Monday, February 20, 2012

Harnessing the power of halFILE

We were delighted to see so many “HUG”ites in Austin last fall.  We had such a great time networking, learning and sharing ideas.  We heard ‘wow’ and ‘aha’ several times as attendees discovered something new.

Training is so important.  Learning (or rediscovering) just one new shortcut can save a lot of time.  The economy continues to improve, but travel budgets are often the first to be cut and last to be reinstated. 

With that in mind, we’re taking a serious look at offering web based classes (in addition to the classes held quarterly in the Dallas Training Center).  We're thinking about sessions that would run between 60-90 minutes each and focus on one specific area or module such as:
(1) Capture
(2) Index
(3) Search
(4) Tables and Security
(5) Report design 

We could also design a class that shows you how to use halFILE in other areas of your business.

Sound good?  As I call to check in with you, I’ll be asking for input, but feel free to contact me with any and all ideas.  ktaylor@halfile.com  303.791.5688

Monday, February 13, 2012

halFILE 3.0 Training Classes

We have scheduled halFILE 3.0 Training Classes on April 12-13, July 12-13, and October 11-12*, 2012. The classes will be held in our Dallas office located at 8111 Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, Suite 860, Dallas, TX 75251. If you are interested in attending any of these classes, you can review the class Agenda and download the registration form on our website, www.halfile.com.

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 kduncan@halfile.com.

We look forward to seeing you in Dallas!
*October class is tentative and may be rescheduled based on HUG 2012 dates.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Out-of-the-Box tools to assist data entry

There are several out-of-the-box tools designed to assist the data entry operator who is posting halFILE documents. This article is a brief discussion of some of these features which come with your halFILE installation.

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.
The real-time Auto Fill is set up behind the Masks/Auto Fill button of the Database menu of the halFILE Administrator. It can also be altered at index time using the Tools-Options menu. The batch Auto Fill is set up with the Auto Fill utility itself.

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

Email Collector comes through in a Big Way!

Richard Hahn, our Sr. Vice-President of Product Planning, recently implemented our E-mail Collector system to handle volumes of e-mail for a community college in Washington state. So, here are the results - in our clients own words:

"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.