Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
Auto Complete - halFILE 4.0
Monday, July 30, 2012
Introducing data & images into the Prior Policy Application
I blogged back in March about the benefits of Prior Policy files and hal Systems offers an easy streamline method of getting these files indexed. An interface is available from hal for the popular Closing Systems such as RamQuest, SoftPro, and AIM for Windows. This interface provides auto indexing of fields in the Prior Policy database eliminating errors and speeding up the process. This interface is accomplished by “attaching” the halfile database to the Closing System database to extract the selected fields. The fields can include:
Buyer Name & Address
Seller Name & Address
Lender Name & Address
Subdivision / Block / Lot.
Images may also be introduced into the Prior Policy System from the Closing Package using halfile “Print to” utility which further streamlines the process. The halfile Printer is accessed like a standard MicroSoft Windows printer and has an icon in the Printers folder that is selected when printing from other programs such as Closing. Documents not requiring a signature do not have to be scanned but can merely be printed into halfile eliminating some of the scanning. If you would like more information or would like to get started on Prior Policies in halfile then contact your hal Systems sales representative.
Monday, July 16, 2012
halFILE 4.0 Release - July 17th, 2012
We are very pleased to announce that we will officially be releasing halFILE 4.0 tomorrow morning. At the end of day we will have 50 desktops functioning with the new version. Many thanks to our Beta testers both internal and external that have provided feedback on the new release. We hope you enjoy the new features and hope to continue to add new functionality based on your input as we continue to grow with this new version. Don't forget to prepare your desktops for 4.0 by going to http://update.halfile.com and installing the prerequisites. This will greatly assist us in migrating you to the new release. Be sure to e-mail James Tabor if you want to get on the list to obtain 4.0.
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Get an early start on your transition to halFILE 4.0. Just click here: http://update.halfile.com and you will be able to install the prerequisites on your workstations in preparation for the upcoming release of halFILE 4.0. This will be a required first step for anyone wishing to upgrade to halFILE 4.0 If you would like to get on the list of early adopters please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
We taught an experienced halFILE user (using halFILE for over 10 years) a new trick in our April Training Class - Local Autofill. Local Autofill facilitates indexing on any index field that is consistent, or increments by 1 or number of pages. You can use it when indexing multiple documents with the same clerk file number, volume or page incrementing, saving you from having to manually key those fields, and helping to avoid mistakes that can happen with repetitive entries.
We are constantly enhancing halFILE based on user suggestions and requests, and industry changes. If it has been a while since your system was installed, you should think about signing up for a training class or attending HUG, or both! You never know what you might learn.
Our next halFILE Training Class is scheduled for July 12-13 in our Dallas office. If you are interested in attending and need more information, or would like to sign up for the class, send me a note at email@example.com or give me a call at 214.466.6532. We'd love the opportunity to give you a refresher class on halFILE, and hopefully teach you a few new tricks along the way!
Thursday, April 12, 2012
DANGEROUS PITFALL #1: "I got everything backed up right here on this USB drive"
DANGEROUS PITFALL #2: "I think everything is backed up but I've never checked"
Unfortunately, we've seen this first hand with some clients - both with tape backup systems and USB backup drives. The have a drive crash and get ready to retrieve their valuable data from backup and nothing is there! The good thing is that it is a lot easier to check to see if your files are on your USB drive because you can plug it in and look at it, just like any other drive. And you should do this regularly!
DANGEROUS PITFALL #3: "I only have one USB drive but it's big enough to hold everything"
Back when we set up tape backup systems, we gave the client a series of tapes and told them "Put this one in every Monday, this one every Tuesday... etc. and put this one in on the 1st Friday, this one on the 2nd Friday etc.". We ended up using about 12 tapes to accomplish this rotation method. I have yet to see USB drives deployed this way. At the very least it is prudent to rotate two USB backup drives.
Here's the deal. Maybe you don't have a disk crash but your disaster is that someone deleted a folder that contained 10,000 images. But nobody notices for a couple of days. In the meantime, your backup system rewrote the images to your USB drive. Maybe the 10,000 images are now lost, maybe not. If you rotate your USB drives, you can at least go back a week or two to find something before it was deleted or changed when it shouldn't have been.
hal Systems Disaster Prevention
Here at hal, we probably go overboard with backup procedures for Countyrecords.com, halFILE Saas (where we host your halFILE System) and the halFILE Backup Service. However, Countyrecords.com is a very important part of our revenue stream while halFILE SaaS and the halFILE Backup Service are client files which must be protected at all costs.
So here's how we do it:
1. In our Austin Data Center, we have USB drives that perform image and data backup for the many, many Terabytes of storage we have. These are rotated off-site each day. We also have a fire proof safe for drives that remain in the office and a high-tech air conditioning in a closed computer room to keep our servers healthy.
2. We perform database backups that run each evening, alternating to two different drive locations.
3. We synchronize our data center with our Dallas data center. This is a continuous process.
4. We are currently implementing a new array of drives to add into our backup mix. This will become our first recovery point with the USB drives becoming a secondary point.
Remember, the halFILE Backup Service is a cost-effective back up system available to you for backing up your halFILE system off-site and automatically, monitored by us. Has it ever saved one of our Back Up Service clients? Yes, it has. On more than on occasion.
Enough said. Backup!
Sunday, April 08, 2012
Hopefully by now everyone knows the release of halFILE 4.0 is on the horizon. We are very excited about the release and appear to be on schedule for release in June 2012. We continue to work closely with our Beta Testers to resolve as many issues as possible before the final release.
The initial Beta release did not include support for Kofax (the optional free viewer) viewing or scanning. We have released and are currently testing the Kofax viewer so that those of you that wish to continue to use the Kofax viewer will be able to. We are currently in the process of converting the Kofax scan module so that will be available as well.
