xerox and Canon scanners, Novell GroupWise, and even a global input tray for all other documents. The software promises to recognize more than 255 different file formats out of the box. Before you can start importing and indexing documents, you have to define the document types that the software is expected to archive. It will associate a document type with each and every document it stores. There’s a separate administration console where you have to define and perform other management and control functions in ViewWise. It’s called AdminWise, and we did wish that it was a little more intuitive. Learning how to use it takes a lot of time. Its help only takes you through each menu of the software and tells their functions, sometimes stating the obvious! No explanation is given on its relevance, usage, etc. When you create a document type and try to save it, the software pops up a message that every document type must have an index field. But gives no help on how to do that. After you somehow figure that out (or use some of the existing ones, which is again not mentioned anywhere), and try to save it, you get another message that the document type key has not been set. ViewWise contains a comprehensive search to find documents. You can create public and private stores for your documents. You can even check out documents from the system in case somebody outside needs to work on them. You can do batch indexing if you have large volumes of documents. And even build a complete workflow system around the software, but the time to create that would depend upon the level of complexity involved. 

Bottom Line: The pricing for the software is fairly complex as it has many components. and is more expensive than Xerox

Anil Chopra

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