Monday, October 01, 2012 2:53 PM
With each new release, SharePoint becomes both more useful and more prevalent in organizations of a certain size. Used both for intranets and public-facing web sites, SharePoint provides tools to help users communicate, collaborate and share and manage documents and information.
While SharePoint offers document storage and search capabilities itself, many DB/TextWorks users prefer the interface and features they are most used to, and wish to continue using DB/TextWorks to manage their databases and collections. Replicating administrative workflow in SharePoint is often not practical or cost effective. Those with WebPublisher PRO may wish to continue providing web browser search access in that fashion.
Fortunately, it’s quite feasible to use DB/TextWorks and WebPublisher PRO with SharePoint as there are many options for integrating one into the other. However, before rushing to do so, one should consider the consequences, such as:
- If users are used to a particular search interface or syntax, will a switch to SharePoint cause confusion or frustration? Will you continue to provide access to the previous interface?
- How many records are in an existing SharePoint site compared to ones in the DB/TextWorks databases? Will including the latter in SharePoint overwhelm the site?
- Will significant capabilities be lost, such as the ability in WebPublisher PRO to create See Also hyperlinks, browse indexes or bring in book covers from Google?
A few of the options for integrating DB/TextWorks databases into a SharePoint site are:
- Use the SharePoint Page Viewer web part to iframe Inmagic WebPublisher PRO search and results pages. This is the simplest approach, but requires that you have WebPublisher PRO and has usability drawbacks (iframes are harder to bookmark, navigate and size correctly). Search results will not appear in any SharePoint site-wide searches, which may be the desired approach if they would overwhelm the results.
- Export data from Inmagic databases to a CSV format and import into SharePoint Lists, where they can be searched, sorted, filtered, etc., the same as all existing data in the SharePoint site. A search scope can be defined in SharePoint to allow users to focus a search only on the imported data, if desired. This approach does not require WebPublisher and can be done manually with one or two connector tools, or automated with one or two more.
- Export data from Inmagic databases to XML and import as a SharePoint Data Source. As with #2 above, this can be automated. However, the data is less usable without further effort in SharePoint as a Data Source compared to a List.
- Set up a connection to the WebPublisher PRO SOAP interface as a SharePoint Data Source, either to import data, or to construct a real-time search interface. As with #1, this requires that you also have WebPublisher PRO installed, and will require further effort to make good use of the data within SharePoint.
- Write a custom .NET connector to WebPublisher PRO within SharePoint Business Connectivity Services either to import data or for real-time searching. This requires that you have WebPublisher PRO and requires the most initial effort and skill, but also offers the most options for customization to meet very specific needs.
Each of these options has pros and cons based on the effort and skill required to implement, and the features that result. For those with DB/TextWorks but not WebPublisher PRO, option 2 is an excellent choice in that it is not too complex nor costly to implement, but provides reasonably useful results.
This blog post outlines just a few of the issues and options for using DB/TextWorks and WebPublisher PRO with SharePoint. We would be pleased to advise you on the best strategy for your organization and needs.
Monday, September 17, 2012 11:49 AM
Provincial and territorial medical associations (PTMA) in Canada set policies on various issues such as emergency room overcrowding, nurse practitioners, electronic medical record keeping, prescription drug usage, etc. for their particular jurisdiction. The Health Policy and Research (HP&R) department of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) was asked to create a repository of these policy documents and make them available to all PTMAs. The library was already managing a database of CMA policies and was asked by HP&R to set up a similar database for the PTMAs.
Andornot worked with the CMA library team, led by Reference Librarian Elizabeth Czanyo, and the association’s IT department, to set up a password protected database using the Andornot Starter Kit (ASK), DB/TextWorks and WebPublisher PRO, with the following features:
- Full text document searching and display
- Link to PDF document
- Referring URL security
- Email, Save and Print cart
- Permalinks to each policy
- Search, display and cart all in same template
- Bilingual: English and French
- Search result sorting by Title, Date and PTMA Author
Now researchers at each PTMA can access and compare policies from various jurisdictions, assisting them in the creation of their own policies.
