Currently TSG is working with several clients who are looking to move away from FileNet to AWS S3 and/or a modern ECM. A unique requirements is that the migration includes both documents and annotations. In a previous post, we wrote about migrating from FileNet to AWS S3 and focused on how to move the documents with conversion of proprietary TIFF to PDF. For this post we will address moving the annotations for those clients with a Daeja viewer annotations to a more standard, non-proprietary XFDF Adobe standard.
Daeja Annotation Structure
Two Unique FileNet/ Daeja characteristics that add complexity to converting these annotations to the standard XFDF format are:
- FileNet can store multi-paged documents as individual TIFF image files or as multi page TIFF files
- To align with FileNet document storage, Deaja stores each annotation in an individual file per annotation while the standard XFDF format stores all annotations for a document in one file.
Daeja uses an XML-based notation to store their annotation data. The XML contains all the metadata such as the type of annotation, creator, page of document, positioning, and text. The metadata is sometimes dependent on the type of annotation such as a rectangle may have coordinates and line thickness while a text note may have information such as font size and typeface.
To convert Daeja XML annotations to an XFDF annotation, a mapping exercise needs to be performance to make several conversions:
- Convert multiple XML files (one per annotation) into one XFDF file. This will greatly increase performance on load time as well as fragmentation on the server.
- Reorganize the format to be XFDF compliant
- Convert the individual TIFF files (one for each page of the document) which are stored in FileNet into a single PDF
In the below example you can see a before and after of a migrated annotation, as well as the mapping from the old XML format to the Adobe XFDF standard. The image below is a representation of a square annotation in red:
While there is some metadata in Daeja that is not applicable to an Adobe XFSF, most attributes translate directly and other require some mapping:
With the XFDF annotation, the annotation can be displayed correctly TSG’s OpenAnnotate tool
TSG has been moving customers from FileNet to AWS or a modern ECM system like Alfresco for over 10 years. (https://tsgrp.wpengine.com/2017/09/20/filenet-what-is-the-business-case-to-replace-it/) Typically, clients will only move the file and the metadata to the new system. In the case of FileNet documents and annotations, clients will need additional logic to occur to transform both the image and annotation files at the time of migration. By leveraging OpenMigrate’s extensible architecture, additional logic to transform documents and annotations can be configured in the OpenMigrate listener, making the migrating of annotations a relatively simple task.
For this scenario, the logic to convert the annotations occurs on the Target Layer:
For each document:
- All TIFF Images are retrieved from FileNet
- Individual TIFF Images are converted into a single PDF file and stored in the Target ECM system
- All XML annotation objects for a document being migrated are retrieved from FileNet
- For each annotation object, the type of annotation and the metadata is identified and for the given annotation type, all required annotation data is written to the new XFDF object on the Target.
- The newly created XFDF object is related to the newly migrated PDF document.
After the migration is completed, no further updates are required. TSG’s OpenAnnotate viewer (https://tsgrp.wpengine.com/products/openannotate/) can provide the capabilities to both view and add to the PDF annotations.
Preserving Daeja annotations when moving from FileNet to AWS S3 or a modern ECM system requires planning as well as the tools to convert from proprietary formats to a more open format like XFDF. TSG can provide software products OpenMigrate and OpenAnnotate to help simplify the movement of both the documents and the annotations.
For additional information on things to consider when planning a migration see the other migration blog posts below:
- Planning a Successful Migration: https://tsgrp.wpengine.com/2017/02/17/ecm-migrations-top-ten-planning-tips-for-a-successful-migration/
- Why Migrations are not easy: https://tsgrp.wpengine.com/2018/06/07/ecm-migrations-10-reasons-there-will-never-be-an-easy-button-for-migrations/
- Migrating to AWS and S3: