What do you think the features of your ideal DMS would be? I mean list all the features that come to your mind that can be offered under Document Management System.
There are the things I think matter for a DMS this is from looking at consumer based systems. This is what I would suggest for business users. Home users and Developers have different needs.
I think the list could go on form there but those are the things you would need to be competitive in the DMS industry.
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Ability to block out areas of the document based on security settings. Example: in a pdf document the app can cover the signature section and only certain users could print/view without the block.
Some users cannot get at the native file but can only view. Example: an Excel file may have some proprietary code that I wouldn't want someone to use on their own. I don't want them to even have a copy of the file.
Synchronize off-line copies.
Lots of meta data, tags, categorization, and full text search capabilities.
A time-out feature. Can be set to automatically delete the file/data or prompt an admin to review files and approve the time out. Keeping a file forever, should not be the default (OK don't have to build the system this way, but a personal preference.). Obviously industry standards and laws prevail.
Version control with Diff.
Create a client portal/ftp site so you can share files without having to do it one file at a time.
You will want good support. I've used something called Sentryfile, and they have a support forum. Read the company's support forum to see if they answer questions/problems in a timely manner.
You want something with an API (if you are asking on this website), so you can write custom programs to interact with it.
Obviously you don't want to be hindered too heavily by licensing each time you hire a new employee. Check licensing costs before you commit to anything.
The ability to integrate will go a long way in helping with a decision. We looked into using document locator and laserfiche but they had limited options when it came to our needs (we are an insurance office). We stumbled across docstar and their document management software had the ability to integrate with pretty much every program we used, so the choice was fairly easy.
The ability to integrate makes it much easier to start using without a lot of interruptions because you can still use all the same programs you were using previously, just that you get more functionality out of them.