IBM Filenet and Content Navigator

Document-based content management A-Z with IBM technologies

FileNet is IBM’s enterprise document and process management system.

At the heart of the system is the FileNet Content Engine, a document management engine that provides basic document management services to related applications via multiple APIs (Java, .NET, CMIS Web Services).

Buildable document, folder and other hierarchical object models can be maintained in real-time using graphical administration tools, as well as access control rules, which are enforced by authentication from one or more LDAP (e.g. AD) servers.

The Content Engine is able to store content hierarchically using a dedicated storage management solution (e.g. IBM Tivoli Storage Manager), thus optimizing storage costs.

The events generated during the manipulation of the content stored in the Content Engine can be logged, and triggers written in Java can be written in response to the various events.

Built on the Content Engine is the FileNet Process Engine, a general business process engine that allows the execution of machine steps (e.g. on Web services, JMS), the organization of steps, the assignment of human steps to human actors, and the monitoring of deadlines.

The system user interface is FileNet Workplace XT or FileNet Content Navigator. Both are enterprise portals that can host, in addition to their own portlets, portlets for factory document management (e.g. browsing, searching, ingesting), process management (e.g. task lists) and WCM functions. The human execution of workflow tasks is made possible by the system’s designable, intelligent forms, which, in addition to concentrating the information needed to complete the task in one place, guide the user to fill in the data correctly. The FileNet eForms functionality is tightly integrated with Workplace XT.

FileNet also includes numerous connectors to ERP, CRM, SCM and mail systems.

In the past years, we have contributed our expertise to successful FileNet implementations for a number of clients, where we have been involved in document, process and entitlement modelling, as well as system deployment and integration with e.g. SAP, MS Exchange and other business systems.

We have implemented complete processes based on FileNet, such as invoice approval, purchase order approval, COLD, or physical document management.

In a regulated environment, we have integrated various digital signature services into FileNet, which are not supported by FileNet ex-factory.

Content Centric Business Process Management (CCBPM)

“Content Centric” means that the people involved in the processes created typically work on documents and content, but at the same time they also work closely with external back-end systems.

Decisions in the processes are based on available documents, images and other content. Actions on content can trigger new processes to ensure proper processing. In this way, the content managed in the processes becomes “active content.”

In fact, all systems that rely on document management, including enterprise content managers, can only be complete if they use a Content Centric approach, including a process engine, since documents are always managed in a process.

A CCBPM system can be built by integrating different systems (process engine, content engine, forms engine), but integrated systems are also available on the market (e.g. FileNet).


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