System architecture

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The architecture of the CRAFT system is presented from different points of view: configuration, modules used, centres, local centres, servers, clients, program structure, database structure.

CRAFT components

CRAFT is a modular system. Modules are designed to implement a single task or process. Using the modules as building blocks, we can assemble different products.

The different CRAFT products can be combined. Even the Document management system and CRAFT bank document management systems can be used in combination. This can offer such advantages as, for instance, centralised manageability, but higher integration levels can also be achieved (e.g. a PF1 order can be processed after filing).

Our products consist of different modules. Some of the modules are optional and are not necessary for performing the basic tasks of the CRAFT system.

The operation of completed modules can be set up using parameters, but one can trigger different behaviour in CRAFT system processes even by applying runtime modifications.

Besides that, we also undertake to tailor the system to custom needs, or even to design and implement new modules.

For more information on specific modules and products, see the articles titled Document management and CRAFT bank document management systems.

Installation environment

Currently, CRAFT is running on an MS Windows platform (Windows NT or later) both on the server and the client sides. Client workstations must be installed on client computers, but data are also available for viewing in browser applications through the http protocol.

Installation can be done simply by copying the files, as CRAFT will automatically perform the remaining tasks and also download any updates.

The server and the clients communicate via the TCP/IP network.

Communication

Client workstations connect to the server application through the TCP/IP network. Data are always stored on the server and clients receive the necessary data only for viewing and modification. The server application and the clients communicate via a standard encrypted channel.

In most cases the CRAFT system also interacts with other systems. We receive core information from administration and account management systems on the one hand, and we forward information registered in CRAFT to other systems on the other hand. It frequently occurs that CRAFT automatically retrieves a document or its digital version and displays it in response to an operation launched in an external system.

CRAFT can communicate with external systems via files (delimited or fixed-width text files, XML, file formats used by banks, such as .azv, .ung etc.), IBM WebSphere MQ, Oracle database tables, stored procedures, an SAP interface or other custom interfaces. It is also possible to implement a SOAP interface.

Geographical configuration

CRAFT systems can be installed in different ways. Client workstations are always connected to a server application. Client workstations can be located in the same building as the server, but there are also examples for client workstations operating in the same town, in the country or even abroad.

If the bandwidth is not suitable for connecting directly to the centre, local centres can also be deployed. These will automatically forward all requests that cannot be serviced locally to a peer local centre or the central system. Local centres can also be set up to synchronise necessary information with each other.

Databases

The system stores information in XML files. Cardinal Kft. has used SGML for data storage purposes since 1996, where the applied technology is practically the same as that of the widely popular XML format, which we have also switched over to since. Image information is stored in JPG format using G4 Tif compression algorithms to comply with international standards. Databases can be in any format supported by the dedicated database management system developed by Cardinal Kft. or in the form of Oracle tables. We recommend our proprietary dedicated database for storing image information, as it can immediately find the required image based on the image reference stored in documents. We recommend our special proprietary database if you want to retrieve a large volume of data using fixed data elements and with low hardware and software resource requirements.

System follow-up

Based on the experience we gain, we implement the most important modifications in the systems at the time of the client's next modification order. Cardinal Kft. undertakes to implement all modifications required by laws or other factors either individually or in the form of handing over complete modules or functionalities.

Program structure

CRAFT is a 3-tier application.
 
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