The huge number of rows that the new system can return when searching continues to be one of the favorite things reported by end users. From an administrative perspective it’s going to be great to have a single Crystal Reports version and installation so no more hunting down that Crystal cd for us.
So you might be wondering what you can do to prepare for the release of halFILE 4.0. We are currently in the process of updating our website and soon there will be a number of workstation pre-requisites available at http://update.halfile.com. These include .NET 4.0 and the Crystal workstation components. .NET 4.0 can take quite some time to install so we are hoping to make the pre-requisites available to you so you can prepare your workstations for the new version. We hope to include a program that will run on any workstation currently running halFILE 3.0 and will report what items you may still need to install. Hopefully the web-site will be simple and easy to use.
Reminder – your halFILE 4.0 upgrade will be available to you at no charge as long as you are a customer currently on maintenance. We are excited about this release and will keep you posted as the release date approaches!!!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Other documents scanned include journal vouchers, payable vouchers, cash disbursements, banking information, property and legal documents.
hal Systems is scheduled to be audited by the Texas Employment Commission in April of 2012. The auditor will pull documents up in halFILE for review. Without halFILE our staff would be pulling documents from file cabinets and then filing them after the auditor has finished reviewing them. If you have been through this “fun activity” you will understand how much more
efficient and independent the auditor will be. Less time will be required by our staff to supply the documents for the audit.
Consider the options of utilizing halFILE in your offices to scan documents in other departments. halFILE is extremely versatile. Call us and we will set up one database for you at no charge!
Monday, March 19, 2012
Any previously searched property files are helpful in the search process and the ease with which the files may be found and viewed using halFILE is enormously valuable. Halfile eliminates the need to physically search for a file that might possibly have been misfiled. The Client also saved $ 18,000 by not having to move the gigantic filing cabinets used to store the files when they moved into a new office.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Monday, March 05, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
The two day class covers numerous topics including Application Training, Crystal Reports, System Administration, Auto Archive, SQL Backups, and more. The cost is $429 per person, which is a substantial discount off our daily on-site rate of $1,195 per day. The training class not only allows hands on training in a small, personal environment, you will also have the opportunity to ask specific questions on how your halFILE system operates. Whether you are new to halFILE, or have been using halFILE for a while, everyone will learn something new.
We have seating for 6-8, and the classes usually fill up quickly. If you are interested in any of the above class dates, please get your registration form in soon.
If you have questions, comments or need any additional information on the halFILE 3.0 Training Classes, please contact Karen Duncan at 214.466.6532 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you in Dallas!
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Associated Import will auto-index captured documents based on contents of the image file name. For example, if files are named by the Document Number (i.e. 44567.tif), this utility can be set up to post that number to a selected halFILE field. Associated Import can even parse the file into several fields. For example, if you have a file named 44567_WD_01-15-2011.pdf, the process can place "44567" into the Document Number field, "WD" into the Instrument Type field and "01-15-2011" into the Document Date field. Associated Import is found under the Tools-Associated Import menu of the halFILE Manager.
Auto Fill is a process which fills in halFILE database fields based on the data posted to the previously indexed documents. Auto Fill comes in 2 flavors. The first occurs real-time as the operator is indexing new documents. The second method is a stand-alone utility that can process a batch of documents in a selected basket. Both methods perform basically the same function - automatically fill selected index fields. Options for Auto Fill include:
- Fill the field with a fixed value, pre-defined by the user.
- Fill the field with the current date or time.
- Fill the field with the operator id.
- Fill the field with an incremented value. For example, if the prior record had a document number of 44567 then the new record will be posted with 44568.
- Fill the field with an incremented value based on the number of image pages. For example, if the prior document had a Page Number of 250 and was a 3-page document, then the Page Number for the new document will be posted with 253.
Automated Indexing is a full-text indexing process where the system pre-processes documents and posts the full text of the document into a SQL Server database structure, providing fast key word retrieval. Once documents are posted, the search module includes a powerful retrieval method that we call "Proximity Search." So if you've processed a batch of invoices, all the text from each of those document is now stored in the full-text database. If you search for "computer monitor", the proximity search algorithm will find any document where the word "computer" and the word "monitor" are found near each other. Automated Indexing set up is found under the Tools-Automated Indexing menu of the halFILE Manager. Typically, this is set up as one step of a workflow process where documents are captured then processed.
Indexing Hot Keys is the final method that I will describe today. During the posting process, there are some special hot keys that can be pressed which replicate data from the prior document. For example, ALT-A will replicate all data fields from the document that was just indexed. ALT-D will replicate only the current field. behind the Tools-Options menu of the Index module, the user can even assign particular fields to a hot key. For example, if your database includes Grantor and Grantee fields, you can assign ALT-G to Grantor and ALT-R to Grantee. Then, using these hot keys, you can flip the fields from the prior document, placing the Grantee into the Grantor box and the Grantor into the Grantee box. There is also an option for quickly pulling information from any document, not only the prior document.
If you are a halFILE user and your posters could benefit from any of the above methods, contact halFILE Technical Support and they will be happy to help you out.
If you are not yet on halFILE, come on board and we will help you reach your goals for Document Management.
Thursday, February 02, 2012
"I sent out and indexed about 3500 emails Monday and Tuesday using the EmailCollector. That was all of our open program registration appointments for Spring Quarter – the first time we’ve used it for that. What a great accomplishment…3,500 pieces of letterhead, envelopes, and postage saved, along with many hours of indexing…and the assurance that the indexing has no input errors…it’s a HUGE step in accomplishing our LEAN processing goals!!! Thank you Richard!!!"
The halFILE Email Collector offers e-mail archiving and automated indexing and is available now from hal Systems.