May 9, 2018

What are ePresentment Services?

Tim Nelms | VP, Worldwide Channels & Alliances and International Sales
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ePresentment services are essential components of the processes that allow consumers to access documents via web portals and mobile devices. At the most basic level they are also used in large organizations to distribute internal documents and reports. However, it’s behind the scenes that ePresentment services get really interesting.  In this first post of a multi-part series, we’ll take a look at the key functions of ePresentment services – bursting, transformation and viewing.

Bursting is the process through which ePresentment services find individual documents contained in large batches. In many systems, like IBM’s CMOD, this involves extracting a byte range from a previously indexed and burst file and streaming this back to end users. Bursting recognizes that usually the most efficient way of storing documents is as an aggregated batch, but that it is individual documents in the file that need to be presented to end users. Some bursting strategies rely on knowing the start page of a document and the page count – often used with PDF which understands via a cross-reference table where pages are stored. This approach is used in Crawford’s PRO Archiver and CCM Gateway products.

Many underlying ECM and archive systems store content in legacy print formats like AFP, Metacode and text – formats that are usually unsuitable for viewing. The second function of e-presentment is therefore to convert print format documents into viewable formats such as PDF and HTML. During the transformation process documents can be enhanced, for example, incorporating tagging for screen readers that support blind and partially sighted users, or redacting information that that is subject to regulations like Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS). PDF digital signatures are often added to documents during this process to guarantee consumers authenticity of documents using digitally signed certificates.

Viewing documents from ePresentment systems is usually performed in a web browser, but the choice of viewable format can vary. Both PDF and HTML are widely used depending on whether the content has a page or flow-oriented layout. The need for dedicated desktop viewing technologies for text and AFP formats is now largely redundant due to the use of on demand transformation in ePresentment services. There is an increasing number of transaction documents which are born and stored as PDF and XML, rather than as legacy print formats, which can change some of the transformation requirements.

Crawford is a global leader in ePresentment services for transactional documents. Find out how CrawfordTech’s solutions for IBM CMOD, OpenText Documentum, OpenText InfoArchive, Alfresco and others help support complex ePresentment scenarios including bursting, transformation, redaction, accessible document and digital signatures.