Perceptive Content / ImageNow Accounts Payable (AP) eForm

Many Perceptive Content / ImageNow customers with Accounts Payable solutions are familiar with the AP eForm. The AP eForm is a productized form that allows AP Processors to input, review, and validate invoice data including header data, line item matching, and GL coding. There are a lot of data validation and user interface customizations available for the AP eForm that require very little coding or technical knowledge.

In this Office Hours, RPI Consultants provides live demonstrations and interactive Q&A for the AP eForm, including customizations, tips, and tricks.


Alex Lindsey:
Hello, everyone and welcome to Webinar Wednesday. Not really Webinar Wednesday sorry, force of habit. Getting on in front of the cam here. Let’s see, there we are. That’s my body. Okay, so today we are going to be talking about the Perceptive Content, AP invoice eForm. How you guys use it, we’re going to do a general run through. And again, thank you guys for attending. I know we’re all in kind of a weird state with the quarantine and things like that. But you honestly gave me an excuse to not wear sweatpants today, so we’re going to roll with that. Just a reminder, so this is an Office Hours, we will basically leave this open to questions for you guys as you go through. On the GoToWebinar you have a hand raising icon that you could do to raise a hand and I can unmute you, to ask questions or you can just type in your questions in the questions tab as well. And then, we’ll address those one by one as we go through.

So, for Office Hours today, talking about the AP invoice eForm, we have some future webinars that are coming up that we encourage you guys to attend, we got on base form solutions. So, kind of the counterpart to perceptive on basic form solutions. We’ve got a really important one coming up April 8th, keeping business moving with remote workforce. This is really important, as a technology provider, how are we going to be able to help you guys, how are you guys going to be able to remotely work, how are you going to find synergies and integrations and things like that to kind of make this weird work from home state, kind of more flexible and easier for you as an admin or DBA. And then we have on base for human resources, April 15th, as well. My name is Alex Lindsey, I’m a Senior Solutions Architect here at RPI Consultants. I have over seven years’ experience working with all kinds of software, Perceptive Content, OnBase, Kofax, ReadSoft Online, Model TER, Workflow Technologies and a lot of integrations with a lot of different systems.

I specialize in accounts payable and some other non-standard solutions that are out there. And I also just build this gig on the side. On the agenda today we’re going to be talking about the AP invoice eForm, obviously, but I’m basically just going to go through and do a general walkthrough of the eForm itself. Here it is, here’s where you can find this. And then really kind of dig into some of those files that are the configuration files that you may use on a recurring basis, that you may essentially want to modify and just kind of show you how these items are related. So that you can kind of work through and make adjustments on your own, if you want. And then I’ll do a couple of example configurations, we’re going to add two new fields to the eForm that we have set up in our environment. And then we’ll basically open up for questions and answers. If you guys have any along the way, feel free to post those in the channel or raise your hand and we can stop at any point.

All right, moving on. So first and foremost, just walk through the eForm itself. Typically, within Perceptive Content, eForm processing is done through a workflow specifically, and open this up. I have no pages associated with this document. But here’s a good shot of the eForm itself. So, with the eForm, we basically got our standard things that are pretty much standard across all ERPs and what they require, which company or business unit are you going to be charged into.

And from here, this is typically a drop down as well, your vendor information, if you have a PO invoice, or you can essentially switch the tab over to this. You can get your PO number driving your vendor information or your invoice number, invoice date, amounts are all going to be items that you can either enter manually, or what we highly recommend if you’re spending the money to do an AP invoice eForm solution, it’s definitely worth it to introduce some kind of OCR technology that can actually read the document image and get that data validated and push it over to the eForm automatically and just rely on those validations and workflow processing.

