So, there are a number of options when you are trying to scan into sharepoint. What application do you choose? What features are important? Many of the software vendors label their software as capture, but in my opinion fall short of true capture functionality.
First, I think it is so important to differentiate between scanning applications and capture applications:
SharePoint Basic Scanning Software
Let’s create a definition and define a feature set for scanning applications. A scanning applition is just a means to take paper, and quickly and easily convert it from paper to digital form. They are well suited to environments with very basic needs, and what I call “onsie-twosie” scanning, or low volume environments. Their feature sets provide very basic functionality, and may allow the use of basic separation, and very basic integrations with SharePoint. The majority of scanning hardware vendors bundle these applications with their hardware, although there are vendors that have taken it to the next level, and provide enhanced scanning capabilities beyond the typical bundled software.
Examples of Basic SharePoint Scanning or Basic Imaging Software:
VizitSP (Web part scanning with a great viewer and search)
Fujitsu ScanAll (Vendor specific with basic scanning)
Dark Blue Duck Scan Enabler (Web part based scanning)
Kodak Capture (Vendor specific scanning app)
Knowledgelake Capture (Basic scanning for SharePoint with some capture features. )
SharePoint Capture Software
Capture software can be utilized for basic scanning needs, but takes you to a whole new level from a “capture” perspective. These applications typically have a number of ways to “slice and dice” documents, and really focus on efficiency, and minimizing the time required to scan, index and capture data. Capture software provides numerous ways to automatically populate columns, including barcode reading, database lookups, OCR, and data extraction. True capture applications provide integration with scanners, folders with images, SharePoint Web Dav folders, etc. Any organization that is serious about processing paper documents, and want to do it in the most efficient, standardized manner, should look seriously at advanced capture applications:
PSIGEN PSI:Capture (Best overall SharePoint integration)
Kofax Ascent (Basic SharePoint integration, complex licensing, expensive)
It is interesting, as the true capture companies in the market have been very slow to adapt to and embrace SharePoint, probably because of their relationships/partnerships with other document management companies.
In summary, if you are planning on capturing more than a few documents a day and want to make sure the scanning process takes minimal time and can integrate into your business processes, go with Capture.