5 Replies Latest reply: Jun 20, 2013 6:24 AM by Jiri.Machotka-Oracle RSS

    WebCenter Content Architecture

    jaysen_

      Hello everyone,

       

      I just need an advice on how to solve a particular client's document management requirement. Need help on a good (if not best) architecture for their case.

       

      In a nutshell, they have satellite/offsite branches that can receive documents from their customers. They want to get those documents digitized and kept in a doc. mgmt. solution. I've looked into some implementation examples from this site: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E10316_01/cs/cs_doc_10/implementation/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/html/wwhelp.htm

       

      but there's no WCC configuration where a content contributor is outside the client's intranet (or extranet). Is it ok to just have one Content Server in the head office/data center, and the branches can connect to WCC (client-server mode) from a different geographical location? Or should there be a branch content server where scanning is available?

       

      Hope you can throw in some ideas.

       

      Thanks,

      Jason

        • 1. Re: WebCenter Content Architecture
          Srinath Menon-Oracle

          Hi Jason ,

           

          I think you need to look at ODDC solution here  : http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E10316_01/capture.htm

           

          With this solution you can use Web UI to upload scanned documents to UCM server which would be remote located .

           

          That's just the base to start with .

           

          Thanks,

          Srinath

          • 2. Re: WebCenter Content Architecture
            jaysen_

            Oh my goodness, I feel so dumb not to have thought of that!

             

            I'll look into it further. I don't think I'll need forms recognition, or maybe I do? There are different kinds of documents that will be asked from the customer though.

             

            Thanks so much Srinath!

            • 3. Re: WebCenter Content Architecture
              Jiri.Machotka-Oracle

              Well, I don't know. This very much depends on what requirements

              > get those documents digitized and kept in a doc. mgmt. solution

              and

              > a content contributor is outside the client's intranet

              really mean.

               

              a) It is certainly true that WebCenter Content is a centralized, not distributed system.

              b) There are few exceptions (that might be irrelevant to your use case)

              • Desktop Integration Suite supports also offline mode (for reading, but even updates of documents)
              • Some news from PM suggest that the new 11.1.1.8 release will support mobile solutions, where content can be ingested even in offline mode (where a mobile device has no signal)

              However, those scenarios are usually only for exceptions - you cannot expect that a remote site would work with a single DIS client and/or mobile device.

              c) ODDC is also a centralized solution, but you could have one ODDC server per branch, if necessary, supplemented by ODC. However, ODC/ODDC can be used only for content ingestion (scanning/importing documents, initial metadata). Once a document is committed to a content repository, it is (usually) no longer available. Besides, there is no support for scenarios like searching, revisions, content retrieval, etc.

              d) Even though, WCC is a centralized system, it does not mean that you could not try to implement a distributed scenario using content migration/replication (Archiver utility). There are, however, two main reasons against it:

              • Costs - CPU/NUP license model is very effective for a centralized solution, because you can benefit from synergy effects of clustering. I remember a project where we had 80+ branches, altogether with 4K+ users that could run on something like 4 CPUs (eq. to 200 NUPs), if centralized
              • Manageability - everyone in OCS (Oracle Consulting Services) strongly discouraged us from any distributed design. Imagine a star architecture, where you have one central node containing everything, and a number of smaller branch systems containing items "belonging" to the branch. Unless the product supports a distributed locking (check-out) you can easily end up with inconsistent data. Again, there can be exceptions - in our case, we had just one revision, data were synchronized overnight and it could never happen that data was updated by anyone, but the branch that "owned" them.

              In our case, the issue was the internet connectivity, and fortunately, we were finally able to convince the customer to solve the root cause, rather than go with an overkill architecture.

               

              IMHO,

              > a content contributor is outside the client's intranet (or extranet)

              is not an argument for a distributed architecture.

               

              If your concern is security, you may install web server to DMZ. One remaining challenge might be managing user identities, but even for that there are solutions available.

