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ECMS - About Application Plan Types
This document explains application plan types.
About the application plan types
Selecting the best application plan type that will work your business application is the first and most important step when creating application plans.
ImageNow currently uses four methods to learn a business application:
- Manual Entry
The best application plan type will depend on several variables such as:
- Index value required to link your images into ImageNow
You need to understand how each method captures data from different types of applications. It is extremely helpful to understand the following features of your business application such as:
- Type of application
- Type of interface used by the application
- How your users access it
The types of applications that ImageNow is able to learn includes:
- Terminal emulation applications
ImageNow can also learn applications that can communicate using:
- COM objects
ImageNow includes one application plan type to manually link images into ImageNow if your business application is unavailable or if there is no business application.
Most commonly used application plan types:
Least commonly used application plan types are:
LearnMode is a client-side, non-programmatic method of integrating your business application with ImageNow. It also learns the business application's screens or windows. After a screen or window is learned, you can use ImageNow to scan images in and link them directly to records in your application. When you want to access an image that links to a particular record in your application, it is only one mouse click away.
LearnMode offers seven different methods to learn your business application. The best method to use will depend on the type of application you are using. For example, knowing whether your application is GUI- based, web-based, DOS-based, a terminal emulator, or other type of application will help determine which LearnMode type to use. Each application learned by ImageNow will be stored in a container called an application plan.
Each application plan can be a different LearnMode type. An application plan is comprised of screens. Typically, there is one screen for each screen or window in your business application.
When ImageNow learns a screen or window in your business application, it creates a screen in your application plan. Creating a screen involves capturing the data from your host screen so that you can create document keys to link the image to the record in your application. Once LearnMode creates and tests the screen, you can scan images into ImageNow and link them to a particular record in your business application from that screen. Thereafter, you can view these images from your application anytime by opening the record in your business application and clicking one button on the ImageNow Client control bar.
The first task in learning your business application is to determine which LearnMode type to try first. Sometimes, it will require trying more than one method to determine which LearnMode type works best for your business application, especially in the case of GUI-based applications. Once you have determined the LearnMode type, you can create screens for each business application screen to which you need to link documents. Testing each screen is very essential in ensuring it works as desired.
Once you have completed all the tasks in creating an application plan for your business application, scanning and viewing images in your business application will be seamless and automatic. The only time you would have to modify your application plan will be if you make changes to your business application.
Most commonly used LearnModes:
InternetExplorer is used in over 80% of LearnModes. The LearnModes not mentioned are HyperLearn, DOS Command Prompt, and OLD/DDE Script.
LearnMode uses Window Walker with some GUI applications that conform to the Microsoft Windows interface design guidelines. Many applications in use today have a GUI that operates entirely within a single window on the desktop. Examples of applications that run inside a single window are Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. Custom-built applications may also fall into this category.
These application windows are published to the operating system in such a way that LearnMode can easily communicate with them. Different information is contained within easily distinguishable controls, such as fields, images, and objects. LearnMode obtains data automatically and dynamically from the Windows application running on your desktop.
When capturing data from your business application, LearnMode will deliver the unique control IDs to the application plan. LearnMode uses these control IDs in the captured window to define document keys and the screen label for the screen. Window Walker can learn some Java applets and applications that run in browsers.
ImageNow includes an enhancement to the Window Walker LearnMode to expand options for learning web-based applications built with tools such as Macromedia Flash. It also is a good option for Mozilla Firefox users.
Viewpoint is a point dialog based integration that replaces Window Text. It is used with some GUI applications that conform to the Windows interface design guidelines. It is a hybrid between the Window Walker and HyperLearn methods which are used with some Windows applications.
It is similar to Window Walker in that it is control-based. However, instead of using address of node in the control tree to identify and locate data, Viewpoint uses x,y coordinates (similar to HyperLearn) to locate a control.
The controls can be in a disabled state and the window can be dragged off the screen. Document keys are defined by clicking the pointer in each text box in the captured window. This method can usually define the screen label for you by getting the text in the title bar of the captured window.
LearnMode uses Terminal Capture with terminal emulator programs and mainframe programs. This method uses a very straightforward technique of copying the business application’s screen contents to the system clipboard. LearnMode uses this method most commonly with terminal emulation programs. The terminal emulator displays data screens from a mainframe or online business application.
Depending on the terminal emulator that you use, the method to copy screen data to the clipboard will vary. A connect string is necessary for each screen that is created. The connect string provides LearnMode with a set of system level program calls that relate specifically to the terminal emulation program being used.
Determining the connect string is probably one of the most difficult tasks in this method. LearnMode copies the clipboard contents to the captured window in the screen and then defines the document keys by highlighting the text in the captured window. LearnMode defines the screen label in the same way.
It is always a good idea to check with Perceptive Software Product Support and ask if the connect strings have already been determined for the terminal emulator for another customer using the same program. For more information on connect strings, refer to the Connect Strings book in ImageNow Application Plan Designer Help.
LearnMode uses Internet Explorer with web-based applications and can integrate with:
- Macromedia Flash
- Combination of the programs with any other LearnMode types
Internet Explorer uses an HTML parser that conducts browser integration to identify index values. LearnMode obtains data automatically and dynamically from the web application running on your desktop.
When capturing data from your business application, LearnMode will deliver the unique controls to the application plan. LearnMode uses these controls in the captured window to define document keys and the screen label for the screen.
ImageNow uses Manual Entry screen to create a stand-alone application plan. In special situations, ImageNow can be set to run as a stand-alone imaging system. In this case, ImageNow indexes and retrieves images without the use of a business application.
Manual Entry screens have two uses:
- First use - Manual Entry can be used to operate as an alternative to another dynamic application plan. You can use a Manual Entry screen if the host environment is unavailable. The system does not render ImageNow useless just because the business application is not available.
With a Manual Entry screen, users will be able to link scanned images into ImageNow. However, you must enter the document keys manually and the possibility for data entry error becomes a factor.
- Second use- Manual Entry can also be used if a business application that is relevant to the images you are storing is not available.
You may also discover uses for ImageNow that fall outside of the original intended use.
When using Manual Entry screens you must define document keys manually using non-dynamic methods. This is different from the LearnMode method where the document keys are defined dynamically using values from the captured window.
There are features available, when defining document keys, that can make Manual Entry less manual. For example, you can create and apply predefined lists to document keys that will present the user with a list of choices when indexing an image. However, usually all the indexed document keys are entered manually.
You must type the label for the screen for this method. For more information on manually creating an application plan, refer to the topic “Manually create an application plan” in ImageNow Application Plan Designer Help.