David Crewe Ltd

Kofax Consultancy

Decoupling - The Benefits of Separation.

decouple - verb: separate, disengage, or dissociate (something) from something else

In general decoupled systems are ones where there is limited or no direct interaction between components - two or more systems that are able to transact without being connected, or coupled. The systems do not interact with each other, and also one system usually has only a very limited knowledge of any other system, and that knowledge is usually limited to information about shared interfaces.

In Kofax the key area where coupling/decoupling needs to be considered is in the export process - sending the documents and/or data gathered during the Kofax workflow to some other system, which could be anything from a simple storage repository, to a workflow system, or full enterprise solution.

There are many instances where close integration is desirable, or even essential. For example you may need to query a case reference from your repository during validation or export in order to associate the correct reference to the document being processed, ensuring it is exported to the correct location.

Close coupling with Kofax export is usually achieved using a custom export connector developed specifically for the system you are exporting into, and connecting directly into that system via an API.

A large number of custom export connectors have already been developed and are available from Kofax or other Partners. It is also possible to build a custom export connector from scratch, or customise one of the standard Kofax connectors.

Some of the disadvantages of a closely coupled export approach include:

      -a different custom export connector may be required for each system
      -development is required if no connector exists yet for your system
      -small changes may require redevelopment of the custom export connector
      -changing target systems will require an entirely new export connector
      -connectivity issues can cause problems on both systems

Decoupling of an export process is usually achieved by creating a data file and/or images as part of the export process. These items are then written to a network location, where an ingestion/upload routine pulls the data into the relevant backend system. In many cases all that is required is a formatted text file or XML (see example XML) which specifies what the data is, and the uploader will interpret this and import accordingly.

Some the advantages of a decoupled export approach include:

      -a single export connector can export to multiple different systems
      -changes to the requirement require only tweaking configuration
      -changing target systems will not require an entirely new export connector
      -one system being 'down' does not necessarily impact the other system

There is no right or wrong way to configure your Kofax export, as each setup has its own specific requirements. For some, close coupling is absolutely essential, whilst for others the further removed the systems are from one another the better...

If decoupling is right for your organisation, then check out our Custom Text Export Connector to see how easy it can be to create an output file in any format and with any content.

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