Quick Start Guide for ABBYY FlexiCapture Engine

FlexiCapture Engine
Knowledge Base & Support
General Features
Tips & How to Information

Before you start: Download ABBYY FlexiCapture Engine 11 SDK on your computer using the link from the initial email. You may also download FlexiCapture Standalone application with FlexiLayout Studio for preparing and testing Document Definitions.

SDK Installation

1. Run product installation

Screenshot: Installer Setup.exe

2. Read and Accept a License Agreement

Accept License Agreement

3. Select the program features you want installed

Screenshot: Select Features

4. Enter Your Trial Developer License

Screenshot: Enter Trial License

5. NOTE: Your Trial License is a Standalone License. Please, DO NOT specify any License Server details and move forward.

Screenshot: Skip Network Setup

6. Finish installation and move to the product activation.

Screenshot: Installation completed

License Activation

Activation is carried out with the help of an Activation Wizard. This wizard is built into the License Manager utility. Activation information is sent as a code (Installation ID) which is generated on the basis of information about the computer on which the program is being installed. No personal information about the user or computer is used for generating this code and this code cannot be used for identifying the user.

Screenshot: License Activation Dialog

We recommend to choose ‘Via the Internet’ method. In this case an activation is carried out automatically and takes only a few seconds. If you choose either ‘By e-mail’ or ‘By e-mail from another computer’ (your computer doesn’t have an Internet connection) you need to enter the path to the Activation File received from ABBYY in the corresponding field of the Activation Wizard.

Screenshot: Load activation file

Once the activation is complete, you can start your development project.

Application Development and Testing

ABBYY FlexiCapture Engine distribution pack contains a set of sample source code showing how to use Engine in different scenarios so you can get started faster. That section contains a short description of all samples. A detailed description of the samples can be found in the Code Samples Library provided with this distribution pack (Start > Programs > ABBYY FlexiCapture Engine 11 > Code Samples Library).

Application development with ABBYY FlexiCapture Engine consists of two mandatory steps:

  • Creating a Document Definition (FlexiLayout)
  • Integrating FlexiCapture Engine SDK into your application

Creating Document Definitions (FlexiLayout)

Creating a Document Definition is a crucial task in capture process. We have to carefully define the rules of finding the objects contained in a document. We need to specify what we want to find in the document, and where it is likely to be found. This could be done in two ways:

  • Create Document Definition (.fcdot file), or
  • Use preconfigured ABBYY FlexiCapture project (.fcproj file)

Auto-Learning Technology Demo for Simple Document Definitions

For the easy start and getting comfortable with an idea of layout creation we recommend the Auto-Learning Technology Demo sample from Code Samples Library.

The Auto-Learning Technology Demo sample allows you to create simple Document Definitions. Document Definitions are created on the basis of several training images and then can be used for data extraction with ABBYY FlexiCapture Engine.

In this demo sample, you define a set of training images. On these images, you mark the data fields to extract with reference elements, which will allow FlexiCapture Engine to locate the position of data fields.

NOTE: this sample is intended to create simple Document Definitions, limited by few fields on a single page document. If you need a comprehensive Document Definition with a large number of fields and reference elements on a multipage document, we recommend using ABBYY FlexiLayout Studio, which is a part of ABBYY FlexiCapture Standalone application.

FlexiLayout Studio for Comprehensive Document Definitions

In the initial email we sent, there is a Trial License number with a download link for our ABBYY FlexiCapture Standalone application with FlexiLayout Studio. Use these applications for designing and testing comprehensive Document Definitions before integrating them into your application with FlexiCapture Engine.

This video will help you to start creating simple layout with ABBYY FlexiLayout Studio:

Then learn how to create a Document Definition in FlexiCapture application use is in FlexiCapture Engine:

For additional details you may review the following training materials for ABBYY FlexiLayout Studio and FlexiCapture application:

  • ABBYY FlexiLayout Studio Basic Knowledge shows you how to create Document Definitions using this powerful design tool.
  • ABBYY FlexiCapture Basic Knowledge gives an idea how you can test Document Definitions, before using them in your application.

(!) For further learning, we highly recommend ABBYY FlexiCapture Online Training Course, which offers in-depth coverage of the theory and practice of capturing data from semi-structured and unstructured documents.

FlexiCapture Engine Integration into Your Application

As soon as you get a Document Definition (simple or comprehensive one) you can start with its integration into Application code, based on the ABBYY FlexiCapture Engine. The easiest way to start will be the Hello sample (see the Code Samples Library).

Get started (Hello sample) shows the main steps you need to perform to make your ABBYY SDK work for you. The procedure of recognition uses the FlexiCapture Processor object and its main methods.

A required Document Definitions file is already created for the sample images. This sample is a great way to be used as a basic code to start development. As soon as you want to test the Hello sample with your own documents, you will need to create a Document Definition file, as previously described.

Now you are ready to start with your own development. The ABBYY FlexiCapture Engine 11 Tutorial will walk you through all basic steps you need to perform. Please find the Tutorial at:

Start > Programs > ABBYY FlexiCapture Engine 11 > Developer’s Help > Guided Tour > Tutorial.

NOTE: Most of the samples show the standard method to load the Engine object: Loading FCEngine.dll manually using the “naked” interface. There are two more ways to load the Engine object in ABBYY FlexiCapture Engine 11. Each of the loading methods has its own specifics, affecting the use of the object in different circumstances.

More details about different ways to load the Engine Object as well as samples of code can be found at:

Start > Programs > ABBYY FlexiCapture Engine 11 > Developer’s Help > Guided Tour > Advanced Techniques > Programming Aspects > Different Ways to Load the Engine.

Support and Additional Information

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