Document Imaging in Business – Part 5: Object Linking and Embedding

Microsoft created the concept of Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) for operating-system functions, but the technology has profound applications to the document management industry as well. OLE essentially enables your client-side document imaging software to appear as though it’s built into your basic Windows-based programs, creating a seamless GUI for your workers. Diabetic Eye screenings

This does require that your core software is OLE 2.0 compliant — all modern Windows programs are, but some proprietary systems aren’t. Provided that you do use OLE 2.0 compliant software, the OLE system standardizes the way that your applications work together.

The mechanics behind the OLE technology are fairly complicated, but the process can be described simple enough. OLE will, for example, allow your accounting software to access your document management software as though it is a sub-program of your accounting software, so you can view and tag images without ever leaving your accounting program. Essentially, the OLE system creates a pop-up subsidiary window within the accounting software that runs the document management software in the same interface as the accounting program. Then, when you’re done with the imaging software, OLE returns you to the primary window without a hiccup.

The documents aren’t ever part of the actual accounting system; they only appear to be to your worker. Because the databases are kept separate, you prevent a commingling of data; your text-based accounting database isn’t swollen and slowed down by the large-volume image files, and your image database isn’t cluttered with thousands of tag-less, unlinked entries that would be unable to be searched or processed by the imaging software.

The main benefit of OLE is the creation of so-called ‘compound documents’, such as reports or e-mails that have images embedded in them (the ‘E’ in ‘OLE’), though there is also a significant advantage to be had in the ability to cut-and-paste information from one kind of document directly into another, which OLE also allows.

The right document management software, properly OLE-compliant and well-integrated, can become so much a part of your everyday routine that your workers might be surprised when they realize they don’t have the same abilities on their home desktops that they do at work. That’s how OLE technology can make a paperless office perfectly seamless.

 

 

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