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Document Services

Electronic Imaging vs. Traditional Storage

Feature

Imaging

Microfilm

Paper

Accessibility

Users can access documents from their own PC. Several documents can be open at the same time.

Access limited to one document at a time on a specialized viewer.

Access limited to one document at a time.

File Sharing with Other Users

Multiple users can access the same documents at the same time.

Additional viewers limited to the number of rolls of film produced.

One user at a time.

File Sharing with Non-users

An e-mail option is available. It allows the user to attach documents as PDF files to e-mail. Anyone who has access to e-mail should be able to download a reader that will read PDF files. Adobe Acrobat Reader is FREE.

The user would need to print the document and then send to the non-user by regular mail, fax or scan into a computer and send as an e-mail attachment.

The user would need to copy the document and then send to the non-user by regular mail, fax or scan into a computer and send as an e-mail attachment.

Indexing

Documents can be indexed on multiple fields and the indexes are kept with the documents

Documents can be indexed on multiple fields; however, the indexes will always be on another media.

Documents can be indexed on multiple fields; however, a separate database is required or a paper print out.

Searching Text

Searches can be done using any combination of index fields and actual text contained in the document.

None available.

None available.

Long range Availability

The software used to access the images is burned on each CD produced. Therefore, as long as CD readers are available the images will be accessible.

A microfilm reader (or reader/printer) will always have to be maintained.

Files become cumbersome, but otherwise always available.

Migration

Documents are scanned as Tiff Group IV images and text is stored as ASCII files. These are basic, commonly used computer file formats.

Specialized reader/scanners are available that will read the image from the film and scan into a document imaging system.

Not Applicable.

System Security

A security system controls what folders and documents users can see, and what actions they can perform on live documents. Once files are burned to a CD, they cannot be deleted or altered in any manner.

Once committed to film an image cannot be altered. Anyone who has access to the film and a viewer can view images.

Anyone can have access to the documents.

Safeguards

Documents are kept "live" on a RAID server. A tape back up is run daily. Once a volume is full, two CDs are burned.

Usually, two rolls of film are produced. One is retained by General Services and one is delivered to the department.

None.

Cost

Imaging is slightly more expensive than microfilm to produce (usually less than one cent difference per image). No special equipment required to view. Cost to store is minimal.

Microfilm is slightly less expensive than electronic imaging. Viewers or Reader/Printers are necessary to access images. Cost to store is minimal.

Storage space can be one of the most expensive costs of doing business

Durability of Media

CDs can be kept virtually anywhere. Hazards are scratching and extreme heat.

Film should be kept in a climate-controlled area, away from magnets and diazo duplicate film. Hazards include scratching, fire, and accidental erasure from exposure to contaminates.

Paper hazards include fire, flood, misfiling and original documents not being returned.

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