Choosing the Right Document Processing Solution: Comparing IBM Datacap vs. IBM Automation Document Processing

Efficient and accurate document processing is critical for organizations across various industries, from healthcare to finance to government agencies. However, document processing can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with large volumes of data. Decisions need to be made quickly based on information that is buried in documents, but getting that information takes a lot of time, effort, and multiple applications. Additionally, each source of information/documents is unique due to differences in form factors, users, workflows, environments, and use cases. A company may already have a traditional capture solution in place and need to expand its capabilities quickly.

IBM provides two solutions to address these challenges: IBM Datacap and IBM Automation Document Processing (ADP). While both solutions offer document processing capabilities, there are differences between them that make each one unique. In this blog, we’ll explore the differences between IBM Datacap and IBM Automation Document Processing to help you determine which solution is the right fit for your organization.

Focus and Capabilities

One of the main differences between IBM Datacap and IBM Automation Document Processing is their focus and capabilities. IBM Datacap is primarily designed for document capture and processing. It supports multichannel input from scanners, faxes, emails, digital files such as PDF, and images from applications and mobile devices. Datacap also provides out-of-the-box machine learning models, which can be used to accelerate the training process for document processing. Datacap’s AI-powered extraction approach can extract data from structured, semi-structured, and unstructured documents. Datacap is ideal for organizations that need to capture large volumes of data from a variety of sources, including paper-based forms, invoices, and other business documents.

IBM Automation Document Processing, on the other hand, is designed for end-to-end document processing automation. ADP includes capabilities for document classification, data extraction, validation, and export to downstream systems. ADP is ideal for organizations that need to automate complex document workflows, such as processing mortgage applications, insurance claims, or healthcare records. ADP’s intelligent processing can automate the processing of complex or unknown formats and highly variable documents difficult to capture with traditional systems.


Another important factor to consider when evaluating IBM Datacap and IBM Automation Document Processing is integration. Both solutions offer integration with other IBM products, such as IBM Content Navigator and IBM Case Manager, as well as third-party software. However, ADP includes additional integration options, such as integration with robotic process automation (RPA) and workflow automation tools. This makes it easier to integrate ADP with other tools and systems that your organization may already be using, helping to create a seamless document processing workflow.

Deployment Options

IBM Datacap is available as a standalone license for on-premises deployment or as a cloud-based solution. Additionally, it can be purchased as part of IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation as an on-premises component.

In contrast, IBM Automation Document Processing (ADP) is only available as a cloud-native, containerized component within IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation. This cloud-based deployment option offers greater scalability and flexibility for organizations that require highly automated, cloud-based document processing solutions.

By leveraging IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation, organizations can gain access to a suite of automation tools, including IBM Datacap and IBM Automation Document Processing. This can help simplify deployment and integration, while also providing the scalability and flexibility required to meet the needs of modern document processing workflows.


In conclusion, IBM Datacap and IBM Automation Document Processing are both powerful solutions for document processing and data capture. However, they have different focuses and capabilities, integration options, deployment models, and pricing models. When evaluating which solution is the right fit for your organization, it’s important to consider your specific needs and requirements, as well as your budget and existing IT infrastructure. By carefully evaluating your options, you can choose the solution that will help you streamline your document processing workflows, improve efficiency, and drive