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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.

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closed as too broad by gbjbaanb, M. Dudley, GlenH7, durron597, gnat Jul 6 at 14:19

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Document or Content? I am assuming you are referring to a CMS...? –  Aaron McIver Mar 8 '11 at 14:45
@Aaron - Document management systems allow companies to upload lots and lots of files and search/organize them. Imagine your hospital's records being made digital. Pallets of folders of papers in warehouses. –  davidhaskins Mar 8 '11 at 14:47
Seems like you are fishing for ideas to develop a document management system? lol - SharePoint, StarTeam to name a couple. –  kyndigs Mar 8 '11 at 14:48
@davidhaskins I am aware of the "formal" differences however the overlap with a CMS exists and I generally only hear the term CMS used in discussion. –  Aaron McIver Mar 8 '11 at 14:55
I mean document management system. –  Lisa Mar 8 '11 at 15:07

4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

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.

  • Audit Log
  • version control
  • Profiling - Controlled metadata - Can also be tagging
  • Document level access rights
  • Full text searching Must be sub 10 seconds for return.
  • Recently Used Documents page
  • Saved Searches
  • subscription based notification for changes to a document.
  • User generated notification of changes to a document.
  • Document recovery
  • Server side api - Integration points with other software systems.
  • Client side api - Thing intagration with word and other programs.
  • Ability to share a document with an client outside of the system.

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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@Erin: What do you mean by Document recovery? –  Lisa Mar 8 '11 at 15:06
@Shaza - Document recover is where you keep a back up of the changes so you can revert a document to a previous state. You would think you would do this with versions but people tend to mess up a document and want it recovered if possible. They usually request it to be reset to what it was like 3 days ago. –  Erin Mar 8 '11 at 15:08
@Erin: yes, got the idea, you mean version-ing. –  Lisa Mar 8 '11 at 15:09
@Shaza - No version-ing is different. As a programmer we auto version our code but most documents are version-ed by a manual process in DMS systems. Document Recover would be a backup and restore system. –  Erin Mar 8 '11 at 15:12
@Erin: Thanks, if you have more features to add, please don't hesitate. –  Lisa Mar 8 '11 at 15:17

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.

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What do you mean by Diff? you wrote version control with Diff, what's Diff? –  Lisa Mar 8 '11 at 19:26
You show how the text of one version is different than the previous. –  JeffO Mar 9 '11 at 2:51

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.

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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.

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