Documentum and Alfresco – Evolution of the HPI Desktop for Case Management by Insurance Clients

One of the more popular uses of HPI within our Documentum or Alfresco client base is for case management, specifically insurance clients.  Some of our previous posts have included an interview with a claims processing user as well as other general posts.  We also have multiple videos about insurance implementations and related folders in our learning zone.  This post will review how three major insurance clients helped determine the direction of the HPI desktop interface and highlight some of the key features for insurance applications.

Client #1 – Multiple Document Review – Beginning of the Desktop

Before HPI was created, TSG worked with a client in 2004 to build a custom search and retrieval application.  Unlike typical Documentum applications, a key requirement was the ability to be able to view documents side by side on a within a single browser window.

Dual Document View

Some key points from the interface design include the folder navigation in the upper left hand corner as well as the ability to view either single images or multiple images on the right hand side.  For this client, all the images were TIFF and were displayed with a TIFF viewer capable of adding annotations.

Client #2 – Beginning of HPI Desktop  

In 2007 TSG began development of the HPI Desktop for another insurance client.  During user requirements gathering activities, the interface design for Client #1 was discussed and refined.  At the time, HPI Search was already complete and the bulk of our focus was on adding more of the desktop for processing.  The eventual solution is displayed below:

For this client, the interface evolved to show the Navigator in the upper left, notifications in the middle and folder actions on the bottom left.  For the first iteration, folder actions were pretty basic in that they allowed adding a folder note, adding a document, notifying someone to the folder, viewing folder properties and viewing notes.

The Navigator displayed grouping of documents and indicated (+) if documents existed in that category.  Once a selection was opened, the user could display documents side by side by selecting the double view or stay in a single view.

Or viewing multiple documents.

All the documents were PDF and leveraged the acrobat plug in for document viewing.  Specific document actions were available from the “Select an action” drop down displayed with each document.  In this manner, users didn’t have to see the clutter of other applications like Webtop or D2 in that document functions could only be accessed when displaying the document.  Basic document actions included checkout, view properties and view versions.  Lastly, the client introduced the idea of “Related folders”.  Related folders are leveraged by insurance clients to avoid searches as well as leverage the power of the dual display in the desktop.

In the accounts payable scenario above, the related folders are used to show invoice and contract details for this same vendor from previous years.  In an insurance scenario, viewing a policy could include links to related folders for previous year’s policies or claims. Access our related folder video in the learning zone for more detail.   Some major architectural components included:

  • Folder configuration – All of the items from how the documents are displayed to what to include in related folder is configurable and specific for the type of folder or “trac”.  In this manner, claim folders could have different properties than policy or legal folders.
  • Dynamic Folders and Related Folders – Related folders are generated dynamically based on queries rather than relying on Documentum or Alfresco folder links.  This provides some advantages for search and performance.
  • Configurable Document Types – Folders are configured to only include certain document types (with attributes and security).  In this manner, when documents are added to the folder, all of the folder properties are included on the document and only a small number of specific document type attributes are required.

Client #3 – HPI Desktop Evolves

On third major insurance client took all of the functions and improvements to HPI and added more detail specifically related to insurance policy and claim processing.

The new interface has been polished, includes additional folder actions around workflow and bulk import.  Some specifics for the client included:

  • Inbound and Outbound Email –The ability to have emails sent directly from the application and recorded with the folder notes was a major advantage for the client, particularly for claims processing.  Each folder has the ability to maintain an address book for the folder itself.  The client implemented a drag and drop capability for inbound emails to also be ingested in the system.
  • Notes – While initially folder notes were a “nice to have” feature, the client extended notes to include emails as well as have the notes displayed upon entrance to the folder to see a complete history of notes in the folder.
  • Annotations – The client has since implemented OpenAnnotate to allow for annotation to PDF documents or PDF renditions.  OpenAnnotate provides for complete web-based annotation consistent with PDF standards. See insurance scenario in our Learning Zone.

Summary – Next Client Thoughts

HPI continues to be one of our most popular and successful open source applications for Documentum or Alfresco.  Some of the upcoming items are under development include:

  • Active Wizard 5.0 integration – In the next release of Active Wizard, all user based functionality will be accessed through HPI.  This includes items such as creating and viewing forms, starting review and approval workflows and processing inbox tasks.  This update gives users a more seamless experience for searching and creating documents as well as forms.
  • Leverage jQuery, KnockoutJS and OpenContent  REST services – the next iteration of the HPI Desktop will rely on latest generation JavaScript technologies as well as REST-based OpenContent services.  This will allow the Desktop to, for example, refresh the action list for a folder or document after an action is taken by the user without refreshing the entire page.

Items that are in our roadmap include:

  • Mobile – additional work with our Mobile Interface for both retrieval and approval.
  • Email – continued development of our email ingestion, highlighted in this previous post.
  • Enhanced Workflow – we have had some great experience with Activiti (open source workflow/BPM).  We are looking to add more reporting and other capabilities for both Alfresco and Documentum clients.
  • Shopping Cart – we had an interesting request from a client to develop an application to select documents to hold in a “shopping cart” approach to later combine to create a combined document.
  • Drag and Drop Zone – would love to continue to develop more email integration based on client specific email packages .

If you have other thoughts of things you would like to see in the HPI roadmap, please feel free to provide comments below.