Scanner Interface

Posted: 9th April 2010 by davy in C#, Development

Scanning is always interesting – just getting from Paper to PDF is a real challenge – especially if you want some intelligent information on your PDF.

I’ve been working with scanners for over 20 years now – from B5 to A0.   One of the first major projects I did was to write some automation software to allow A0 Ordinance Survey maps to be scanned and line-followed for a major utility who was building a SCADA system.  I was contracted by Intergraph to do the software development as their solution was good but it didn’t quite work.

For this development project – the requirement was mostly A4/A3 documents.   So I looked at the excellent Kofax.  I’d used Kofax in a few other corporate projects and I knew this would have done the job.  So I wrote some pilot software to demonstrate how it would speed the process of scanning greatly.

Cost however – as always – was a barrier – and the client asked me to provide a cheaper solution – so I wrote a desktop scanning interface in C# which interfaced with a Twain scanner.  I also used MQ to communicate with the CMS application so that the overall process was as streamlined as possible.

If the source was paper – the document would be scanned and classified right in the post room.   If the document came direct from their customers – then it would be started on a CMS workflow.

I chose C# because it was a windows desktop platform and I wanted to leverage .NET for both fast application development and great looking windows application.  .NET is a superb environment to develop client applications.  Nothing else comes close.

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