The company Business Logic (I.T. Group) finished the first project on the implementation of ECM Logic Business Platform in the EXPINET expert network. The solution is built on the free software platform Alfresco.
EXPINET is an information and communication environment designed to organize work of an expert community in the gathering and generation of knowledge. Long before expert boards arose, a popular saying stated that "two heads are better than one." In the case of expert communities, dozens or hundreds of extremely smart heads come together.
The problem of managing and controlling these hundreds of experts and their collective knowledge presents a serious challenge. The experts must be motivated to generate knowledge and share it with the community for assessment. The procedures for shortlisting the most valued documents and expertise must be elaborated in order not to spam the base with low-quality material. Expert competence lists must be created and the knowledge generation process organized so that queries are processed only by the professionals in the appropriate subject.
This problem was solved on both sides simultaneously. The experts worked out the cooperation policies and the developers of the Business Platform implemented the requirements set by the project manager. In particular, any knowledge generation process (reviews, exams or other works) should be accompanied by a subsequent collective assessment, which is to be accounted for using a specialized algorithm taking into account such parameters as the personality of each evaluator.
Thus, the requirements combined both the issues of the document status management and those related to knowledge base populating. It turned out, that ECM Logic Business Platform handled them well.
"Designing the product ECM Logic Business Platform on the Alfresco free software platform, we tried to take into account different scenarios for its possible application, namely electronic data storage, scanned documents flow management system, automatization platform for the intensive document flow, either for classic document flow or even for some special scenarios like crediting management or handling insurance refund requests," remarks Oleg Beilezon, chief ECM designer at Business Logic. "The Business Platform services provide a variety of tools and 'construction materials' for the implementation of such projects. But the practice exceeded our theories, and our very first customer of the Business Platform-based project tested its reliability by imposing a number of non-standard requirements."
"To evaluate the whole our concept of the expert network we decided to create a prototype of the software platform on the basis of an existing solution, into which we would be able to implement the scientific approaches and mathematical models developed by our expert collective. However, the adaptation of, for example, social network platforms would contradict our basic principles. No single existing solution known to us provided for a controllable BPM process for the life cycle of a document. It was the reason that the project became stuck at the stage of elaborating the primary technical specifications," commented Kirill Yeremin, head of the EXPINET expert network. "It lasted for quite a long time until we took into consideration the solution developed by our colleagues from Business Logic. After that, the prototype development process went like clockwork. As a result, the EXPINET platform now has a reliable and scalable engine."