This chapter describes how to work with business objects including records, cases, incomings and outgoings. It also gives an overview of Fabasoft Folio’s powerful possibilities for fulfilling compliance requirements concerning auditing, archiving and legal holds.
The term “business object” refers to special types of objects that offer additional features required for managing various business scenarios in Fabasoft Folio.
Business objects allow you to attach and manage content, which are electronic documents that have been imported into Fabasoft Folio. Among others, they include Microsoft Word Documents, Microsoft Excel Worksheets, e-mail objects, and scanned images. Most contents can be edited using external applications. For further information on contents refer to chapter “Working With ”.
The different types of business objects provided by Fabasoft Folio are all directly or indirectly derived from object class Business Object.
Fabasoft Folio differentiates between the following types of business objects:
Business objects form a logical hierarchy as depicted in the previous figure, which is supplemented by the object models for contact and relationship management, business process management, and so forth.
This chapter provides a brief overview of general features of business objects in Fabasoft Folio.
In Fabasoft Folio, each object is uniquely identified by an Address in a proprietary format. However, the object address is not visible to users and should not be used for external communications sent to customers and other partners.
Therefore, a human-engineered unique reference number is generated for each business object (i.e. documents, cases, and records). By default, the unique reference number is also incorporated into the Name of the business object. Using the unique reference number, both Fabasoft Folio users and external partners can explicitly and unambiguously refer to a specific business object.
For compliance reasons, Fabasoft Folio distinguishes recorded business objects and business objects without commitment.
Recorded business objects have an external effect or may cause some sort of external commitment. This external effect also needs to be confirmed by an employee (for example, through approval). Business objects without commitment, however, are unconfirmed and only have an internal effect.
When a business object is recorded, a version of the business object is generated and automatically saved.
Usually, the transition from without commitment to recorded is implicitly defined as part of the life cycle process of a business object (e.g. when a business object is approved or sent to a customer).
The following list provides a brief overview of the recorded state of business objects and how it is initialized:
In Fabasoft Folio, each business object has a processing state. The next table shows a list of the permissible values for the processing state.
The business object is in process. This is the default state for business objects.
The business object has been discarded and can no longer be edited. Any active processes have been suspended.
Note: Only recorded business objects may be canceled. For compliance reasons, recorded business objects may not be deleted but must be canceled instead.
Work on the business object has been (temporarily) suspended. Any active processes have been suspended as well. A suspended business object may not be changed or deleted.
Work on the business object has been completed, and any active processes have been suspended. A closed business object can no longer be edited or deleted.
To narrow a business objects processing state, it is possible to define own sub-states for „In Process”. These sub-states can also be used within life cycle rules, as well as for defining access rights depending on a business object’s state.
Certain transitions from one processing state to another processing state require your confirmation in form of an electronic signature and a remark describing the reason for the processing state change.
By default, a transition from any processing state to “Canceled” or “Closed” requires validation in form of an electronic signature.
If the processing state of a business object is changed, this change is propagated to its subordinated business objects.
For example, if the processing state of a case is changed, the change is propagated to the documents attached to the case as well as to the contents attached to these documents.
There are, however, certain rules that determine whether the processing state of a business object is changed during propagation:
A list of life cycle rules can be defined for a business object.
Life cycle rules let you define actions that are invoked when specified events are triggered. Additionally, life cycle rules also support conditions that must be fulfilled for an action to be invoked when the event the action is mapped to is triggered.
Each life cycle rule consists of the following components:
This event is triggered after the business object has been created.
After Processing Start
This event is triggered after the processing state of the business object has been set to “In Process”.
This event is triggered after the processing state of the business object has been set to “Suspended”.
This event is triggered after the processing state of the business object has been set to “Closed”.
This event is triggered after the processing state of the business object has been set to “Canceled”.
After Set Recorded
This event is triggered after the business object has been recorded.
Using Fabasoft app.ducx, developers can create their own actions for life cycle rules.
Document categories allow you to categorize your business objects, and to customize life cycle-specific settings for business objects of the same document category.
A business object may be assigned a document category when it is created.
New document categories can be created by administrators or developers.
For every document category a short form must be specified. The short form is used for building a unique name for business objects. This way, the short form string easily allows you to identify business objects of the same document category by looking at their names.
Note: In Fabasoft Folio, the name of a business object also contains its document number serving as a unique reference number, e.g. for external communications.
You can specify a pre-defined process for a document category. It can be defined whether the standard process should be initialized and started when a business object referencing this document category is created.
