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MIND2FIND

Delphi Success Story
MIND2FIND

Bröker & Laskowski GmbH

Applications

MIND2FIND® DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT AND DIGITAL ARCHIVING SOLUTION

Formats Tools Used
  • DelphiDelphi
Challenges

The electronic processing of documents and the long-term archiving of digitally available information require a wide range of services. Not only are high security requirements placed on the infrastructure and the data center, the application system must also offer an intelligent user interface, simple processing, and a broad link to existing systems.

Results

With MIND2FIND®, the company Bröker & Laskowski GmbH has decades of experience and thus a continuously improving solution on the market that is successfully used in a variety of industries and company sizes, both centrally and decentrally. A wide range of files are processed, from just a few documents a day to 30,000 documents or more a month. In many cases, more than 1 million documents per customer are managed by the MIND2FIND® document management solution (DMS). The system is developed in the current Delphi version 11, based on the VCL framework.

MIND2FIND® DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT
AND DIGITAL ARCHIVING SOLUTION

Company

Bröker & Laskowski GmbH is an IT services company that develops and sells MIND2FIND®, an established document management and digital archive solution especially for medium-sized businesses. Many customers have been placing their trust in the company and the software for over 15 years.

Challenge

The electronic processing of documents and the long-term archiving of digitally available information require a wide range of services. Not only are high security requirements placed on the infrastructure and the data center, the application system must also offer an intelligent user interface, simple processing, and a broad link to existing systems.

Taming the daily flood of emails, finding and extracting relevant information in documents, and automatic processing based on predefined procedures should be implemented in a digital archive and document management system. Here, the broad coverage of processes in the supply chain, from the supplier to the customer, must be provided in an end-to-end manner. At the same time, requirements for storage are increasing, including for tax and business-relevant emails, for full-text search in documents, and generally for paperless processing in companies.

Application

With MIND2FIND®, the company Bröker & Laskowski GmbH has decades of experience and thus a continuously improving solution on the market that is successfully used in a variety of industries and company sizes, both centrally and decentrally. A wide range of files are processed, from just a few documents a day to 30,000 documents or more a month. In many cases, more than 1 million documents per customer are managed by the MIND2FIND® document management solution (DMS).

The system is developed in the current Delphi version 11, based on the VCL framework.


The main areas of application in MIND2FIND are:

Email Management

An email is regarded as equivalent to a paper document and can be processed fully automatically. Email servers/accounts are directly integrated, and the system also recognizes related emails. Filter rules can be created to sort emails by category and distribute them to selected departments depending on the use case.

Document Recognition

The core competency lies in the automated document recognition, with which areas in the documents can be defined and evaluated in order to trigger automated processes based on the contents. These can be, for instance, article data, orders, invoices, bank information, personnel data, or similar content. Recognition is accomplished through image processing and then evaluation of regular expressions, and the documents are forwarded accordingly to financial accounting, logistics, human resources, and other departments.

Traditional Document Management

All documents are stored and archived in the structure of a file system. Of course, the documents are stored in encrypted form and offer versioning, can be subdivided by language, and support a full text search across everything.

Integration into Existing Processes and IT Landscapes

MIND2FIND® follows the motto “less is more” when defining and editing processes. The processes in the company are mapped in the system and can be adapted at any time or even overwritten ad hoc if required. One example is the integration into the email application, which maps the DMS folder structure in a virtual IMAP mailbox and can be used immediately via drag and drop.


MIND2FIND - Automatic document recognition

MIND2FIND - Automatic document recognition


MIND2FIND - Research Module Category View

MIND2FIND - Research Module Category View

Data Storage

The developers of MIND2FIND® use a relational database as the basis for the DMS. A lot of functionality was outsourced to stored procedures, user-defined functions, and triggers. The database is accessed via an SQL abstraction layer specially developed in Delphi and a dedicated connection manager that maintains and distributes a pool of database connections.

Architecture

MIND2FIND® is divided into two modules. The search module is used for searching and editing, and it also contains the inbox. The second is the administration module, in which users can define and configure everything for their own processes. Currently, the structure is still implemented as a classic client/server architecture, but additionally offering a REST or websocket architecture to make parts of the application web-enabled is already being considered.

Update Module

An important special feature is the self-developed update functionality. The customer can load new versions on the server side and update them on the client computers without on-site intervention, even if the users on the client computers have only limited access rights. The same applies to updates in terminal server environments.

This solution offers the best of two worlds: native and fast applications on client computers as well as easy and central administration similar to a web application.

Documentation

With projects of this size, it is of course essential to maintain sophisticated documentation. For example, the research module comprises approximately 1.9 million lines of programming code. The complete MIND2FIND® application, including all services, consists of more than 600 classes. The developers at Bröker & Laskowski GmbH decided to use the Doc-O-Matic tool for this purpose.


Delphi or Object Pascal is an excellent, unfortunately very underestimated language and development environment. Using our own components, which were created as derivatives of existing components, we can implement far-reaching changes to the UI in a central location without having to adapt the individual dialogs. We can concentrate with Delphi on what we want to achieve and do not dwell on the “how.”

Oliver Bröker, General Manager, Bröker & Laskowski GmbH


Conclusion

With the very flexible and definable structures and processes, Bröker & Laskowski GmbH has created a solid name for itself with MIND2FIND® in many medium-sized companies, especially in the manufacturing industry. The core competency here is the very intelligent, automated document recognition and processing. With the Delphi development environment, developers can react very quickly to customers’ ideas and distribute new versions immediately to all customers. They will appreciate the modern archiving and DMS, directly from the developer to contact people.

Further information about Bröker & Laskowski and MIND2FIND DMS can be found at https://m2f-dms.de. For further expansion the company is still looking for qualified sales and software partners in D-A-CH.