Core Business Solutions: FDFMerge Case Study

Product: fdfmerge

Core Business Solutions needed to develop a zero-footprint desktop application to automate the delivery of a forms-based solution for businesses seeking to certify their Quality Management Systems (QMS). After surveying the technical landscape a PDF-based forms application was selected as the best option for providing the system’s data interchange infrastructure without disrupting the customer’s existing workflow or confusing end users. Appligent was the logical choice to deliver a robust server-side processing solution.

Core Business Solutions’ DocBase Direct service helps companies achieve ISO 9000 certification for their QMS. One of the key requirements for obtaining QMS certification is maintaining an auditable set of comprehensive records to document your business process. It’s a complex undertaking that requires tracking all of the enterprise’s work rules, policies and procedures. In most organizations these records are collected via a paper forms-based reporting and filing system. The collection and organization of this data for QMS certification is not a trivial task. Compliance requires managing 20 different types of records covering all facets of operations, including the processes of managing the records.

While a worldwide industry has grown around assuring ISO 9000 compliance, it has centered on enterprise software installations. These systems are not practical for small or medium size businesses who often lack the technology support infrastructure to roll out and maintain sophisticated architectures. Core Business Solutions addressed this segment of the market by adopting an Application Service Provider (ASP) model and hosting a repository and workflow management system at its data center. Customers access DocBase Direct via a browser-based interface and use existing office software to generate PDF files based on predefined templates. The files are electronically transferred to the data center, and the form field data is parsed and stored in a dedicated SQL repository The system includes an ISO certified workflow and document control functions. Whenever a user needs to retrieve the form a PDF file is rebuilt on the fly by FDFMerge which populates the template with the field level information stored in the database.

Core Business Solutions initially investigated building a PDF processing solution from a set of commercially available programming libraries, but found the lack of technical support considering the scope of the development effort to be a deal breaker. Appligent’s FDFMerge proved easy to implement in a UNIX environment and telephone and e-mail technical support is included as part of Appligent’s regular maintenance agreement. Like all of Appligent’s server-based applications, FDFMerge can be easily integrated as part of a component-based architecture in a scripting environment. Black box processing of clearly defined input generates output with dazzling speed so it was simple for technical staff to build a personalized real time production system in record time.

“FDFMerge enabled us to develop an interactive forms workflow application very quickly with minimal effort,” said Scott Dawson president of Core Business Solutions. “FDFMerge saved us months of effort in developing the PDF handling components of the system and allowed our programmers to focus on the core document management functionality.”

About Core Business Solutions

Core Business Solutions provides internet-delivered automation solutions for ISO 9000 and related quality systems in manufacturing, service, technology and education sectors. It’s core product, DocBase Direct, simplifies the administration of the documents, forms and records required by international and national quality standards without the need for new technology infrastructure and related costs.In business since 1999, Core Business Solutions markets DocBase Direct under an ASP model. It’s more than 50 customers include Ingersoll-Rand and Pfizer South Africa as well as a growing number of manufacturing, technology, education and service firms.

Core Business Solutions’ corporate offices are in Lewisburg, PA with offices in Denver, Colorado and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Key Benefits

  • Fast Development Time
  • Easy Scalability In The ASP Environment
  • Server-based Solution Requires Zero Footprint On The Client
  • Phone And E-mail Support Are Included In Standard Maintenance