And if you see down here, the eForm also has line details. So, if you were using OCR technology, you’d see the invoice lines that were extracted off of the invoice document versus the purchase order lines that are listed in your actual database with the data associated with that purchase order information. I’m going to go back up here, toggle back over to non-PO or we’ve got our header information. The nice thing about this eForm a lot of these integrations…or not integrations but the lookups themselves, the hooks essentially to say, when I click this or when I type this, I want it to be like this. Are kind of built into the form itself. We’re not starting from scratch with this, we have built in configurations that are automatically…we know we need invoice number; we know we need vendor information that’s a standard across all of this. So that’s something that if you purchased this, you wouldn’t have to actually build out.

But if you’re on the call today, you’re probably wondering a little bit more about how can I configure this? How can I troubleshoot this? How can I make enhancements to it, things like that. And that’s what we’re kind of going to jump into, towards the end of my presentation part of it anyway. So, there’s the eForm itself, again, there’s a lot of fields you can add and modify, you can format as well, when I jump out. So again, the way this works within image now, you’ve essentially got form files that are associated with that specific form. So, if I go to the table, apartments, navigate to forms. And you can see here if you have the AP invoice eForm and you have access to the management console, you should be able to see this, where you can manage form components. You see here we’ve got a number of different forms, we’ve got the AP invoice eForm selected here. Before you do that, the way that these forms are loaded and again, with the AP invoice eForm, it’s got its own installed package process that has…but you can also kind of manually load it as well.

Ultimately, there’s is a data definition which is your XML. So that is basically the skeleton of your eForm that sits on the back end of the document itself. From a database perspective, if you’re interested in navigating through that, if a document has a sub-object, that’s technically how it’s defined, I think it’s I and doc subbed or something like that in the database itself. But that information is stored. The information associated with the document and the form is stored in that database, you have shared files. So if you have more than one form, you can actually have files that are associated across calendar is a pretty specific one where you have calendar details or calendar files that you want to have on the eForm to put in a date, for instance, that’s something that can be shared. Typically, we don’t like to do that a whole lot. I’ve seen in the past where it interferes sometimes with others. But overall, if it’s not user growth like 10 different forms, it should be okay.

But generally, we like to keep it in its own presentations. So, the presentations themselves this is what it is a bunch of back end files. And I’ll navigate to the specific folder and the in-server directory that has this, so you can kind of make sense of how this was built and pushed into Perceptive Content itself. So, you have your data there, and you have your presentation files here. Within the presentation, you can essentially add all these different files that are associated with the form itself. There’s a few that we sometimes modify on our end for customizations. For instances, is AP, custom validation, if you need to add something specific, it’s basically a holder file that allows you to kind of insert yourself into the normal process of the normal validations and operations of the form and kind of do something specific.

The AP scan XML, that’s one that we actually do modify. In general as a good rule of thumb, do not touch these files, specifically, they have their built in functions, they have things that…especially the worksheet file, the worksheet script, things like that, we definitely don’t want users touching those, admins. I’m scared to touch them to be completely honest. So, we want to make sure that we keep these clean. But these are all the files that go in the background within that presentation that allow it to render within ImageNow, and also back in scripts, tied to the fields specifically, that kick off certain actions like vendor lookups, and PO loads and things like that.

So that as it stands, from a basically components standpoint, in terms of the form itself, and what you can configure, I mean with this, you can obviously create a new form. You have components here where you define the data depth file here, and then you choose a specific presentation. You can have more than one presentation, a lot of times what we do, we have a diagnostic type presentation file format. So, you can kind of see back end data without having to do a quick shortcut, which I’ll show you as well down the line. But ultimately, you can have it there in the windowpane where the form was and see the back end of the data. Those are super helpful and fairly easy to deploy as well. So, going to the map let us now, and then some basic security as well. What you can do within this, you can either create data using this form, delete data associated with the form, modify, or just view. Depending on the permissions and the groups that you guys have using these forms, you can kind of define how you want to specify how they’re going to use it and what they can do with the form.

