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IMS/21

A multi-module management system designed by Vanguard Systems.
Questions about IMS/21? Call (800) 827-1151 and talk to a software expert now.

IMS/21 is the premier document imaging solution for AS/400 users. This Client Server application utilizes the AS/400 for the Server data base and Microsoft Windows 98/NT for image scanning and display Clients. Integration with existing applications is accomplished using a non-programming interface called “Smart Panels”.

IMS/21 provides the following features:

  • Smart panels (true no programming interface)
  • Scanning (Twain compliant scanners supported)
  • Scanning (KOFAX supported scanners)
  • Fax Support (fax documents)
  • COLD storage (Computer Output to Lazer Disk)
  • Optical Storage Subsystem (automatic archival)
  • IBM 3995 support
  • Automatic Optical backup facility
  • Personal Folios (user specific filing cabinet)
  • Report Distribution
  • Portable Briefcase (publish CD’s/distribution)
  • Forms Overlay
  • Bookworm (Report mining and Analysis)
  • Bar Code support
  • IMS/21.WEB (internet access to documents)

Customers Supported:

  • Government
  • Hospitals
  • Distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Insurance
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • and others

Bookworm

Bookworm - The Report Mining System of the 21st Century

Vanguard Systems has added a new module to the already impressive functionality of the IMS/21 system. This new module, called Bookworm, is an easy-to-use data access and analysis tool that uses spooled report files as a source for data. Input a report file to Bookworm and out comes data you can view, query, filter, analyze and export to other desktop applications. Bookworm is the leading product in an emerging software category called report mining systems.

Bookworm can read report files produced on your AS/400.

Any report used in your organization can be saved and captured by IMS/21 and displayed by Bookworm — whether these reports are accessed via terminal emulation software, or through a network, or distributed on diskette. You can create a Bookworm model that will break it down into records that can be handled by programs such as dBase, Lotus 1-2-3, or Microsoft Excel.

Bookworm can send formatted data to virtually any PC application

You can use the information in hundreds of PC applications that are vital to your business processes, including:

  • Lotus 1-2-3
  • Harvard Graphics
  • MS Word, Excel, and Access
  • Paradox, dBASE
  • Quattro Pro
  • FoxBASE
  • Word Perfect,
  • and others.

Bookworm can extract data

At the heart of Bookworm is a powerful data extraction engine that can pull data out of virtually any report — from simple columnar reports to complex reports with headers, footers, and multiple sort levels. Data types are automatically recognized so date fields, numeric fields and character fields are maintained in proper format. Templates can be saved and reused any time a periodic report is run.

You can create calculated fields using an extensive library of numeric, logical and string functions. You can define filters to boil down he data, sort the data on one or more keys, and create new reports with data extracted from the original report. You can drill down through summary data to reveal successive layers of detail, and create charts that change dynamically as you explore the data.

Bookworm can show you data in several formats

Bookworm offers four views of report data. A softcopy of the original report is displayed in Bookworm’s report window. Data extracted from the report is displayed in the table window. User-defined summaries that analyze report data are displayed in the summary window. Dynamic charts that are linked to summary reports are also displayed in the summary window.

Bookworm provides User benefits

  • Much easier than pulling data from the central database or a data warehouse system.
  • Much faster than re-keying data from hardcopy printouts.
  • Much more powerful than competing report mining applications.

Bookworm provides Management benefits

  • Leverages legacy investment in reports and reporting systems. No data warehouse is required.
  • Reduces demand for custom reports because users can re-deploy data from existing reports.
  • Enables electronic distribution of reports, reducing hardcopy printing and delivery costs.

Bookworm brings incisive decision-making tools to your fingertips

With Bookworm, there is no reason to waste valuable manpower re-keying data from a report into another program. You’ll save yourself time, energy, and frustration and you’ll gain more control over the information produced by your computer systems.

Image Clerk

Image Clerk is the PC based image processing component of IMS/21.

It provides the following functions:

Smart Panels - (Making “Point and Shoot“ obsolete)

IMS/21’s ”Smart Panel“ definition allows users to implement the systems quickly, without programming, and link vital documents to any AS/400 application.

Overlays-

IMS/21 users can overlay graphical annotations to image which include highlights, redactions, freehand graphics and text. ( These annotations do not alter the original document, which is permanently stored on optical disk.)

In addition, AS/400 spool files are frequently printed on pre-printed forms such as invoices, checks, and statements. IMS/21 can store a copy of this pre-printed form as a single graphic image and then display it as an overlay with the spool file information. The result is an image that looks like the finished product.

Notes Function-

When viewing a document user can generate notes from any PC or dumb terminal— to be stored in the IMS/21 database as text data, allowing all users to view them.

Multiple Image Display-

For multi-page documents, IMS/21 lets you page backwards and forwards with a simple click of the mouse. Users can also Display multiple documents at one time on their PC for comparison purposes.

