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EMC Captures Attention With InputAccel

EMC has announced a new version of InputAccel that's designed to make it easier for companies to capture documents. InputAccel is a core element of Captiva, an enterprise platform for capturing, validating and extracting data and then delivering that information into business systems, databases and content repositories.

The latest update to InputAccel includes the CaptureFlow Designer, a graphic design tool that automates drag and drop features rather than manually writing code to develop and deploy document capture in Captiva. "What we wanted to address is some of the complexity and challenges that organizations have in capturing documents, but at the same time not compromise the overall flexibility and capabilities of InputAccel," says Bill Galusha, senior product marketing manager for EMC's Content Management and Archiving division.

Typically, developers build capture instructions into Captiva using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), but that's often time-consuming. "Companies will be able to develop capture processes in a few hours--a task that traditionally might have taken a few days," says Galusha. The new graphic design tool can automatically generate VBA code so that users of the Windows-based InputAcel can develop optical character recognition scanning, image enhancement, as well as cleaning and export processes. It also allows for more complex processes that index, validate and review documents so, for example, they can be routed to the appropriate people. The automated drag-and-drop nature of InputAccel CaptureFlow Designer should also make overall maintenance easier because companies won't have to manually modify code if their business requirements change over time, Galusha says.

For the most part, existing customers of InputAccel were happy with the application, even though it required manual coding, says Matt Leonard, a sales engineer with BRT Inc., one of EMC's partners. But Leonard says developing capture processes could be time-consuming, particularly if a company wanted to make changes to processes already coded in. "That was more difficult because you had to reverse-engineer the work you'd already done," he says. Leonard says the new InputAccel CaptureFlow Designer will be an easier product to show and sell to prospective customers. When we've talked with prospective customers, they've asked if [InputAccel] required development when trying to build capture processes. It was difficult to answer yes. While it wasn't very complicated development, it was still there," Leonard says. "Now we can show prospective customers the visual aid InputAccel provides, and they'll be able to visually see the capture process."  The application still includes the ability to code steps and create custom modules. Galusha says that while some developers still may prefer to write their own code, "we expect the majority of people will use the new graphical design tool. Our long-term strategy is that this will be the design application that we build off of. This will be the application that users will use to build their document capture processes."

EMC distributed a pre-release version of InputAccel CaptureFlow Designer about five months ago, and Galusha says more than 100 customers and partners are now using the application.
InputAccel CaptureFlow Designer is available now. Customers using InputAccel 6 (as part of Captiva 6.0 announced in late 2008) can download the graphical design tool for free on EMC Powerlink, the vendor's customer support web portal.