"The ease of use and implementation were key to our decision to move ahead with FileHold."
- Engineering Customer
Service Oriented Architecture for the Paperless Office
The document management software is based on the Microsoft .NET Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) model. This architecture provides tremendous benefits to customers and partners.
The main subsystems of the document management software communicate with each other via web service calls. These web services are available to customers and partners to provide easy integration with other enterprise solutions and productivity software applications. The Web services are implemented in a highly secure way and require full user authentication. Microsoft provides an ideal technology platform to implement web services and to deliver modern Service Oriented Architecture.
Performance and Scalability of Document Management Software
The Paperless Office application is a collection of web services that together provide high performance and scalability. Examples of web services subsystems found in the software include: Library Manager, Document Repository, User & Role Manager and the ASP Layer (application server serving web clients).
All of these subsystems communicate via secure and fully authenticated web service calls. The web client layer consisting of web client, native (smart) client and the Microsoft Office client communicate with the other subsystems through the same web services accessing the same resources and performing identical functions. This architecture allows for tremendous performance improvements by providing the ability to deploy web services on different servers. As an example; the ASP Layer can reside on one web server and the Library Manager and Document Repository can reside on another.
This scalability can be magnified even further by installing selected web services (subsystems) on web farms (server clusters). Using multiple servers to run the ASP Layer provides for almost infinitive scalability in terms of web client users. Using a web farm to deploy the document management software allows for scalability in terms of the number of documents. The software has been architected, built, stress and load tested for millions of documents and thousand of simultaneous users.
Flexible Document Software Deployment Scenario
The software's Service Oriented Architecture supports a broad spectrum of deployment scenarios It can be installed on one, two or any number of servers to satisfy the most demanding, high traffic and mission critical applications. Each web service (subsystem) can be installed on a separate server or server farm.
SOA allows for easy adaptation to an existing customer's data center deployment scenario. For example it is possible to use an existing instance of SQLServer residing on customer's servers and at the same time install Document Repository on another server that might be used to store sensitive data (files).
Document Management Software Extendability
The architecture provides for an elegant and easy to implement extensibility paradigm. This secure web service calls interface is available to our professional services team to provide customization services when needed. A new subsystem, such as a custom rules based document importation and filing engine, can be added easily and inexpensively, using the web service interfaces which are relevant to the task. There is no need to understand the details and complexity of other modules and subsystems.
Easy and Secure Custom Extensions and Third Party Software Integration
It is also easy for consultant partners and customer's to extend and/or amend the software's functionality; and to integrate with the existing enterprise productivity applications. The web services API exposes, in a secure way, functionality to create library objects (cabinets, folders or document schemas), associate documents being added with metadata schema and values; and/or manage library object memberships.
Software Re-usability in Complex Deployment Scenarios
The software's subsystems can be re-used by other web-service aware applications and provide enterprise or departments wide functionality to eliminate functional redundancies. As an example; our Microsoft's Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) and Authorization Manger (AzMan) based User and Role Management Subsystem could be used as a single sign-on authentication store for other enterprise applications. The Active Directory object synchronization and local (non-AD) user creation capabilities could, in some cases, provide the right solutions to the multifaceted users-to-applications relationship dilemma.
Re-usability in Document Management Software Development
Service Oriented Architecture raises the benefits of Object Oriented development to another level. By exposing services the web service provider completely shelters users from the details of service requests and processing details.
By adhering to the four tenets of the true Service Oriented Architecture paradigm:
- Boundaries are explicit
- Services are autonomous
- Schemas and contracts (between services) and not classes (code) should be shared
- Service compatibility is based on policy
Using these technologies the document management software development team is able to shorten the software development cycle and deliver subsequent releases of Document Management System in record time.