Thursday, October 31, 2013

Athento's capabilities for integration and interoperability [FAQs]

Today, we’ll continue answering some of the questions that our users have sent us.

1. Is it possible to make calls from a .net application to Athento to obtain information that could be used in the application?

This was the question posed to us by our friend José Ángel Pereiras from Header in Barcelona.

José Ángel: the answer is yes. There’s a collection of web services provided by Athento, which are independent from the application that’s being called. Currently, these web services following the REST architecture and have been developed with RESTful (Restlet), the framework for JAVA. Basically, REST allows users to manage and transport resources using HTTP (on the web). In the near future, we will show you how to use Athento's SOAP web services.

Let me just say that we owe you a video that explains how those soon-to-be-developed web services for Athento will work. For now, I’ll explain it using a screen image.

To explore how these web services work, we’re going to use Google’s REST client, which is called POSTMAN.

The service that we’re going to call is:

http://cloud.athento.com/athento/rest/input/capture/uploadDocument/xml
This web service helps us upload documents to the capture program (for example, from other applications). Since it’s a POST service, the parameters won’t be shown in the URL. To send a file to Athento, we’re going to need to indicate several parameters:

  • file: the name the file’s been saved as
  • title: the title of the document as it should be known in Athento
  • fileName: the name of the file
  • mimeType: what type of file it is
  • requestId: this number can be used to identify the operation



While in POSTMAN, we indicate the URL that calls the web service, the parameters and the method. Once that’s all been indicated, click on “Send” so that the call to Athento can be started.

In the lower part of the POSTMAN screen, you’ll see the response to the call to the web service. In this case, Athento informs us that the upload has been completed (OK) and returns the ID number of the document which Athento has saved in its internal repository.

With this case, we’ve seen how to upload documents. However, there are also services that help you get data from documents – for example:

http://capture.athento.com/athento/rest/input/capture/extractCoordinates/xml 
With this web service, we can indicate a word that we know that a document contains, and request that Athento return the physical coordinates of where that word appears in the document.

http://capture.athento.com/athento/rest/input/capture/queryDocument/xml
This web service helps us obtain the document type and the metadata extracted by Athento.

We’re working on having a more complex API that would permit more complex interactions with Athento from any application.

NB: To use Athento web services, you must first be authenticated on the platform as an Administrator. You can check which web services are available by clicking on:

http://capture.athento.com/athento/component.faces?action=ADMINISTRATION_INFO_MENU_ACTION

For more information on how to try out web services for Athento, visit our Documentation Center.
Discover how a smart document capture process works.download it
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