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Tuesday
Oct082013

Data redaction

As an SE, I work closely with customers during evals and provide assistance building out a proof of concept during the eval.  I always advise the customer to build a POC with real data rather than trying to make up representative data.  Although there's many reasons why you'd want to use real data during the POC phase, the choice is not often that of the customer's as there may be other over arching rules/regs that need to be adhered to.  For my customers, it's often that there is sensitive data on forms or documents that can't be shared outside of the organisation.

Of course the simple answer is to redact any sensitive information on the forms, when/if you need to share the forms with me or my team.  I say this often to customers, but then they ask me "ok, well how do I redact the information?".  Well, I don't have a good answer to that, and I just ask them to use some sort of 3rd party tool.  This need to have full control over the eval process caused me to build an in house redaction tool.  I call it "Redacto 5000".... :)

 

Redacto 5k is a WPF/C# app that uses the Parascript FormXtra SDK to load a form definition and then redact all or selected data from a batch of images.  I've also added the ability to grow or shrink the size of the redaction fields.  There are a few other things in the works like being able to draw on custom redaction zones and the ability to move all the zones at once in the X and/or Y direction.  

Although I have experience programming with WPF/XAML, I did have to spend a little time getting up to speed with all the neat and sometimes confusing data binding principles.  Once you get the hang of how bindings works and the syntax in XAML, it's actually not bad, but I did find that it seemed a bit non-obvious at first.  A good place to start if you're new to the concept is the MSDN:

 

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms750612.aspx

 

Rob

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