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Enterprise Content Management is a process of managing and handling the complete lifecycle of the content of an organization. The organization has content in various forms such as scanned images, Word docs, PDF files, spreadsheets, etc.
The ultimate goal of using ECM is to minimize any risk and enhance productivity, efficiency, and improve customer services by enhancing process visibility and eliminating paper-based tasks.
FileNet can be defined as an Enterprise Content Management product suite introduced by IBM. FileNet can be used by enterprises to manage their business and content processes. The FileNet P8 platform is the latest version of FileNet that provides a framework for making custom enterprise systems with much functionality and it can be customized for managing specific business needs.
Enterprise Content Management product suite has three components
Content Management tools
Business Process Management products
FileNet stores documents in a physical folder called File Store. Multiple File Stores can be created in FileNet at different locations. This setup is called File Store Farm and the policy that allows the distribution of documents in File Farm is called File Store Policy.
Content Engine Web Services (CEWS) are used to establish communication with Content Engine. They use loosely coupled frameworks (such as service-oriented architecture) for connecting components.
All features present in the CE server can be accessed by using CWES provided by FileNet Content Manager. FileNet provides a unique Web Service Description Language (WSDL) to use a Web Services interface. WSDL files can generate CEWS clients or stub classes.
Workplace Users can avail of a simple search function to search for various objects. Customized searches can be created using simple search to search for files, folders, documents, etc. Configuration of search options and criteria can be done by using the search view from the user preference page of workload. Below is the image of the search designer tool.
Using search designer tools, administrators can configure predefined searches called stored searches and search templates. Search templates and stored searches can be created and modified by this search designer tool. Both are created and managed by administrators with access rights to Search Designer which is an important part of author advanced tools.
Both searches can be deleted or changed at any point of time later if needed and they are stored in an object-store. Users can select the search criteria to search any object store for any files, documents, etc using search templates or stored searches.
The document lifecycle can be defined as a sequence of states (such as draft, publish, close, review, etc) that a document goes through during its lifetime and it includes the actions triggered when a document moves from one state to another state. A document can be moved forward or backward in its lifecycle by applications or users
A parentless class is called a root class. There are various root classes such as an event, choice list, annotation, document class, etc. in the FileNet object store but they have their ‘parent class’ property as None. The creation of an object store leads to the creation of root classes automatically and other properties and subclasses can be defined or added to the object store after the creation of root classes.
Workflow Roster is a part of the Process Engine VM Database (VMDB). It is a database structure that can store all information about work items or workflows in an isolated region. An efficient way to locate specific workflows in the Process Engine is assisted or provided by workflow rosters.
Whenever a newly isolated region is created in the Process Engine, a new DefaultRoster is created for that particular region but more rosters may be created to make administrative tasks easy by using the Process Configuration Console.
Work items under processing are arranged in queues in Process Engine. These queues are controlled by using the Process Configuration Console (PCC). There are four different types of queues present in Process Engine.
A logical subdivision of the workflow database in the Process Engine is called an Isolated Region. It contains queues for work items, rosters, event logs, and other configuration-related information.
Some important points to understand isolated regions better
FileNet Enterprise Manager is used by system administrators to define isolated regions. To define an isolated host in the Content Engine, an Isolated region number, a password, the process engine host, and communication point are required.
Below is some of the differences between FileNet Workplace and Workplace XT.
FileNet BPF is used for the development of BPM applications as it offers a configurable framework to do so. BPM applications are Ajax-based applications that provide users with a user-friendly interface. BPF facilitates the development and customization of BPM applications by not only providing a framework for configuration but also providing predefined screens and functionalities.
There are two components of BPF.
There are two or more databases available in the FileNet Content Engine to store data.
There can be one or more object stores in a FileNet P8 domain. Every object store requires its own database either an existing one or a newly created one by using an object store creation wizard in FEM.
Internet Inter Object Request Broker Protocol (IIOP) is used for communication between the Process Engine and Application Engine. Application Engine has a Content Engine installed in it so they both communicate through direct API calls.
FileNet consists of 8 products so P8 means 8 products. Following are the eight products.
Documents can be stored in FileNet Content Engine after configuration at the following locations.
FileNet stores documents in a physical folder called File Store. Multiple File Stores can be created in FileNet.
FileNet users can search for Content Engine objects and perform the bulk operations on them by using Content Engine Query Builder. It is an important part of FileNet Enterprise Manager software that comes with the ability to install the Content Engine.
Functions of Content Engine Query Builder are
The Content Engine Query Builder action’s tab has some operations that can be done such as
FileNet Enterprise Management (FEM) has a utility part called the FileNet Consistency Check tool. It is mainly used to verify whether the files stored in the FileStore correspond to metadata in the CE database or not. It is used commonly after events like a system restore, power loss, and system crash to ensure data consistency.
Securing documents means defining rights and access control to document users. There are two ways of securing documents in FileNet CE.
There are two-level versioning schemes supported in the Content Engine. Any document can be either in a major version or a minor version. Documents in a major version denote that they are completed, whereas documents in a minor version denote that they are incomplete or in-progress.
Documents can be promoted from minor versions to major versions and demoted from major versions to minor versions. When more than one version is not required on a document class level, two-level versioning can be disabled.
A logical subdivision of the workflow database in Process Engine is called an Isolated Region. It contains queues for work items, rosters, event logs, and other configuration-related information.
Different isolated regions can be created to facilitate two different processes or departments in an organization that have different workflow patterns. It is recommended to have two different isolated regions for two different departments to ease the maintenance of systems and ensure effective workflow.
Work in progress can be viewed and managed by an administrator with the help of the Process Administrator. It is a Java Applet-based UI that can be accessed from IBM's workplace's admin section.
Some tasks that Process Administrators can perform include searching for workflow, searching for work items, searching for workflow events, etc.
Process Administrator helps to manage work items and workflows in the below ways.
Process Administrator facilitates admins to search in the following areas
Process Administrator assists in selecting work items by opening Process Tracker.
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