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Q: Document automation (scanning, indexing & searching PDFs on a server) ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Document automation (scanning, indexing & searching PDFs on a server)
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: curiogeorges-ga
List Price: $150.00
Posted: 23 Jun 2004 08:35 PDT
Expires: 23 Jul 2004 08:35 PDT
Question ID: 365069
OK, this is a multipart question dealing with automated document
management.  PLEASE only take this question if you are willing to be
thorough, accurate and complete.  I am looking for a research-based
professional opioion...

I am looking for you to research and locate the following
KEY ITEMS to help in managing documents for a small-mid size business:

1.  i need a scanner (HARDWARE) that can quickly and easily scan
stacks of paper up to legal size, small receipts and checks sizes as well.  the
scanner should have duplex (scan both sides of a page) and quick
automatic sheet feeding (60-120PPM).  it should also have a flatbed
incase needed.  the purpose of this equipment is
to quickly scan bills, old documents and receipts for a business.  If
the scanner itself has built-in PDF conversion with the ability to
store the images on a server, this would be ideal.  I need a
self-contained, not-too-big unit that can do the above and fit on a
desktop without being too bulky.  The following companies are known
for their scanners, but dont be limited to these if they dont do what
I need:  Bell & Howell, Fujitsu, Kodak, Panasonic, Cannon.    also,
the machine should have a button for one-touch scanning for use with

2.  i need a document automation/management SOFTWARE that uses the
scanner (mentioned above) to quickly convert the images into PDF
format (and other formats) and have the ability to FILE THE IMAGES in
a file-folder type setup on a server (this should be easily
configuarable so I can choose where the images get stored)  ALSO I
would prefer to have the ability to transmit (via internet or LAN) the
scanned images in the event that a branch office is scanning documents
with need to go to the main office/server.  Once the PDF scans are in
a file system, I need either the same software or a secondary software
to QUICKLY & EASILY see a CUE OF DOCUMENTS that have been scanned and
need to be classified and indexed so that I can search the scanned
documents.  I want the software to put the information in a MS Access
database or something compatible to it.  Also, OCR (text extraction)
is a desired feature. It would be ideal if the client software for
this could run through a web-browser for accessing and classifying the
documents and seeing the cue of documents awaiting
classification/indexing.     If no web-based solution is found, I
would rather have the functionality as mentioned.  SEE for a similar
type of solution I am looking for, but I dont think this one is robust

THE OBJECTIVE:  I have huge amounts of paper that I want to scan-in
and index for storage on my server.  I also want to use this as an
ongoing means of managing all the paper that seems to come from no
where.  I am highly unorganized and I need a solution to scan and
manage documents like invoices, receipts, bills, bank statements,
notices, etc..  Please help, looking for products, pricing and
recommendations.  Good luck.

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 23 Jun 2004 11:13 PDT
Hello curiogeorges -

Thank you for your question.

Can you tell me your budget and volume requirements?


GA Researcher

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 23 Jun 2004 12:06 PDT
Also, can you expound a bit on the MS Access integration?  Are you
looking for something that can export its database into a file that
can then be imported into Access (such as a comma-delimited file?). 
Search/index capability may be already built into the document
management software.  You're looking for an overlap in search/indexing

Clarification of Question by curiogeorges-ga on 23 Jun 2004 12:46 PDT
Well the budget of course is as small as possible : )  Nothing that
costs thousands,  a couple hundred for the scanner (each) and a couple
hundred or less for the software ( i will have only two users

As far as volume, who knows.  Right now I have about 1,000 pages to
scan.  Then after the initial scan, about 50-100 pages per month.

As far as the Access ....i just want the indexing database to be open
and not proprietary...

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 23 Jun 2004 13:25 PDT
With those budget constraints, 60-120PPM on a flatbed w/ document
sheet feeder will not be possible.  These run in the thousands of
dollars.  For $200, you're looking at a very basic sheet fed scanner
that's not going to be super fast.

Since your volume is actually quite low, would you be open to
outsourcing this project?  I've found a place that will literally take
your 1000 documents, and for $80, put them all into either one keyword
searchable OCR'd PDF, or one unique OCR'd PDF per file.  The latter
option could be integrated into Access.  Then for less than $5-$10 per
month, you could ship out your other 50-100 documents on a monthly
basis to the company and have it all done for you.

Let me know your thoughts.


Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 23 Jun 2004 14:34 PDT
Or simply let me know if I should be looking for slower scanners and a
software product in your price range.  Either way, please advise on
how I can meet your needs with this question.

