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Alternative to Sharepoint and traditional folder organization?

Posted on 2013-06-13
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Last Modified: 2013-06-21
Hello All,

Currently I am with a small sized company.  We have a shared network drive that at one point and time when there was only 8 of us here, the folder/file organization hierachy made sense and everything was pretty easy to find.  Well as we added to our staff, and with no administration over the shared drive, things started to get misplaced or duplicated and now starting to get to the point where it takes a few minutes to locate a file/folder and having to go through 5 folders to get to the right one.

The budget for sharepoint just isnt there right now.. so I would like to know if there are any other good alternatives to sharepoint or suggestions on improving better file organization?

Currently I am researching meta-tagging/cataloging third party softwares.. below are a few I have been testing, but I would like to find somethings very basic, simple to use and understand so that it would be easily distributed and trained across the company.

Company size : 35 users
Folders : 3000
Files : 1500
*Reason for double the folders than actual files is because, we have created templates in hopes it would make it easier for new hires to find the correct folder names and location..*
OS : Win7

Third Party Softwares researched :
WinsCatalog
http://tabbles.net/
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Question by:Coupee46
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 39245768
I've been testing a product called InfoPreserve:
http://www.infopreserve.com/

So far it is performing very well and I think it will do what you need. I can't give it a ringing endorsement since I haven't deployed it in production, but I like it so far and I recommend that you put it on your short list...I think it's worth a look.

Also, we had a thread a while ago where some experts recommended the open source Alfresco:
http://www.alfresco.com/

I've personally used it only in a sandbox, but experts in that thread spoke highly of it. From the website you can see that there's an active support community for it. Don't know if it will work for you but it's also worth a look. And since you mentioned MS SharePoint, here's an EE thread from a few years ago that may be helpful in looking at Alfresco vs. SharePoint (of course, things have changed in both products since then):
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/MS-SharePoint/Q_25458146.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+10+30+alfresco

Note that some of the data in that thread is even older, such as the accepted solution of:
http://www.cmswire.com/cms/enterprise-cms/sharepoint-vs-alfresco-a-platform-perspective-004549.php

So you'll want to look for updated info.

Another possibility is LetoDMS, an open-source DMS based on PHP and MySQL, published under the GPL:
http://www.letodms.com/

I've installed this but also just tested it in a sandbox, so can't speak to how well it would perform in a production environment. But worth a look. Regards, Joe
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by:Coupee46
ID: 39245834
Thank you Joe. Ill give these links a look
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 500 total points
ID: 39245960
One other thing...meant to address your point that it's now taking a few minutes to locate a file/folder...and your request for suggestions on improving file organization. These may be areas where you'll really like InfoPreserve. It takes a somewhat different view of how to locate documents. Rather than having to know the folder structure, they take the approach of embedding an extraordinarily good search tool into their product and allowing you to search on content. The search tool they utilize is dtSearch:
http://www.dtsearch.com/

I've been using dtSearch for 20 years...it is an amazing piece of indexing/searching software. In fact, it's the reason I discovered InfoPreseve...because I found a case study about it at the dtSearch site:
http://www.dtsearch.com/CS_infopreserve.html

You don't see dtSearch as a separate product in InfoPreserve, because the InfoPreserve folks embedded it nicely in their product. Anyway, InfoPreserve takes this approach to locating documents (the following bullets are all verbatim quotes):

You no longer need to know the name of the document or where it was filed, InfoPreserve will find it in seconds even if it’s an email attachment.
Locate documents quickly and easily without needing to know what the document was named or the directory where it was stored.
Locate groups of documents based on metadata characteristics or unique identifiers that you define.

You may read more about InfoPreserve's searching/locating docs here:
http://www.infopreserve.com/search/

Regards, Joe
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Expert Comment

by:pgm554
ID: 39248306
>The budget for Sharepoint just isn't there right now.

Sharepoint comes bundled with nearly every MS server product since SBS 2003.

Companyweb is basically Sharepoint.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Coupee46
ID: 39266485
Thanks Joe!
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 39266518
You're welcome! Good luck on the project. Regards, Joe
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