Capture is a component within the ECM process. Capturing includes functionalities and components that deal with the creation, preparation and processing of digital and analogue information.

The capturing process is divided up into multiple layers and techniques, from simple information capturing to complex preparation and automatic classification. Capturing components are also often grouped together as “input components” and described as “input management” tools.

Manually-produced and scanned information

Manual capturing can include all sorts of information, from paper documents to digital Office documents, emails, forms, multimedia objects, digitised speech and video, and even microfilm. The capturing of paper-based documents and film recordings is described as “scanning”.

Machine-generated and automatically captured information

Sources for partially- or fully-automated capturing processes can include EDI or XML documents, commercial and ERP applications, or existing specialist systems. Automatic data conversion tends to follow the so-called COLD process.