SharePoint Viewing Solutions

I saw a demo of SharePoint viewing solutions—Brava,  Redact-It Enterprise, and Net-It Enterprise—courtesy of Andy Lowe, product manager for Informative Graphics Corporation. IGC has been in the viewing space for a while with solutions for EMC Documentum, OpenText, and other enterprise content management (ECM) platforms, and Lowe notes that the company is seeing much more movement to SharePoint 2010 than it did with 2007. Another trend the company has seen in the SharePoint and ECM space is the use of SharePoint as part of a hybrid solution—companies keeping their existing ECM platforms and using SharePoint as a front end to the other platforms.

Brava is a document and image viewing solution that lets users view, annotate, redact (black-out sensitive information), and publish documents in SharePoint. It’s a universal viewer that lets users access Visio, PDF, and AutoCAD documents without needing to have those applications and without altering the integrity of the original files. It’s available as a desktop application or a web-based server.

The demo of Brava showed how to open an AutoCAD document directly from a page in SharePoint. In spite of not having the AutoCAD application, the user was able to zoom, pan, see various layers, turn off layers, annotate, and comment on an AutoCAD drawing. Aside from the obvious interest of construction firms in this solution, oil and gas industry companies are also customers.  Another use case involved an international manufacturing company that needed to restrict worker access to documents in SharePoint. Using Brava, workers can search and see the information they need but can’t extract, download, or print the document, reducing the possibility of piracy.

Redact-It Enterprise lets you redact, or strip out data in a document, on a document basis or a more widespread basis, such as SharePoint libraries. It uses text-pattern searching to black out such information as social security numbers, email addresses, telephone numbers, and more.

The demo of Redact-It showed one use of the solution in hiding information on loan applications. You can look for numbers and other information you wish to block, redact them, and choose a reason in a dialog box as to why they were redacted.  All the metadata is stripped out so it can’t be revealed.  If you need to redact a lot of docs, you can create a redaction template, mark areas for redaction, and save a markup. The markup can be associated with a folder, and applied in bulk to redact all documents in that folder. The solution also has workflow hooks built into it so that redaction can be built in as part of a workflow process.

Net-It Enterprise lets you convert and publish your documents to PDF, TIFF, and other file formats and add stamps, watermarks, and annotations to them to control and label versions of documents or to note who printed something and when.  You can create document renditions automatically through network file system monitoring, SharePoint library workflows, or on-demand services.

Brava and Redact-It are available in versions for SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2007.  Brava is avail as a Web Part. Redact-It and Net-It utilize a web service/API. Brava is licensed per user, while Redact-It and Net-It are licensed on a per-server basis (a Redact-It server or a Net-It server). To learn more visit IGC’s website.

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