Thank you,


Clarification of Question by curiogeorges-ga on 23 Jun 2004 22:14 PDT
for now, just give me a short list of scanners and their cost.  i dont
know what they cost so im taking a shot in the dark.  also where is
this document scanning company, whats their name.  i want hardware
(scanner) to do it myself.  i know there are some "consumer" or
"pro-sumer" type products with decent sheet feed speed and ability to
duplex scan and scan small items (like receipts) ...i guess im looking
for these products, and not something like a high volume scanner that
banks use to scan canceled checks or anything like that...

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 24 Jun 2004 11:06 PDT
Just to let you know, duplex scanners are in the $450-$500 range at
the very minimum.  This is out of your stated budget... do you still
want me to find various scanning options in this price range?

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 24 Jun 2004 13:01 PDT
I have assembled a list of scanners (although all duplex scanners are
over $400).  I also have a list of some applications that are close to
what you're looking for in the $200-$300 range.  Would you like me to
post this information as an answer?



Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 24 Jun 2004 13:04 PDT
I also have the name and location of the outsource company that will
be included in the answer.

Clarification of Question by curiogeorges-ga on 24 Jun 2004 19:08 PDT
remember, this is a two part question and I am only seeing comments
for question #1.  As part of your answer, I would like to see the
name/contact for the document scanning company (i am assuming you have
found a national company that does this where I have to fedex it to
them, if you can find a company in Miami/Ft Lauderdale/Boca/West Palm
beach area where i am that would be better).  So, part one of the
answer should be the list of machines and corressponding prices along
with your suggestions based on my original stated needs.

As for the second part of your answer, I am expecting a list of
document management softwares that meet my orig stated needs, along
with pricing and key feature lists.  Thanks.

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 24 Jun 2004 19:36 PDT
curiogeorges -

Thanks for your response.

There is one variable here that makes things a little more
complicated: budget.  In one of your clarification requests, you said
you're looking for solutions in the couple hundred dollar range for
both items (scanner and software).  The problem is, the scanners are
typically in the $500+ range, and software in the $200-$300 range
doesn't do totally what you're looking for.  For instance, there is
capture software aplenty that will convert to PDF.  But they don't
have generic ODBC-compliant exporting for interface with Access.  And
they're not necessarily setup for LAN-based access browsing.  What
you'll find is $200-$300 entry level versions of a software product,
and then a $4000 version of the same product for LAN-based access,
multi-user licenses, expansive exporting, database integration, etc. 
This is why I'm needing some clear direction from you as to how you
want me to proceed.  Do you want me to list what is available in your
stated budget bracket, regardless of potentially "missing" features? 
I want to make sure I'm answering your question within your stated
constraints so that you're satisfied with the results of the research.

Thank you,


Clarification of Question by curiogeorges-ga on 24 Jun 2004 20:20 PDT
ok, as mentioned before, disregard price restraints and just give me a
list of solutions with corresponding prices.  obviously i didnt know
it would be that expensive (thats why I have you to tell me these
things ;-).   As for the software, just find the "most affordable"
ones that meet my needs exactly as discussed.  thanks!

Clarification of Question by curiogeorges-ga on 24 Jun 2004 20:45 PDT
One more thing...remember that when it comes to #2, a web-based
document indexing/search/view & previewing is essential.  I want to
drop a stack of 50 pages in the scanner and the pages stored as
indivudual PDF documents that I can categorize, view ,search etc...

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 25 Jun 2004 10:06 PDT
curiogeorges -

Just so I have a feel for what you're looking for, does this sound
plausible; software is around $900:

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 25 Jun 2004 10:17 PDT
This as well: considerably cheaper:
$100-$200 range.  These products are networkable; not specifically
"web-based", but does what you describe within your network.

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 25 Jun 2004 12:02 PDT
Sorry for all the clarification requests, but there are a lot of
products out there, and a lot of specification variations.  I want to
make sure your specifications are met.

1) Can you elaborate on "one-touch scanning?"  Most scanners are
hooked up to your  system, and scanning is initiated through the
scanning software.  Is this sufficient?

2) When you say "drop a stack of 50 pages into a scanner," I'm
presuming these are all of different sizes?  This means you need a
scanner with auto-size detection.  On the low-end, it's $1500 for
these, just to let you know.

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 26 Jun 2004 10:54 PDT
curiogeorges -

Did you have a chance to look at that software?


Subject: Re: Document automation (scanning, indexing & searching PDFs on a server)
Answered By: jbf777-ga on 28 Jun 2004 15:03 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
curiogeorges -

Thank you for your question.  I did much more research since I posted
those clarification requests, and have found some solutions for you
below.  If you choose to rate this answer, please ask for any
clarification you may require beforehand.  Thank you.