As an overall general rule with invoice processing, and the way that AP automation solutions work. And then, that’s just not perceptive. But when you OCR the invoice it comes into a form of some sort. In this instance is AP invoice form, it’s modifiable in certain spaces. And I can show you where that’s configured as well, to kind of define it. And then after that, you technically don’t want people changing data on the form itself because it is aligned with a record that you’ve pushed into your ERP like Lawson. So, you want to be able to find that and reference that at a later date. So, permissions can be important. Depending on the industry you’re in especially, where you want to lock that down. From here, this is pretty basic, I wouldn’t worry too much about that, because a lot of the permissions with the AP invoice eForm happen kind of at the workflow queue level. So now I’m going to navigate to a few different places to kind of show you where these are, and kind of talk through some of the relationships there.

First and foremost, we’ve got our in-server directory on the app server itself. Navigate to form, and here you can see we’ve got a lot of different presentations, these presentations. When you install these create its own unique ID that’s stored in the database for that specific presentation. And along with that, you’ve got your data definition here where we’ve got our AP invoice here. And I’ll just show this real quick to kind of give you guys an idea of the back end. So, you can see here, here’s all the XML tags. So, see what this again, like I mentioned, it’s kind of a skeleton of the eForm. So, you can see all the different fields, you can see more importantly, if you’re looking to add fields, remove fields, things like that, this gives you an idea of what you can use or not use. That’s currently being configured on your eForm right now, a lot of times you can see here, we’ve got a lot of these additional amount fields that you can do. So, if you’re trying to get something specific like that, or something…another kind of amount field off of the invoice document, then you can store this information here on the form.

Same with header values. A little later on, we’ll configure this to allow for a new header value on the eForm that users can enter in. But ultimately, and this is something that a lot of users may not know, this is kind of a good time to show this if I can find it specifically. If you’re ever curious a lot of times there’s a lot of hidden data on the back end of a form, right? So, for instance, company we’ve got Team Willis. Well, there’s obviously a code associated with that. For the end user, we want them to see something that makes sense to them, like the specific company name itself that they can choose, but on the back end there is a code and that code will drive lookups and do filtering, potentially for data that you want to pull specifically for our vendor PO, you would only want to pull information from what we have here is Team Willis. So that’s code 01, that would become part of the lookup to vendors, so please return vendors where companies 01 is this.

On the back end here. If you want to see back end data and you don’t have a diagnostics presentation, like what we got here. That one’s obviously broken, pardon our demo environment. Well, there’s some value there that you can create. But if you want to see information here that’s on the background. So, let’s go ahead and put in a test information here. Literally typing in test, let’s call this Alex Test. Always date, I’m going to go ahead and save this. Oops. I hope you’re backup, and here’s something that you can do to see…and this isn’t just for the AP invoice eForm. This is just something that we at RPI do a lot with our testing when it comes to identifying data on the back end of the form. If you have your document open like this with the form itself, you can navigate to the main toolbar up here, hold down Shift, and right click on the blue tab up here. I know it’s very specific and go to explore application data folder.

In here, you’ve got basically a list of folders and a few additional files. What we’re really interested in is this worksheets folder here. And with this, you basically got a list of essentially presentation files of documents that have been recently opened. A good rule of thumb for this is typically if you have a document open right now, typically the…not the last but the second to last file. So, number two in this instance, that has the information you need. So, continue navigating until you find the XML open. So, this file here, so it’s going to say AP invoice, which is the XML, that’s the skeleton again, essentially with the form. And then there’s AP invoice, underscore open. And this is the one that you actually have open right now. So, you can see the data on the back end associated with it. Like I mentioned before, we have our company name, this is what the end user sees. But on the back end you’ve got company num-header, so it’s company number 1400 associated with vendor group 1400.

