[an error occurred while processing this directive]


jargon busters mainJargon Busters -
Network Fax - (June 1999)
In the fourth of a series of jargon busting guides from Omtool, David Angwin looks at Network Fax in a Lotus Notes environment.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

These days, companies usually deploy network-based faxing in conjunction with an enterprise messaging system such as Lotus Notes. For this to work effectively, it is important to consider how end users want to integrate fax messaging into their use of email and how administrators want to install, deploy and manage the fax infrastructure alongside their email infrastructure.

An end-user wants to be able to send and receive faxes as easily as he sends and receives email messages – directly from the desktop.


When using a network fax solution, sending a fax can be that easy. Users can compose a new FAXMEMO (a custom Notes form) and either refer to the Notes Name and Address book or type in a new fax number. The fax can be given a subject, a body message and a file attachment, just like email, press send and the fax is sent. The Notes mail router will send the message off to the server which will use the fax modems it manages to send the fax. After the fax has been delivered, an email will be sent back to the sender confirming delivery. This high level of flexibility is available without having to install additional software on the user’s desktop, as it is part of the Notes mail template. Alternately, by adding a Fax Print Driver on users’ desktops, they can ‘print’ to the fax server, via Notes, any document on the desktop.

For all faxes that have been sent, the user can see a real-time update on the status of the fax job by opening a special fax status view. This view will list all faxes sent and the current status for each – in Notes mail routing, delivered to the fax server, being converted to a fax document, waiting for transmission, in transmission, line busy waiting for retry, sent, or failure to send.

Receiving faxes

Receiving a fax is very easy. Open up your mail database and there it is. Received faxes are clearly identifiable to the user because they have a special fax icon that is different from a standard email or even an email with an attached file. When a fax message is opened, the user can see the contents of the fax without having to launch a separate viewer application. The contents are embedded in the body of the message. Depending on the configuration of the system, the contents of the fax document can be shown to the user in the body of the memo, as either a full-size or reduced size image of either the first page or all pages of the fax. In addition, the fax image file – a TIFF file – can also be attached to the memo.

Faxes can be routed to the user’s individual mail files in one of two ways. Firstly, routing to the individual user can be calculated automatically by the fax server based on one of the various systems for automatic inbound routing (DID, DNIS, CSID, OCR/conversion, DTMF). Alternatively, the fax can be first routed to a central ‘Cover Page Routing’ database from where it can be reviewed manually and forwarded to its intended recipient.

Notes administrator

From a Notes administrator’s point of view, a network fax solution must have the flexibility to be adapted to an organisation’s existing infrastructure and established management processes. The network fax server can run either together with Notes on a single server or separate from Notes on its own server. Each server can support an unlimited number of fax lines – providing immense potential capacity. Multiple fax servers can be deployed throughout the enterprise, either all accessed through a single fax foreign domain or each accessed through its own fax foreign domain. In the case of an international server deployment there are dramatic savings to be gained from least-cost-routing and global-routing.

Administrators can configure user fax settings for each individual user, groups of users, or as the system default. A complete list of all fax jobs along with a copy of each inbound and outbound fax can be kept in a Notes database, or any enterprise document management system such as Domino.Doc.

These days, administrators demand an easy rollout and minimal user support, but what’s more, all companies require comprehensive and impeccable document conversion facilities (including ‘store-form-in-document’ Notes documents). WYSIWYF – what you see is what you fax.

jargon busters main

[an error occurred while processing this directive]