Certain business applications require a fine-grained security concept that is tied to a business object’s life cycle. Therefore, Fabasoft Folio allows you to specify the ACL assigned to a business object based on its processing state and document category to give you as much control as needed to implement the most complex security concepts.
Access Definitions allow you to map predefined ACLs to processing states, and are used for determining a business object’s ACL when it is created or when its processing state changes.
This, for example, allows you to enforce that suspended business objects cannot be edited until they are reactivated.
If a custom access definition is assigned to a document category, the business objects of that specific document category are assigned the ACLs defined in the custom access definition instead of the default ACLs.
This feature allows you to enforce that users only receive access to business objects of a certain document category. Moreover, you can tailor your security concept to the particular life cycle of specific document categories.
Business objects also allow you to add textual remarks. Once appended, remarks can no longer be edited for transparency and compliance reasons.
You can also add references to other objects to your remarks.
In addition to this, electronic signatures, such as approvals, are automatically logged as remarks.
For each remark, either appended manually or automatically, the user adding the remark or triggering the event causing the remark (e.g. approving a business object) and the date and time the remark was added is logged.
Fabasoft Folio considers documents to be envelopes for content that also store additional metadata (for instance, date of receipt or addressees), and distinguishes between two types of documents:
A document is comprised of metadata, and a list of attached contents. The first attached content automatically becomes the so-called main content. However, it is possible to explicitly change the main content.
In short, registering content to a document refers to declaring the content to be a legitimate part of the document. This is also commonly referred to as “attaching” content to a document, since all content registered to a document is added to its list of Contents.
At any one time, content can only be registered to a single document. However, it is permissible to move content from one document to another, thereby implicitly triggering a reregistration of the content.
Figure 61: Registering an incoming to a case
A list of addressees can be defined for a document:
If an e-mail (e.g. a Microsoft Outlook Mail Object) is registered to a document, the addressee information is extracted from the e-mail, and used for automatically populating the addressee.
The document overview consists of three panes:
Document content can be explicitly excluded from the PDF overview.
Figure 62: Document overview
If a document is changed by different users, a new version is created automatically before another user’s changes are saved to the document. However, if the same user changes a document subsequently, no automatic version of the document is created.
Moreover, if a document’s main content is changed by different users, an automatic version is created for the content not the document. You can also create a version of a document manually at any time.
For further information on working with versions refer to chapter “Versioning”.
Records are used for bundling cases, incomings and outgoings logically belonging to the same procedure with a long time frame (e.g. a program comprised of multiple projects). Simply put, a record is a folder of documents and cases sharing the same context that also stores additional metadata describing this context.
Cases are used for bundling the incomings and outgoings logically belonging to the same procedure, which typically is restricted to a short time frame (e.g. a project or a campaign). In simple terms, a case is a folder of documents sharing the same context that also stores additional metadata describing this context.
Content and documents can be registered to a case by dragging them directly onto the case. You create relationships between business objects (i.e. records, cases, documents, and content).
Working with records and cases is similar to working with documents.
Fabasoft Folio supports precise and extensive auditing for business documents.
Using audit logs, it is possible to record access to properties, calls to actions or applications and the review of access rights.
Fabasoft Folio supports the integration of revision-safe archives via Fabasoft iArchive. This enables the transfer of digital records from Fabasoft Folio into audit-proof archives. An expiry date can be defined for documents - the system then sorts out the file or sends a reminder after the retention period expires.
Moving high volume content from the content repository to an online archive results in a significant reduction of storage costs because content repository storage is more expensive than online archive storage.
Fabasoft Folio allows the archiving of business objects to an online archive based on configurable rules which can be based on business requirements.
Fabasoft Folio integrates EMC Centera and NetApp SnapLock as third party products for archiving.
Fabasoft Folio provides variable archiving possibilities. It is possible to completely archive contents and business objects including all of their versions, as well as to archive single versions, or only a copy of a certain version. Objects can be loaded or restored from the archive. The default search of Fabasoft Folio also searches for objects in the archive.
Figure 63: Archived objects need to be restored before they can be edited again
A legal hold allows you to preserve all relevant objects when litigation is reasonably anticipated. Usually, a legal hold is issued as a result of current or anticipated litigation, audit, government investigation or similar matter to avoid evidence spoliation. Objects on legal hold cannot be deleted until the legal hold is removed again.
Moreover, a retention date can be defined preventing objects from being deleted before this date (editing of objects is still allowed).
In case of a legal hold, objects cannot be deleted even though the retention date may be reached.
Using EMC Centera or NetApp SnapLock, retention periods defined in Fabasoft Folio are also automatically used for objects within these archives.
Figure 64: Legal hold