Document Extraction with SAP Intelligent RPA – Text Operations to Ease Data Capture


Introduction

SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation provides convenient and smart solutions to simplify the extraction of data from documents. Document Information Extraction,  an SAP AI Business Services capability has been integrated into SAP Intelligent RPA from September 2021 to enable the users with the flexibility of choosing between different information extraction options. Further information on integration touchpoints can be viewed in this blog.

This blog post is part of Document Extraction series which aims at empowering our community with detailed step by step guides by explaining the capabilities of Document Extraction within SAP Intelligent RPA. It will use a sample extraction use-case to showcase the capability of rule-based capturing of information from the document.

Prerequisites

  • SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation platform (Trial / Full-Version)
  • Installation as per the instructions in Help Portal
  • Knowledge about Projects, Automation. Tutorials can be found under: Tutorials

Set-up

  • Create Project in the Cloud Studio.
  • Add following dependencies in your project as shown:
    • Document Information Extraction SDK
    • PDF SDK
      Please Note: 
      Core SDK and Excel SDK will be added automatically when an automation is created.

Sample Document:

Business Use-Case

In the corporate world, there are numerous types of documents which needs to be processed to obtain the business information. Such documents can be different than the generic types such as Invoice, Purchase Order or Payment Advice. Such custom document types are difficult to be automated using pre-build procedures.

Let’s look onto a scenario where a company receives multiple Power of Attorney documents from different associates. Company also maintains a database to manage the associates by storing the complete document text, Shipper Number, Exporter Identification Number and Date.

We will simplify and realize this use-case by using the new “Open Document (Online OCR)” activity along with some pre-existing activities.

Steps to simplify this use-case

  1. Create Automation.
  2. Drag and drop the Open Document (Online OCR) activity. This activity can open machine readable or scanned documents in PDF or Image formatProvide the document path as shown in the image.
  3. To grab the complete text in a document, Get Text (PDF) can be used. Drag and drop this activity.
  4. Drag and drop the Get Text After (PDF) activity. This activity allows users to fetch the text after a specified search string. The number of words to be extracted can be controlled using the numWords parameter.Provide the search string and number of words parameters as shown in the image.
  5. Similarly, add Get Text After activities for Exporter Identification Number and Date as shown below:
  6. Since we added the required steps in our automation, we can now add 2 log activities to view the result.

    You can put the following messages in the log to view the extracted fields:
    "Power of Attorney complete: " + Step2.textContent
    "Shipper: " + Step3.outputValue + " EIN: " + Step4.outputValue + " Date: " + Step5.outputValue
  7. Test the automation to view the extraction result. The result should be visible in the Test Console.

More Activities

All the existing activities in the below mentioned blogs can be used with the new activity Open Document (Online OCR).

Blog1 Blog2

The difference lies in the first activity Open Document (Online OCR) or Open PDF. Open PDF can only opens machine readable PDF’s and does not work with scanned images or documents. With the new activity Open Document (Online OCR), you can open scanned images or documents as well.

Conclusion

By reading this blog post, you have learned about the new Open Document (Online OCR) activity and its usage. In addition to that, you got a basic overview of how simple and convenient activities can be used to extract information from the documents.

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment with questions or feedback 🙂

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