So, when you’re thinking downstream of lookups and things like that, I mean like, “Hey, return vendor Acme Corp, where company num-headers 1400.” So, these hidden values in the back end of the form help to drive filtering and lookups and validations. It may take some scrolling too, depend on how it renders, you can see these Vendor ID itself on the back end, the payment terms as well, that’s associated with that. And that can either be a lookup, which we’ll add to this form. A drop-down list actually or it can just be return from the vendor information itself. And that’s a nice little tip flash trick to understanding where the back-end data on your form is coming from, let me take a look at this. Make sure we don’t have any questions in here, good for now. Good. Now, moving back over to the directory itself, data depth, obviously I am not sure which one of these is actually the AP invoice eForm this one’s closed.

But ultimately, you can see here on all these forms and presentations, we’ve got all these different presentation files, and this is where these are stored, we have a lot. If you have the invoice form you may have a few others. But that is generally where you find it, I would look for the key values like AP underscore invoice, if you’re really having trouble finding it. So, when you install the AP eForm, you essentially get a lot of subscripts. So, you’re familiar with the STL package, which has…it’s from a script directory here, if you’ve got iScripts you probably understand it a little bit. Ultimately, the STL package has a lot of basic scripts that you can use to integrate with ImageNow, same thing for the AP invoice eForm. We have a lot of subscripts that are integrated within ImageNow that we really don’t want users to touch that much. We really don’t like touching them either. Admittedly, I’ve done it once. And it works but it’s not recommended as part of the part of the product itself.

So essentially, we’ve got AP duplicate check. So, this is a script that just fires off the duplicate check. When you do an action on the form, it’s actually firing these scripts that are then referencing the configurations or the connectors that look up to kind of return those results. So, these subscripts just exist here on the directory to kind of provide support and fire those functions. So, don’t touch those you can’t, we’ve got scripts. The custom validate server scripts that are meant to do those type of things if you need to make some kind of customization. So really don’t touch these. Along with that, depending on your current setup. I know in the past, this is a big thing for RPI when we were doing upgrades quite a bit for ImageNow and we continue to do invoice upgrades, AP invoice eForm upgrades. Also, we like to push our users to use some kind of custom connector or database connector to pull information from.

Previously, with the AP invoice eForm. You can use virtual tables and inside tables. It really used the folder structure, that project structure within ImageNow to kind of house and store data and do it through custom properties. This using a database connector or lookup scripts, tied to this eForm is a much better way to kind of pull that information. Plus, it’s more live data you don’t have to rely on an upload process, you’re pulling directly from the database itself. You get that information, to get that vendor PO information. If you are using a connector, it will be stored under the script directory, APEF connectors and then here you have some out of the box, there’s a demo connector. When you install the AP eForm it is automatically set to the demo connector where the lookups are basically happening. And I’ll show you kind of guys where that is. And that’s where the bulk of the configuration happens for AP invoice eForm is in these config files. And ultimately, you define specifically which connector lookup script you want to use from the AP config XML.

So, this one is basically, the custom connector that we’ve got set up. And this is essentially configured to point to our internal Lawson environment to pull data down to do lookups and things like that. So, I’ll get into that a little bit more when we actually start configuring a few things. Now for basic admin, things like that. When it comes to the AP invoice eForm, most of the things that you’re going to have direct control over are located in the in server FCAP directory and this is where the config files are essentially stored. The first and foremost is the AP config. We pull this up and hopefully this is zoomed in enough, I’m going to start at the top. I’m not going to go through everything, I’m just going to touch on it for a little bit and show some of the key points. You can install the eForm for different ERPs that they have essentially pre-programmed for. This one’s Lawson, but you can also have just a general ERP connector, if you have something that’s not defined. JDF for instance, is a good example where we can integrate a lot with AP invoice eForms.

But it’s just another ERP. Set your date format here, duplicate check. You can also enable this on the form, which I obviously don’t hear but we have just a lot of demo data training through. So, with this, we can basically define how you’d like to do this. So, if you are getting requests or you would like to add a third dimension to essentially your duplicate checks, so typically it’s going to be your invoice number and Vendor ID, you can now identify that. If you want to throw in a mount as well, that’s another common one or date or invoice date, for instance. This is where you would do that in the AP config XML to define that, it’s like an overarching basically validation that’s built within this file itself. Now as you’re testing, for instance, one good thing you can see here, we’re defined and these basically sub-nodes of scripts. These are those scripts I was talking about when it comes to the get companies. Your tax codes, getting vendors is a big one, to kind of identify those scripts that are running on the background.

