Custom Batch Manager... how to retrieve the batch history?

Custom Batch Manager... how to retrieve the batch history?

Postby TheOrbix » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:44 am

Hello,

I'm developing a custom batch monitor with a different user interface, that should help monitoring Kofax Capture installations that handle thousands of batches every day.

This batch manager is written in VB6 and provides categorized views of batches organized by queue name or by status.

In this way it's easier to identify batches in error, suspended, ready, etc.

Now, the "Batches in error" view should display the list of batches in error and the reason of the last error.

To do this, I need to retrieve, for any given batch, the content of the History.

Is there a Kofax API that allows to enumerate and retrieve, among the other properties of a batch, the batch History?
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Re: Custom Batch Manager... how to retrieve the batch history?

Postby TheOrbix » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:38 am

Bump...

Is there no way at all to retrieve (in an external VB6 application) all the information and properties of a batch, and then read/enumerate all batch history entries?
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Re: Custom Batch Manager... how to retrieve the batch history?

Postby bclaman » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:14 am

you did not say what version of Kofax you were using but the word "history" does not show up in the developer's guide for KC10 and in the API reference shows exactly twice:

Calling Order
A workflow agent, if registered, is called after all default Kofax Capture workflow processing. However, the
workflow agent is invoked prior to updating batch history information. Therefore, since the workflow agent has already been invoked, the batch history information reflects changes that were made (if applicable) to the module and state due to running the agent.


although it does seem odd that history is not readily available via the API
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Re: Custom Batch Manager... how to retrieve the batch history?

Postby TheOrbix » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:49 am

We're working on KC9, update to KC10 is not planned soon.

I've also done a search for "history" on the API reference and found nothing useful.

That's a real pity, since an improved batch monitor that simplifies the tracking of batches in error (and higlights error causes, triggering the attention of the system administrator) would be indeed useful.

I'm wondering if there's a way to access the information by querying the underlying database.
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Re: Custom Batch Manager... how to retrieve the batch history?

Postby dkekesi » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:07 am

KC10 has a more advanced batch manager than previous versions. I know you do not plan on upgrading, but this could be a reason to do so.
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Re: Custom Batch Manager... how to retrieve the batch history?

Postby TheOrbix » Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:10 pm

Agreed, I know that KC10 has an improved batch manager that allows filtering of batches.

But in our case our custom batch viewer provides some different but useful features, like listing batches by queue (all ready batches, all suspended batches... all batches in error, etc.), batch counting and export of batch list into Excel.

For batches in error, knowing at a glance the error cause for each batch in the list would be quite useful, but unfortunately so far we haven't found a way to do it...
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Re: Custom Batch Manager... how to retrieve the batch history?

Postby dkekesi » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:14 pm

Well, none of the Kofax APIs will not get you closer to a solution. In order to get data like error cause, etc. you need to open the batch which in turn will lock it from other modules (similarly to opening the Properties window of a batch in Batch Manager). And you do not want to open each and every batch when refreshing the list in your Custom Batch Manager.
But KC9 has a management interface that can provide SNMP status messages. While I never used this feature before (so I cannot be of much assistance) it may be worth the time to take a look. I know that by default SNMP messages are not sent until you run Install_Monitoring.cmd in the Kofax Bin folder.
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Re: Custom Batch Manager... how to retrieve the batch history?

Postby TheOrbix » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:50 pm

dkekesi wrote:Well, none of the Kofax APIs will not get you closer to a solution. In order to get data like error cause, etc. you need to open the batch which in turn will lock it from other modules (similarly to opening the Properties window of a batch in Batch Manager). And you do not want to open each and every batch when refreshing the list in your Custom Batch Manager.


Yes, I thought about this approach but immediately discarded it... it would be cumbersome, very slow, and will potentially cause issues to users using other application modules (scan, validation, document review....).

That's too bad to have such a limitation in the API, because it would be very useful in particular to monitor the status of a large installation.

dkekesi wrote:But KC9 has a management interface that can provide SNMP status messages. While I never used this feature before (so I cannot be of much assistance) it may be worth the time to take a look. I know that by default SNMP messages are not sent until you run Install_Monitoring.cmd in the Kofax Bin folder.


This can be an idea. I don't have any experience with SNMP, but our service desk uses a series of service monitoring tools that I believe are compatible with SNMP. I've quickly read the chapter of the KC9 Installation Guide that describes the SNMP capabilities but I've not understood if it can actually help to detect the causes of error of a given batch.

Another possible approach is to directly search in the Kofax database. I believe that the batch History is stored in a table in the database, and reading that table should be fairly easy.... once you understand what is the history table and how information is organized inside it, accessing it from a custom VB application is quite easy.
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