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Using Alfresco for a BPM process

Question asked by konsultex on Aug 20, 2007
Latest reply on Aug 20, 2007 by davidc
I have Alfresco (2.1) in use for managing documentation for an engineering project and the company is very pleased with the solution. This company has a home grown ERP solution and now has a request to implement a process for approving purchase order payments which are not related to this particular projetct. In other words they would like to use Alfresco for other thisngs in the company. From what we saw so far this looks like a good fit for Alfresco but I have some questions about following this route or using a BPM solution that would integrate with Alfresco.

A short description of the process is that the company receives an invoice to pay. The user opens up the system (Alfresco is the candidate) and puts the paper in a scanner to capture the image. He them puts in details that identify this invoice in the ERP system (for example, the vendor id, project number, etc.). The expectation is that Alfresco would be able to show information from the ERP system relevant to approving this payment. The document would the go through a workflow and at the end the ERP system would be updated. I know that the ERP system will also have to be modified.

Some questions are:

a) regarding the scanner control, is Kofax the only solution?
b) in case the first step does not yet have a document, can a jBPM complex process be started in Alfresco without a document?

If we go this route, would we be forcing Alfresco to do things not planned for it?