This is helpful when you’re testing new functionality or let’s say you’re looking for a vendor. And depending on how your eForm is set up now, maybe you’re just not getting any results and you just want to know, what the heck am I seeing? Why is it not working? You can turn your debug level up to five. And that will essentially generate a log within the in server log directory showing you specifically if the SQL statement that was run to go get it, what the database returned, if it’s just a flat out error, things like that, you can do that. And this is going to kind of pivot me into the others as well. If you make any changes to these config files here, you’re not going to see the results until you run the AP maintenance script. So, let me pull that up really quick. Now, if you’re not familiar, the AP maintenance, scroll down here and see if I can find it. I’m not going to do that. Right here, so it’s a back file.

So, what this does is it basically goes through, sees the current configs that are there, versus the ones…basically the ones that are there, again the ones that are stored in the background. Versus the files that exist as well. And they notice any changes, if there are any changes, they basically override it and put those changes forward. So if you wanted to, for instance, turn up logging to get those log generation files, you set this to five here, save the file and you run the AP maintenance scripts, and that will allow you to essentially retest and then render those results when you open the document back up, you should see the items and I’ll kind of walk you through how that works as well. So, kind of scrolling through all this down to the bottom. If you’re doing a flat file export of a specific, so this one lots of specifically we’ve AP 520 and MA 540. If you’re doing a flat file, push into Lawson for instance or another ERP this kind of defines that and where those are.

Ultimately We’d love for all of our customers when it comes to pushing invoice data into their ERPs that do a database insert or something like that Or an API call or push, or pull to basically push that record into the ERP automatically without having the potential breakpoint of a flat file, a shared server folder that has to be pushed into the ERP or manually done even, I’ve still seen. I’m scrolling all the way to the bottom here, when I mentioned the connector itself, and how well it’s conveyed here in the AP config, it’s right here at the very bottom. When you install it gain, it’s a demo connector right out of the box. If you wanted to use the custom connector, you can do this or if you have any others, you would essentially configure that here, run the AP maintenance script. And then, it’s going to try to do the form function to essentially use that connector itself. Moving on the other really, really, really big one here has to do with the AP scan. AP scan really controls what you see or don’t see on the form itself.

If we kind of look through these, it probably looks like a lot of gobbledygook. But you can recognize keywords like business info, invoice info, lines themselves. And as you scroll down just a little bit, you can see this field specifically. So, if you wanted to hide fields, for instance, there’s a visible more down here, where we get into other areas. There’s a visible configuration, where you can mark this as true or false to hide or show a specific field on the invoice eForm. If you need to make it required, that’s automatically going to push over to the validation where if it’s blank and you can try to click Validate at the bottom of the eForm, it’s going to throw a flag and say, “Hey, this field is required.” So, if you are having requests right now of like, “We need to make this field required.” How am I going to do that? AP scan is where you start, essentially.

I did breeze over this too quickly here, under the first config section in the AP scan is actually the roles. Here you can kind of control. So, imagine you’ve got your eForm, and you’ve got your AP invoice workflow itself. This is where you can essentially define if it’s in this queue, can they modify the header? So, the invoice information, the vendor information or can they just do the line here? Can they do both? Can they fill out the GL data points that they need to post this? For POs even, if you need to modify lines and things like that there, can we modify the details? So, header would be your header information. So, let me pull up the form here to give a visual, header information here. So, if you wanted from a specific queue to allow a user to modify the header information, you can essentially copy this here Ctrl D, if you want to add a specific queue you wanted. Make sure that it is enabled for invoice entry at the header level, if you want the detail allowed you as well would ba