Because you'll most likely be looking to drop a stack of various size
sheets into the scanner at one time, only duplex scanners with
auto-size detection are going to work for your application.  These
will likely be sufficient for your needs, because your long term
monthly volume is relatively low.  However, you can most likely get a
faster version of a respective scanner from a vendor for a few
thousand dollars more.  I have called and talked to each one of these
companies to make sure that these scanners fit your application.  I
also made sure to find out the actual duplex scanning rate, as this
will differ from the simplex scanning rate that may be advertised.  I
provide a link to product information as well as pricegrabber, where
you can see rated vendors that sell the product, sorted by shipped
price (I picked a Miami zip code, but it shouldn't be much different
to other places in Florida).  Take a look on Froogle (
before you buy, since there are other vendors that may have lower
prices through this service.  (Note: There is a significant price cut
on refurbished units; Canon interestingly doesn't have a flatbed
scanner with document feed)

Model fi4220C
16-25 PPM for both color and mono
Product Info:

Purchase ($1227):

From what I can tell, this scanner has the biggest bang for the buck. 
PPM outpaces all below (same PPM for color and mono), has duplex
scanning with true duplex (dual cameras), and is the absolute cheapest
of them all with this kind of feature set.  Comes with Adobe Acrobat
6.0.  The scanner has one a "product of the year" editors choice award
from Transform Magazine, a leading magazine of the document management
industry. (See

Model GT-15000
Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) available separately; ~7ppm mono/~5ppm color 
Product Info:


ADF available here (part number B813212): $999 (found through Froogle)

Model GT-30000
ADF built in; ~15 PPM color/~7 ppm mono
Product Info:

Purchase ($2400+ refurb, $3220+ new)

The duplex functionality of these scanners is accomplished through one
camera with dual-pass.

Model IS330DC
5.5PPM color; 6.5PPM mono 
Product Info:

Purchase ($1451 open box; $2051 new):

Model IS450DE; 32PPM mono only 
Product Info:

Purchase ($4115)

I've looked at the various products on the market, as well as
consulted with individuals on the phone, and I'm going to recommend
the following as the ideal balance of price and capability.  It offers
all of what you describe in an all-in-one package.  It's web-based,
non-proprietary/interfaces with Access, easy to use, with unlimited
license.  Other solutions are in the multi-thousands of dollars to do
all that you describe and/or may not be web-based, and/or only offer
certain elements of what you're looking for.

SentryFile  - Corporate edition (corporate edition most befitting
according to the company)
"SentryFile allows you to integrate paper documents and electronic
documents into an online filing system. It has the all the tools that
today's digital office demands, in a single, web-based package.
Quickly create a complete digital library of all your important
business documents, and rest assured that in the event of a disaster
your data is safe." --> see more at link above

There's a downloadable demo of it available:

Purchase it for $1995 from here:
E. Accufile, Inc.
Glen Macpherson


As I previously posted, Paperport may be an option, if you're willing
to do a non-browser based setup on your network.  You will need a
multi-user version, which is $767.99 from

Full description at Scansoft link:

This product will be most comparable to Sentryfile, but is 5 times the
price, at $9995.  If you're interested, you can contact Cindy at:

Features of DocuLex Office Capture include:
  Easy to use interface
  A set-up wizard enabling quick setup for new project scanning
  Separator sheet form design
  Full-text OCR processing
  OCR recognition of document text in 10 international languages
  Mark recognition of pre-set template document separator sheets
  Visual and unattended image quality control with image and database analysis  
    during scanning 
  Password protection capability
  Unlimited use licensing, with no per-page click fees.


There are several companies on the net that do document conversion,
and one such company I contacted, Golden Images, LLC, confirms
$.08/sheet ($.10 for OCR'd searchable PDF's), with independent PDF
files for each sheet or 1 PDF file for all the sheets.

1680 Trinity Circle
Arnold, Missouri 63010
Phone: 636.282.4024

Another company in Miami does something similar for $.15 per page for
OCR'd PDF's (this company said the rate given by Golden Images above
is superb):

Document Scanning Center Corporation

Here's another:

Forms Processing


Additional Links (product information):
Ricoh Scanner Product info:
781-769-7685 Eric


Don Caruso - 408-894-3586
Ivan - 3928

Select Search Strategy:
PDF server
PDF document management

Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 28 Jun 2004 15:21 PDT
The scanner has one a "product of the year" should read:

won a "product of the year"
curiogeorges-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Bravo.  Thanks for going the extra mile.  I now feel empowered to make
an educated decision.

Subject: Re: Document automation (scanning, indexing & searching PDFs on a server)
From: jbf777-ga on 29 Jun 2004 11:17 PDT
Thanks for the kind words and rating!  Glad to be of help.  Please stop by again.


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