Document Scanning Library???

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 Posted 2/9/2015 2:07:43 AM
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Hi all,

I have an application which I have to add support for scanning documents and saving them to a MS-SQL database, I need:
  • Any recommendations for a scanning library.  I am using VB.NET
  • Suggestion on what file format to use for scanning these documents to alleviate the database growing fast?
Thanks!!!


Edhy Rijo
(Using VB.Net 2019/SQL Server 2017)
Post #32882
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 Posted 2/9/2015 2:31:20 AM
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Edhy:

A major piece of our medical application is scanned documents.  Not only scanned documents, but markup images, patient photos, x-rays, etc. that have to be stored as part of the patient's record.  I can tell you first what NOT to buy.  Stay away from Atalasoft.  They will grind you on cost and the product is only so-so.  No reason to go into a ton more detail, but I am speaking from a ton of experience on this one.  There are a ton of APIs out there, but one that seems to be pretty solid is Pegasus or Accusoft now (http://www.accusoft.com/scanning.htm).  TWAIN scanners are still around, but they can be harder to find at times.  At present, we primarily support TWAIN scanners in our app, but we are moving to also support ISIS scanners (I know, bad acronym these days, eh!!).

As for storage, we support two modes in our application, file based, and database integrated.  Obviously the file based means that the scanned files will be stored on disk in a folder.  We use the patient PK as the folder name to store in a shared location.  However, we highly prefer and recommend database integrated.  You will want to use a VARBINARY(MAX) field and allow the file to come in a standardized format.  Depending on what you need to do with the  file long-term, there are different options here.  The MOST important thing that I will tell you is to optimize the file in your code for size.  In our application we allow the file to be optimized to a size no larger than 3 MP and we default it to 1.5 MP.  Most people will leave settings wide open on a scanner and the image will come in so big it could wallpaper your whole house if you printed it out!!  As for the image type, it depends on the quality that you need, but we tend to use PNG a lot for both a quality and size combination.  You can play with this and your needs though.  In fact, in our application, we will store PDF for documents being scanned in, as well as Word DOCs and pretty much any other file format you can thing of.  When scanning in PDFs, however, be sure to optimize the image before dumping it into a page just like you would a standard image file.

Hope this helps.
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 Posted 2/9/2015 2:56:10 AM
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Hi Trent,

Thanks very much for all the information, specially what not to use <smile!!1>

I found Dynamic .Net Twain SDK from Dynamic Software http://www.dynamsoft.com/Products/.Net-TWAIN-Scanner-Features.aspx so far, they look simple and affordable.

My application target Car Insurance Brokers, so mainly I will need to scan documents associated with their insurance policies.  I would prefer to store everything in the database just for centralized management and online backup protection.

About scanners, my customer use network scanner from Dell printers which I believe support TWAIN.  I have no idea what are the ISIS scanners, but will find out just to be sure whatever SDK I invest on will be worthy down the line, since initially I may just need basic scanning functionality, but later on requirements can get complicated.


Edhy Rijo
(Using VB.Net 2019/SQL Server 2017)
Post #32884
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