TSG recently deployed its open source Annotation tool (OpenAnnotate) on top of the CSC FirstDoc interface for a Life Sciences company in Europe. Although FirstDoc is just a customization of the webtop interface, there are a few things to look out for when customizing it for end users.
As mentioned in past Documentum’s PDF Annotation Services (PAS) is going out of support, and many clients are looking for alternative interfaces for annotating documents during review and approval. TSG’s open source OpenAnnotate provides a drop in replacement for users looking for a seamless transition.
Existing users of PAS inside of FirstDoc were used to right-clicking on a document and choosing the “Comment” action to launch the Annotation interface:
When customizing FirstDoc, by extending the “context-menu:fdk/config/actions/fdk_document_actions.xml” compontent in WDK, we were easily able to add our new menu items for launching OpenAnnotate:
As an added bonus that is not offered in the FirstDoc interface or the PDF Annotation Services offering, we are able to add the “View Annotated PDF” action that quickly launches an end user into viewing the PDF with the annotations burned in. This saves authors and reviewers significant time and confusion by quickly viewing the annotations.
Another thing to look out for during a deployment to a large user base is the training effort for rolling out a new interface. This client took the approach of training users slowly on the new interface, and once a user had completed a “Read and Understand” document about the new system, they were added to a new group in Documentum. By scoping the right-click menu options to users in certain groups, both annotation applications are able to run, and depending on your completion of the new training, only the annotation application that the user is trained in is presented to the user. With thousands of users using this particular deployment, the effort to train new users warranted this new approach to phasing the deployment.
Let us know your thoughts on your current annotation solution in the comments below!