Batch Scanning/Indexing-

IMS/21 allows you to scan and index large batches of documents quickly and efficiently using the ADF (Automatic Document Feeder) on the scanner. A number if indexing options are available, including Auto Indexing, which uses a barcode to identify the indexing key, or OCR engine to translate portions if an image into data to be used to identify the indexing key.

Fax Links-

IMS/21’s Fax Link Facility lets you access and display incoming faxes that originate from a variety of PC— or AS/400 attached fax systems. These documents can then be easily shared between branch offices or departments without the need for multiple reprints or postage.

Librarian

Librarian is the database which resides on the AS/400. The major benefit is the ability to integrate with existing AS/400 applications without programming. Spool files (reports/COLD) can be processed automatically and links can be established with our “Smart Panel“ technology permitting users to find lists of documents associated with the current data on any screen in any existing application you currently use. ALL with NO programming required.

Librarian is a pre-requisite for:

  • Image Clerk (Scanning and Image Display)
  • Bookworm (Report Data mining and analysis)

IMS/21’s Optical Storage Subsystem

Optical Disks are an increasingly common way to store large amounts of data. They come in several sizes and capacities, but the 12 and 5.25 formats are the most common. Although they look superficially like the Compact Disks used for stereo systems, they use a completely different recording mechanism and are incompatible with CDs.

There are two types of optical disks:

  • WORM (Write Once, Read Many)
  • Erasable (Phase Change or Magneto Optical)

Erasable optical disks behave like higher capacity magnetic disks. IMS/21’s Optical Storage Subsystem (OSS) generally uses WORM disks since there is usually a lot of value in the fact that images, once scanned and stored, cannot be altered in any way. This makes them reliable, permanent records, similar to microfiche, but much clearer and more accessible. However, erasable disks are also supported.

IMS/21 will support one of several optical disk drives (each allowing any number of removable optical disks) and optical jukeboxes which provide virtually unlimited near on-line capacity. The performance characteristics of the various drives and possible configurations vary.

Once an image is scanned, IMS/21 stores it first in a Shared Folder on the AS/400. While images and other IMS/21 documents are active or likely to be active - that is, while they may be requested for viewing - IMS/21 keeps them on-line in the AS/400. If you have optical storage installed, IMS/21 copies the images to the optical. If an image is requested that is not currently in the Shared Folder Cache, IMS/21 automatically retrieves it from the relevant optical disk volume. It brings it into the AS/400 Shared Folder cache where it remains until it once again becomes little used and the system can use the AS/400 disk space for other IMS/21 documents. Faxes and other AS/400 documents placed in an IMS/21 folio are physically copied to an AS/400 shared folder cache and then to optical disk, duplicating copies stored elsewhere on the AS/400.

IMS/21’s OSS manages every aspect of storing and retrieving IMS/21 documents.

Sool file Support-

IMS/21 supports the storage of spoolfiles on optical disk, along with the ability to create documents out of spool files. AS/400 based output report information can be imported into IMS/21 by simply defining the report to use IMS/21 and processing the output queue using an IMS/21 function. The system will automatically select recognized reports by individual pages and store them in the appropriate folios.

Linking Documents to Application-

IMS/21 can immediately be used to link documents to any of your applications- with absolutely no user programming. ”Smart Panels“ (Panel/screen recognition), is the first stage of this linking process. A system administrator defines the specific characteristics which identify the screen. Next, they identify the fields unique to individual records (i.e., an invoice number, etc.) IMS/21 then recognizes the panel and identifies the key fields by which it index these documents, and a unique folio for them. The next stage is image indexing. Documents are scanned into IMS/21 and inserted into the correct folio, based on user-defined index fields. Finally, the systems document display facility allows anyone using that application to call up the document image by pressing a single key.

Support for PC’s and Dumb Terminals-

Once the links have been established, any authorized person can use IMS/21, regardless whether they are outfitted with PC or dumb terminal. This flexibility delivers maximum benefit from a superior imaging solution without making a substantial investment in new hardware and training. While Image Clerk provides for image display and scanning, Librarian can display COLD reports in a 5250 emulation session or on a dumb terminal. If Image Clerk is installed Librarian will automatically launch the Image Viewer provided the user is at a display capable of displaying images (PC, 3489, IBM Network Station, WYSE Terminal running CITRIX or any PC running Windows 3.11, 95, 98 or NT Workstation.

Folios-

IMS/21 logically groups documents and images into directories called ”Folios,“ Making it easier to organize and manage them. Each folio has a user-defined name, description and folio subject. For example, a folio called ”Letters“ could group all your correspondence by customer, or another folio called ”Orders“ might group orders by customer and order number. Although an image is stored only once, it can be indexed and retrieved under many different keys and references through IMS/21’s Electronic Filing Cabinet facility, allowing you to access all of your images directly, independently of any particular application.

System Personalization-

Above all, IMS/21 gives you flexibility— to adapt to different situations, to change, to grow. You have complete control over the images you store and how you display then for individual users— tailoring the display, the application, and the particular panel being viewed at that time.

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