Elizabeth Czanyo says, “I think the database will be a useful tool for our provincial partners, and help them collaborate in policy creation across the country. Working with Denise Bonin and her team at Andornot was great – they were fast, professional and really knew their stuff!”
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 3:00 PM
At time of writing (Sep 11 2012) Inmagic has not yet released info about DB/Textworks on Windows 8. Fortunately, I am willing to throw myself onto the grenade of a brand new operating system in the name of fun and adventure. So the short story is: you can do it, though I personally am still picking shrapnel out of my tender bits. Here’s what you need to know.
DB/TextWorks (can I just refer to it as “dbext” from here on in? thanks) has a dependency on the Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package x86, specifically Microsoft.VC90.MFC version 9.0.21022.8. You will not find that DLL on a new install of Windows 8. Although the install process may go okay, when you attempt to launch dbtext32.exe, you’ll see an error like the following:
A look at the application event log garners an Event ID 33 SideBySide error:
And there you have it: a missing assembly. It so happens that the Webpublisher installer ensures this assembly is present, and goes and gets it if necessary. But not the dbtext installer. So one way to fix the problem, as it turns out, is to run the Webpublisher installer on the machine, if you happen to have it available. Or, you can download the redistributable and install it manually. Either way, you can get dbtext up and running on Windows 8. Now follows the short and snappy version.
- Manually install the C++ 2008 x86 package at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29, before or after the dbtext install.
Monday, May 28, 2012 2:10 PM
St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, Ontario recently asked Andornot to help upgrade the presentation of its online archival collections. The collection includes digitized photographs, school yearbooks and alumni magazines dating back to the school’s first years in the 1900s. The upgraded site provides alumni and others with a fascinating journey through the school’s history. Alumni may now browse and search very easily for memories of their time at SAC.
Andornot upgraded the SAC archives’ DB/TextWorks database to the latest version of our Archives Starter Kit, upgrading the desktop forms and query screens as well as the web application. Some highlights of the new website include:
- Social bookmarking and permalinks allow users to share records with friends via email, Facebook, Twitter and other online services.
- Results may be viewed in a gallery-style grid layout or in a more traditional list, as well as sorted by relevance, title and date.
- The website features the front cover image of yearbooks and alumni magazines; however, the full contents have been digitized and are hosted by the Internet Archive. Search results provide links to view content in various formats, including PDF and as an online flipbook. See, for example, this record: http://archives.sac.on.ca/permalink/925 and its View Online Flipbook link.
- The photo commenting feature allows users to identify students and others in photographs. Users can circle individual people or faces in a photograph and provide the name or other comments for that person. Comments are emailed to the school archivist for review and to update records.
- Thumbnails and enlarged images are generated dynamically from a single master image.
- The selection list allows users to save or print the list, as well as to mark records of interest to email to themselves or to friends. In the future, users may be able to order reprints of photographs online.
- The new website layout complements the school website for a seamless transition from one web application to another.
Andornot created many of the archival records from a data conversion: SAC had digitized thousands of photographs, all saved to DVD. Andornot took those image files, extracted identifying information such as name and dates, and used that information to create initial records. This saved considerable time compared with manual database entry for each record. The College archivist will enhance the records further with names and other identifying information, in part from comments received through the photo commenting feature.
Search the archives here.
Contact Andornot to learn about upgrading your school’s online archives or photograph collection to a similar level.
Monday, March 19, 2012 3:25 PM
Inmagic has announced the release of a service pack for DB/TextWorks version 13. This has improved support for extracting text from PDF files created by newer versions of Adobe Acrobat. If you have the Importer set up to automatically load PDF files, then you will also need the update to PowerPack Lite which includes the Importer utility.
Clients who don't import PDF files and extract the text can ignore this service pack.
All clients with a current Inmagic maintenance subscription for DB/TextWorks should have received an email from Inmagic with the download information for this service pack. If you have a current subscription but have not received a notification email in the next week or so, please email email@example.com with your serial number and email address so it can be resent. Please also remember to let us know if your contact information has changed so we can update our records and pass this on to Inmagic.
Please contact us if you need assistance with this or would like a quote on renewing an expired maintenance subscription.