              • 4. Re: WebCenter Content Architecture
                jaysen_

                Thank you for the explanation! I've commented inline on some of the items.

                 

                Well, I don't know. This very much depends on what requirements

                > get those documents digitized and kept in a doc. mgmt. solution

                and

                > a content contributor is outside the client's intranet

                really mean.


                The process basically is that customers go to either the head office or satellite branches to file an application. In order for the application to be processed, supporting documents must be presented. Currently, the client is photocopying these documents and filing away manually in cabinets. If an application needs to be reviewed again later, they need to sift through their storage.


                Since they can accept applications from different locations, scanning and indexing (or in WCC, uploading/checking-in) of documents will be outside the data center where WCC will reside.

                 

                a) It is certainly true that WebCenter Content is a centralized, not distributed system.

                 

                OK, noted!

                 

                b) There are few exceptions (that might be irrelevant to your use case)

                • Desktop Integration Suite supports also offline mode (for reading, but even updates of documents)
                • Some news from PM suggest that the new 11.1.1.8 release will support mobile solutions, where content can be ingested even in offline mode (where a mobile device has no signal)

                 

                The mobile support will definitely be great as some branches have limited physical space. Although, I might put this in the backburner for now.

                 

                However, those scenarios are usually only for exceptions - you cannot expect that a remote site would work with a single DIS client and/or mobile device.c) ODDC is also a centralized solution, but you could have one ODDC server per branch, if necessary, supplemented by ODC. However, ODC/ODDC can be used only for content ingestion (scanning/importing documents, initial metadata). Once a document is committed to a content repository, it is (usually) no longer available. Besides, there is no support for scenarios like searching, revisions, content retrieval, etc.d) Even though, WCC is a centralized system, it does not mean that you could not try to implement a distributed scenario using content migration/replication (Archiver utility). There are, however, two main reasons against it:

                • Costs - CPU/NUP license model is very effective for a centralized solution, because you can benefit from synergy effects of clustering. I remember a project where we had 80+ branches, altogether with 4K+ users that could run on something like 4 CPUs (eq. to 200 NUPs), if centralized
                • Manageability - everyone in OCS (Oracle Consulting Services) strongly discouraged us from any distributed design. Imagine a star architecture, where you have one central node containing everything, and a number of smaller branch systems containing items "belonging" to the branch. Unless the product supports a distributed locking (check-out) you can easily end up with inconsistent data. Again, there can be exceptions - in our case, we had just one revision, data were synchronized overnight and it could never happen that data was updated by anyone, but the branch that "owned" them.

                In our case, the issue was the internet connectivity, and fortunately, we were finally able to convince the customer to solve the root cause, rather than go with an overkill architecture.

                 

                I think the architecture can survive with just one ODDC server where branches (not that many) can connect and send scanned documents to. There are no hard requirements on revisions yet. I also need an application to actually encode the customer's application, and is thinking of a custom-made ADF application, deployed on the WLS where WCC will run on. Or can I just create pages on WCC and expose that?

                 

                IMHO,

                > a content contributor is outside the client's intranet (or extranet)

                is not an argument for a distributed architecture.


                OK, understood.

                 

                If your concern is security, you may install web server to DMZ. One remaining challenge might be managing user identities, but even for that there are solutions available.

                 

                OK, I'll look into this.


                Thanks for all the inputs!

                • 5. Re: WebCenter Content Architecture
                  Jiri.Machotka-Oracle

                  Thank you for your explanation. It always helps to have a business reasons, not just technical requirements - a fact, which is very difficult to explain to some users here.

                   

                  Well, your scenario is very similar to ours, and I believe you should be able to find an architecture model, based on UCM and ODDC, which will satisfy your needs. If you want to get some more inspiration from Oracle, I'd recommend to contact your local Oracle rep and get some details about implementation of Rabobank, in the Netherlands. It uses the same architecture components - in fact, in some aspects it might go even beyond your needs (e.g. users may scan their supporting documents at home) and it may spare you few potential blind alleys.