Markus Schneider, Managing Consultant and Life Sciences Expert at fme AG in Frankfurt, is one of the leading migration specialists in Central Europe. He is leading a team of application- and content-migration experts specialized on the Life Science and especially Pharmaceutical industry.
It is the first Wednesday of November, a special day because today is our team lunch. Recently I have been working on a project to introduce an enterprise content management system to manage plant-specific documents. A multitude of installation, configuration and implementation tasks have to be done.
In this blog post I would like to express my personal experiences about Captiva from OpenText. It happens very often that neither users nor IT specialists know exactly what is behind this “software tool”.
I have also heard the sentence “It’s just scanning” more often and exactly for this reason, it is time to illuminate the mystery Captiva Capture. In simple words I try in this article to tell something about the software itself and about the daily tasks and problems. Maybe it is then comprehensible, why I find this area with the activities connected with it insanely exciting and that thereby more hides itself, than only scanning.
In regulated life sciences environments, the management of controlled documents such as SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), procedural instructions or work instructions is of great importance. Change management processes ensure that these documents are properly revised, approved, trained, distributed and, where necessary, suspended. In addition to well-known use cases within change management, there are special cases that are handled differently from company to company.
One of these applications is the case of the so called document release process.
At the end of August I was able to attend the BoxWorks conference in San Francisco, subtitled “The Future of Work”. I have to admit, I went there with only a little pre-knowledge and with the history (baggage?) of being a long-time Documentum consultant.
Let me start with a quick summary of the highlights:
Box Feed (available as Beta)
Box feeds allow you to get a stream of activities happening in the shared folders which the user can access. This is a nice collaboration function as are you are seeing the content of your coworkers directly in the stream. This has been missing for a while and Box is now delivering a first iteration with the possibility for you to comment on the documents.
It’s been very interesting to watch how the Cloud has had an impact on Enterprise Content Management in the Life Sciences market over the past year or two. I doubt that there are too many observers with knowledge of the market that believe that its impact has been anything other than positive. But as with most “no brainer“ disruptive technologies, it’s still finding that the path to adoption is not quite as simple and straight forward as it might at first appear.
Clearly, the opportunity for Life Sciences companies to outsource their IT infrastructure and some related services is a derivative benefit of utilizing Cloud. In addition, subscription pricing, synonymous with Cloud solutions, has the benefit of moving CapEx to OpEx and realizing the financial benefits of doing so, appeals to many companies.
The use of public cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the implementation of OpenText Documentum-based ECM environments is often viewed critically. There is quite a list of points in favour of its use. In fact, it depends on the scope of the environment to be built, what data is processed there and how deeply AWS is to be integrated into the own network. This blog post should help to find answers to these questions and to show a first basic environment on the AWS platform.
Even if the term ” General Data Protection Regulation “, GDPR for short, should not be chosen as the non-word of 2018, it has certainly been overused excessively in the months before the new regulation came into force. Well, after having passed the deadline a few months ago and having had a really great summer I want to pick up the topic “in peace” again and share some insights from our client projects, especially with personnel files, via this blog.
Personnel files belong to an area in which every company must ensure the protection of the data of its employees and are therefore directly affected by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Incidentally, regardless of whether the files are kept electronically or on paper.
OpenText Documentum is a full-fledged and mature server-based Document Management System which is accepted e.g. by the FDA and therefore widespread in pharmaceutical companies.
Compared with cloud computing technologies that are very strong in providing elastic (scalable) services OpenText Documentum products could be regarded as inflexible and monolithic / layered applications. Although they seem to be the exact opposite of the flexible Microservice architecture approach used for cloud native application design, there are ways to combine OpenText Documentum products with cloud computing technologies. read more
Containers, here I will call them more specific Linux containers, are in short modularized software installations. Think of a container as an isolated area with a self-contained service. The container consists of all dependent software the service needs to run. Each container / service can connect to other containers / services. Because the containers are isolated to each other, they are not able to interfere with others in terms of software versions and runtime behavior. For each container you can plan separately on which Linux operating system, web server, language interpreter, etc. your service will rely on — which best fits to your needs. That means, that for example for excessive use of threading or performance needs a single service could be written in Go Lang based on Alpine, while another one uses Apache with PHP also on Alpine and a third one needs to comply with prerequisites using Tomcat with Java on CentOS. All this is possible with containers even running on the same host.