We often receive requests from integrators or ECM customers that are looking for a way to add OpenAnnotate to their existing ECM infrastructure. For many Documentum or Alfresco deployments, OpenAnnotate can easily be added into their current infrastructures. To address clients that are not on Documentum or Alfresco, or are looking to augment their existing ECM with annotation in the cloud, we have developed OpenAnnotate as a service with Amazon Web Services. This post will detail the offering.
OpenAnnotate as a Service
In building the OpenAnnotate as a service component, we wanted to provide clients with a way to add annotations and store both the original content and annotations with Amazon rather than in their existing systems. The approach is documented below:
- Existing application will select a document that requires annotation and send it to the OpenAnnotate service with a unique key for the document. Existing applications will send the document (either PDF or other) by calling a RESTful web service to upload the document to the AWS OpenAnnotate Service
- The OpenAnnotate service will convert the document to PDF (if required) and launch OpenAnnotate
- OpenAnnotate will store the annotations in Amazon Web Services.
- Future access to the document from any application will be allowed using the document key
Rather than a multi-tenanted service, customers will require their own AWS deployment of the OpenAnnotate service via an AWS Marketplace image. TSG will provide installation support as well as ongoing support for the customer’s AWS deployment. Some of the differences compared to normal OpenAnnotate scenarios:
- Customers don’t need Documentum, Alfresco or Hadoop. OpenAnnotate as a Service does not require knowledge of the existing ECM repository.
- Annotations are not stored in the existing ECM repository. Annotations and the original content are stored in the AWS instance in the cloud.
- Client applications are responsible for providing who can access the document/annotations and when during the document’s lifecycle annotations can be added.
OpenAnnotate Deployment Options
Traditionally, OpenAnnotate has been built into the specific ECM deployment (Alfresco, Documentum or Hadoop), and could not be offered for other repositories or scenarios. As a self-contained service on AWS, OpenAnnotate can support a variety of different deployments:
- Integrated Offering – Integrators can add annotation capabilities to any ECM repository by calling OpenAnnotate’s services from within their application. Detailed calling documentation will be provided for developers looking to integrate the service with their existing application.
- External collaboration – For clients with requirements to allow external users to view/annotate documents, external users could be emailed with a link to the document to allow for users outside of the corporate firewall to view and annotate documents.
- On-Premise ECM with Cloud-Based Annotations – For existing on-premise ECM deployments, viewing and annotation can be made available to the ECM without having to customize or change the existing ECM infrastructure.
- Lightweight Content Services View and Markup – Non-repository applications can use OpenAnnotate’s services to build their own content services where their application maintains the metadata and access to the document. For example, a document can be uploaded directly to OpenAnnotate with the key stored in the application, removing the requirement for a document to be stored and managed anywhere besides in the OpenAnnotate AWS instance.
For a variety of applications, OpenAnnotate’s AWS services can provide customers with a unique, cloud based component for viewing documents and adding annotations to their existing ECM or other document based application. Contact TSG for specific licensing and deployment options.