They include a new Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services-based API, Business Process Management (or Workflow in Clearview's terminology) module and a number of less substantial (yet important) enhancements.
The 64-bit 5.1 release also includes intelligent indexing and index validation, external data access and compatibility with Kofax 8.0.
New API Based on WCF Services
Clearview ECM 5.1 boasts a new API (application programming interface), which is based on the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services. WCF is part of the .NET Framework and, clearly, a logical choice for a Microsoft-centric vendor like Clearview.
One of the advantages of the API is the ability for business process management workflows to interact with content repositories in the Clearview Virtual ECM Domain.
Business Process Management (Workflow) Module
Business Process Management (BPM) embodies more than just Workflow per se, and Clearview’s synonymic usage of the two terms may be a tad confusing.
Clearview’s BPM module is designed for automation of repetitive business processes. Thus, potentially, increasing organizational productivity and business intelligence -- which is really the goal of any efficient integration of processes and content within an organizational landscape.
Workflow Administrators can manage workflow-related activities from Clearview’s Administration Console to design workflows and associate them with specific content items, users or user groups in a specific workflow queue. User management can be integrated with Active Directory.
Clearview ECM users engaged in the workflows can view progress of their active workflows and tasks using the Business Activity Monitor (BAM). This utility offers real-time graphical overviews in the form of charts and tables. BAM charts and reports can be exported to Microsoft Excel.
"…Organizations capitalizing on our revolutionary iFolders will fall in love with our new iFolder History feature," says resident user experience specialist, Meredith Adams.
iFolders (where “i” stands for “intelligent”) are designed to help organizations keep important files organized and compliant. When a required document is missing from an iFolder -- for example, a loan application – users can identify the gap and see that the loan iFolder is incomplete and incompliant.
With Clearview ECM, the system would typically generate a loan iFolder once the loan application is entered into the system. Details from the iFolder history feature, including date of creation, type of creation (automatic or manual), etc., can be very valuable to users working with Clearview 5.1.
Enhanced MS Office Plug-In
Being its usual Microsoft-centric self, Clearview included an enhanced plug-in for Microsoft Office applications in version 5.1. Users can now save MS Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and Outlook e-mail messages to the appropriate SharePoint repository in Clearview without having to remember the URL of their SharePoint server.
Additional Clearview 5.1 Features
Other enhancements in 5.1 include:
- Custom Index Masks
- Expanded Submission Services
- PDF Document Text Search
Clearview and You
The most interesting development in this Clearview release is, probably, the introduction of the BPM module. Many ECM vendors -- including EMC Documentum and IBM FileNet -- work on improving their BPM suites, and it’s about time Clearview enters this space.
For Clearview customers -- existing and potential -- looking to make the task of joining content with business process less tedious this is certainly a welcome feature.
Although largely workflow-focused, this offering is a good first step towards an integrated BPM/ECM system -- if this is the direction Clearview is taking. We’ll be looking forward to additional BPM functionality in Clearview enterprise CMS.