by Rex Godinez Ortega
(L-R) ICTC Programmer Earl Von F. Lapura, MICeL’s Nenen Borinaga, and ICTC head Prof. Dante Dinawanao
The MSU-IIT document search facility or IIT Docs that is built on top of Google Drive is now the new document repository of the Institute for official documents like, Special Orders and Memoranda that date back to 2003.
Information and Communications Technology Center (ICTC) head Prof. Dante Dinawanao said that IIT Docs was developed to replace the Knowledge Tree app – then the Institute’s only method for archiving and effectively retrieving data from the My.IIT portal.
This new development also complements the efforts of the Institute Communications Group to go paperless as it now permits them to upload their scanned copies of official issuances into the same Google Drive repository folder being used by IIT Docs.
The Knowledge Tree app, which the ICTC discovered to have completely stopped working in September, was an open-source software designed to be an enterprise data management solution developed by the South African company Jam Warehouse.
“Our server for the Knowledge Tree app died due to hardware failure that resulted from a combination of old age and power source fluctuations,” Dinawanao said.
“Besides the software could no longer be updated, and its developers have stopped maintaining it,” he added.
With the Knowledge Tree app server no longer serviceable, concerns were raised not only about the impossibility of searching for official documents but also about whether or not these documents – 29,000 of them, were already considered totally lost.
Acting immediately on the data management crisis, the ICTC moved to recover the documents in September and created the new search facility that it was able to successfully integrate into the My.IIT portal in October.
IIT Docs, according to Dinawanao, is superior to Knowledge Tree as it is powered by the Google Drive application programming interface (API) to search and retrieve files stored in Google Drive.
“It utilizes Google Drive’s optical character recognition (OCR) technology that will make searches for documents shared in the MSU-IIT G Suite domain a lot easier,” Dinawanao said.
Google Drive’s OCR feature is touted to be the most important technology to help any person or company go paperless as it allows for the mechanical or electronic conversion of images of typed, handwritten, or printed text into machine-encoded text.
The ability of OCR to digitize printed text makes it possible to copy, edit, store, display online, and search and retrieve content easily, Dinawanao said.
“There’s no more need to tag,” Dinawanao said in reference to that all-important step in Knowledge Tree – without which would make any document search a nightmare.
Tagging is that process of attaching keyword descriptions to identify images or text within a website to make searching for similar or related content easy.
Dinawanao credited one of ICTC’s programmers, Mr. Earl Von F. Lapura, his former student on-the-job trainee and thesis advisee from the School of Computer Studies, for the creation of the Institute’s new search facility.
IIT Docs is Lapura’s second major project for MSU-IIT. His first was the data warehouse and visualization app called Financial Management Information System (FMIS) that has proven to be of invaluable help to Institute officials and financial assistants.
Dinawanao also recognized the contribution of ICTC lead web apps developer Mr. Rex Sacayan who customized the new document search facility to adopt the My.IIT portal’s look and feel.
The creation of the new search facility effectively puts an end to MSU-IIT’s relationship with Knowledge Tree that began in 2010.