From a technology perspective, the challenge of providing an effective contract & compliance management platform is one of high configurability. Each individual organisation will have its own specific document templates, data requirements, terminology and processes. The previous generation of solutions are based upon SQL/ RDBMS databases, which mandate a rigid structure of data and processes that are difficult and time consuming to alter as a business and management philosophy changes over time.
The Symfact Enterprise Compliance Platform (ECP) is a highly configurable document-centric solution. A management domain like contracts and compliance is much better addressed with an XML architecture (EXensible Markup Language). XML is now the defacto industry standard for any modern document-centric solution. Additionally industry standards are evolving based upon XML technology such as eContracts and legalXML. Microsoft’s full adoption of XML starting with Office 2007 is a clear indication that XML is the new platform for the creation and integration of documents with databases. The Symfact Enterprise Compliance Platform utilises Microsoft Office as its authoring tool, and fully leverages the content control functions provided by Microsoft.
The Symfact Enterprise Compliance Platform employs a pure, top to bottom XML architecture unique in this domain. Core functionality is separated from individual customer configuration files. This enables ready support and upgrade capability for each and every individual customer. No custom code is written during customer implementations, and individual customers do not need to wait for future software versions to modify the information they manage or add additional contract types or compliance areas to the solution.
The platform is based on latest versions of Microsoft Windows Server, .NET Framework as application server and IIS as the web server.
The Symfact Enterprise Compliance Platform is fully SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) and Web Service compliant. It is uniquely positioned to fully support and exploit new emerging standards, and interfaces with external applications via standard APIs connecting directly to the embedded XML document server. The architecture also leverages best-in-class products from a variety of tool vendors that provide functions like eSignatures, registered email and scanning technologies.
Being a pure 3-tier, web application, the Symfact ECP requires no software to be installed on the client or end-user machines. Access is enabled simply via any of the multiple standard Internet browsers or increasingly popular mobile devices. Communication protocols include HTTP, HTTPS / SSL and AJAX.
For enterprise support the platform integrates readily with AD /Active Directory and LDAP (Light Directory Access Protocol) for single sign-on and secure access control.
For workflow and process support Symfact has embedded XML Process Definition Language support. XPDL is a format standardised by the Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC) for interchange of business process definitions between different workflow products and provide the best current support for exchange of BPMN (Business Process Modeling and Notation).