Automated Scan to E-mail and WebDAV


I've had an absolute nightmare trying to research a problem to what I think should be a relatively straight forward solution. I hope someone can help me.

My goal is the following:
I have an installation of Alfresco which I can access by web browser, IMAP and webDAV. I would like to install a scanner with a client of mine. I would like any documents they scan to automatically make its way to the alfresco installation. I have identified 2 possible solutions that would work.
1) Scan directly to the WebDAV address (http://alfrescoserver.ip:8080/alfresco/webdav/
2) Send an e-mail automatically to an e-mail address from which I can use rules and IMAP to automatically transfer the document to the correct document library depending on the e-mail address it was sent from. Importantly I don't want any user intervention other than pressing the scan button. Ie, all configuration needs to be done at the setup stage.

My problem is that I cannot find a concise answer/example of this being done by surfing the web or looking at scanner marketing brochures.

Factors to consider:
1) Price - I know you get enterprise networked copier / scanners which e-mails, but I am looking for a low cost (<£300) scanner (not multi purpose) which has a small footprint.
2) The scanner will probably not be networked, so will simply be connected to an office computer. Due to the nature of our clients the operating system will probably vary between XP, Vista and Windows 7.
3) We don't need any fancy OCR or indexing, I simply want to digitise and move the document into alfresco at the push of one or two buttons. If there are a simpler way of doing this that I am missing, please advise!!

I have looked at the Epson GT-1500 scanner as an option. It seems to provide all the standard drivers (TWAIN) etc and comes with a document feeder which is handy.

I have also looked at Windown Fax and Scan to possibly automate sending the e-mail but I am unsure if that would work.

If anyone has come across this before, or can point me in the right direction (both software and hardware) I would really appreciate it!!

Who is Participating?
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEConnect With a Mentor DeveloperCommented:
I don't know if it's possible to automate the email solution, but it's definitely possible to automate your solution #2 – scan directly to WebDAV. Simply mount the WebDAV folder as a mapped network drive. Once it has a drive letter, you can use the ScanSnap Manager's <Scan to File> application. It can be completely automated! This is what I use. I built custom profiles (with various scanning settings, such as color/B&W, searchable/non-searchable, 200/300DPI, etc.) and when I hit the blue scan button on my S1500, it goes straight to a file in a network folder with a templated file name (I use YYYY_MM_DD_HH_MM_SS.pdf). You have to uncheck some boxes to make it automated, such as <Rename file after scanning> and <Continue scanning after current scan is finished>, but after you set it up this way, no user intervention is required after hitting the scan button on the ScanSnap. Regards, Joe
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Jacques,
The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 (or S1300i) can do what you want with a street price of less than £300:

If you're willing spend over £300 (street price around £350), the next model up in the product line is the ScanSnap S1500:

More details about the scanners may be found at:

Do not get the "Deluxe" bundle – you don't need Rack2-Filer.

It is important to note that the entire ScanSnap series does not have TWAIN or WIA drivers, so you must use Fujitsu's proprietary scanning manager to scan – but that can do exactly what you want (it works extremely well and has many features). After scanning, the docs may be used by other software, such as Alfresco (I use the S1500 with PaperPort). It has all of the bundled software that you'll need (it can also do OCR, making PDF searchable docs – you say that's not needed, but nice to know it's there, just in case). Cheers, Joe
joust888Author Commented:
Thanks Joe,

I have had a look at the ScanSnap and it gets quite a few recommendations. I am a bit concerned though, going through the documentation, that you would still need user intervention to send the e-mail once the scan has finished. i.e. Once you press the scan button it opens Outlook on your computer with an e-mail message with the scanned document attached. The user then need to provide the e-mail address to which it will be sent. Just to clarify, I would need to automate this process as well so that the user only need to press the scan button.

Have you seen that you can indeed automate this? And could you give a  me a guideline on how to do so? I am referencing the user manual here:

The description of Scan to E-Mail from page 104 is not what I need as that requires the user intervention I am trying to get away from.

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