What Technology is Behind ECR?
The Core ECR application was designed as the primary client application and was developed for the Windows 95 and NT 4 Server platforms. Core ECR was implemented using Visual Basic 6 as the software development language and COM components and Microsoft Transaction Services as the business object layer of the application.
Core ECR was originally designed to provide for imaging, workflow processing, “computer output to microfilm,” and extensibility and scalability over the next decade. Today Core ECR continues as the management system to which images of both scanned and e-filed documents are committed, indexed, processed, and maintained. The ECR Viewer, ECR Online, and eFiling are individual applications, serving different purposes, which rely on and are made possible by Core ECR. In Core ECR, document files are routed on electronic workflows consisting of one or more individual work-steps to ensure accurate and complete processing. A routing and processing history for every document is maintained in a table called an activity log. The security of sealed documents and cases is maintained by specialized roles that are assigned using administrative tools.
The Document Management System (DMS) is a read-only repository of court case documents. The document images are extracted from FileNet® and formatted into PDFs for storage into a SQL database.
The ECR Viewer is the document retrieval and viewer application used by judges, commissioners, court staff, and the county’s “Law, Safety and Justice” agencies connected to the King County Wide Area Network (WAN). Multiple users are able to concurrently view documents. This viewer, with security controls, is also available to the public in the Clerk’s Office on public terminals. Both viewers retrieve images from the DMS repository.
ECR Online provides access to images of certain court documents via the internet. ECR Online permits users to download documents in specific case types (as dictated by law). ECR Online is a fee-based system. Users are assigned IDs and passwords after using a credit card or Internet check to place funds into a draw-down account. ECR Online retrieves images from the DMS.
The eFiling application comprises electronic filing, ex parte service via the Clerk, judges’ working papers, and process service. Users are able to submit PDF or TIFF files via the internet to start a new case, or to file into an existing case, and to pay associated fees using a credit card or internet check. Electronic signatures are governed by Washington state law. Where applicable, eFiling assigns a judge and case number, and generates the case schedule and case information cover sheet automatically. The eService component enables e-filed documents to be electronically served on parties who have opted in to accept service electronically. Parties opt in on a case-by-case basis within the eFiling application. eService generates a record of service that can be subsequently e-filed.