Document Tagging / Library System

Posted on 2014-02-17
Last Modified: 2014-02-27

I am looking for a software to manage all of my work documents. Our company operates in several different markets and different employees manage different markets, however the majority of them need to access shared documents.

At the moment, the server has a parent folder for each market and documents are placed into these accordingly, however as mentioned above, several of these documents are used by more than one market (employee group) so we want to be able to have one master version on the server that can be easily accessed by all.

Does anyone know of any software that would allow you to do the following:

01 - I would like to be able to copy all of our documents into one large folder and then assign / tag them with different categories (markets), along with the other custom tags
02 - i would like to be able to add notes to each document / record in the Document Manager... not that show in the actual document, but in each Document / Database record
03 - ability to search using the document manager
Question by:oo7ml
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LVL 19

Assisted Solution

regmigrant earned 100 total points
ID: 39864936
you need to decide how complex you want to get and this will depend on the number of offices, users and your network infrastructure. Any solution will need an accompanying administrative effort to keep it up to date and your budget for the project will also play a big role. Also you need to think about document ownership - ie: who says the version on the server is the most up to date document? Do you want to enforce check in/check out procedures, do you have varying levels of permissions/access, what about sensitive/secure documents and so on.

Your options are wide ranging and each has its pro's and con's:-

At its simplest - and assuming you have the administrative support to keep it all working - you can use the Document Properties to store the 'meta data' and normal windows search to index content. problems may occur if you need multi-user access.

SharePoint - you may already have a license so it could be cheap but it can be tricky to setup effectively. Tends to be used by process driven organisation with existing MS server based architectures (possibly because its license is included). More of an internal solution so if you want people to have web based access - without a corporate network access - you will need to do extra.

Google for business - very well featured, integration features with MS Office documents is not so good as sharepoint but globally available
Dcoumentum - the frequent choice for enterprise level document management, not cheap but fully featured and including workflow
OpenDocMan - free (open source), web based, security might be a concern for you as you won't be able to enforce VPN access

Google for Document Management Software Review will give you many more options but I would recommend thinking all the implications through and trading off the cost vs ease of setup and administration issues first
LVL 54

Accepted Solution

Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 400 total points
ID: 39865046
Hi oo7ml,
There are many factors to consider beyond the three you mentioned. I worked for 20 years in the high-end DMS space and my company would send out an 8-page questionnaire with more than 100 questions on it to ascertain the prospect's requirements – and that was after numerous conversations and meetings where we also discussed requirements. For example, you mentioned sharing a master version of a document, but do you need check-in/check-out (version control, or, more generally, collaboration)? You also mentioned the ability to search, but do you mean just on file names or on the tags/notes or on the full content? If on the full content, do you have any image-only files (scanned docs) that would need to be OCRed in order to be searchable? From a performance/resource perspective, issues are how many users (both total community size and number of concurrent users), number of docs currently, number of docs added per month, etc. And, of course, another critical point is budget.

All of that said, here are two ideas about products. Alfresco is a popular document management system that can meet your stated requirements (but, again, we'd need to learn more):

I'm sure you've heard of Microsoft's SharePoint product (which can also meet your requirements), and Alfresco compares favorably to 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):

Note that some of the data in that thread is even older, such as the accepted solution of:

So you'll want to look for updated info. Many folks (at EE and elsewhere) speak highly of it and there's an active support community for it. Alfresco is moving strongly to the cloud with its Alfresco Cloud version, while the Alfresco One version is an on-premise product:

Since you have your own servers and didn't indicate that you want to move your docs to the cloud, you'll want the Alfresco One version. Alfresco is open source and licensed under the Lesser GNU Public License (LGPL) v3:

However, it is not free in all cases. Here's the pricing link:

OpenKM is another document management system that can meet your stated needs:

It is also open source, licensed under the GNU General Public License v2, and also not free in all cases. It, too, has a cloud version, OpenKM Cloud, and an on-premise version, which you may download from here:

There are, of course, many players in the commercial DMS space. Their websites have a ton of useful information that would be worth spending some time studying (keeping in mind that they are vendor-centric, so have the grains of salt nearby). Here are just some of them:

(1) Kofax:

(2) Documentum:

(3) OpenText:

(4) ReadSoft:

(5) Laserfiche:

(6) Microsoft SharePoint:

As a disclaimer, I want to emphasize that I have no affiliation, financial or otherwise, with any of the companies mentioned above. Regards, Joe

Author Comment

ID: 39873136
Thanks for all of the info.

I was thinking that we could setup a basic internal Wordpress installation as that has all of the categories, tags and notes that are needed?

What would be your opinion on this?
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LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 39875252
You're welcome. I have no experience with, or expertise on, WordPress, so I can't give you an opinion based on actual usage. I just went to the WordPress Codex page, the online manual/documentation for WordPress, to see if I could find enough material to give you an opinion based on my general document management experience. However, I wasn't able to learn enough to know if your idea of a basic internal WordPress installation would work. The good news is if there are some missing features, I would guess that the WordPress APIs would allow you to overcome any shortcomings, especially the Metadata API, Options API, Plugin API, and Quicktags API. Regards, Joe

Author Comment

ID: 39875400
Yeah, i've thought about it a bit further and i think it could work very well as i can create custom post types for different types of documents, while also assigning them to a category and adding tags and notes to them
LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 39875439
Yes, that makes good sense! While I wouldn't call it a "real" document management system, it appears to meet your requirements. But one question for you — Search — does WordPress have enough capability in the search arena to meet your needs?

Author Comment

ID: 39876146
Yes it has very good search capabilities.

I also have a plugin that works as a FileManager system that has very advanced features.
LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 39876824
Well, then, it sounds as if it is going to meet your requirements. Give it a spin, and if it comes up short in any area, the Plugin API (or one of the other APIs) should allow you to fill the gap. Regards, Joe

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