The future belongs to those that not only store their heavy load of documents in a conventionally digitized form, but also “maneuver” it with utmost efficiency: have instant access to it, track it, retrieve it, organize it. How? By leveraging the perfectly suited open source document management system!
Speaking of which, I'm sure you've already got your “feature wishlist” ready:
it should be easy to learn and to use
it should provide you with version control
… with cloud access functionality
… with document workflow
… with document tagging
it should come be equipped with an intuitive, user-friendly interface
it should be free
But since it's open source document management software that I'll introduce you to in this post here, feel free to take this last “wish” off your list!
OK, so this is how the ideal, the one size-fits-all-contexts DMS looks like. But which one's the best for your own business?
The one that best meets your specific business needs'? Your organization's unique requirements?
For narrowing down your choices you should submit yourself to this quick questionnaire:
What type of documents will you be storing though your future DMS?
Where will you/your team need to access them? In a single office, across an entire infrastructure of offices scattered around the globe, on mobile devices?
Is it a plug & play, a full-featured custom solution that you need or just the software to meet your needs? Which (your needs) are the “standard” ones, fitting into a particular market.
What is your budget?
And while you're still pondering on some of your answers, let me narrow down your choices even more. To a list of 6 document management systems worth your attention:
1. Alfresco, On Top of The List of Any Organization Looking for The Right DMS
Geared, from the ground up, to meet the particular requirements of those enterprises having critical documents to store and manage.
Therefore, the best answer to your “What Is Alfresco?” question would have to be:
"A robust enterprise open source document management system, fueled on open source, powerful enough to automate document-intensive processes within an organization"
And here are some of its most “tempting” features:
its complex user role system ensures effective collaboration across large teams/departments
robust content repository
freedom of customization: feel free to tailor custom workflows and content models to perfectly suit your specific needs
its collaboration web interface is geared at boosting team productivity
public source code: it leverages core open standards
access to a full set of add-ons and community-maintained extensions that you get to extend your DMS's functionality with
it seamlessly accommodates any productivity app \that you may want to integrate later on: Google Docs, Microsoft Office etc.
Alfresco mobile apps (for Android andiOS)
Should I also point out that NASA and the European Union, themselves, capitalize on Alfresco's:
unparalleled robustness in handling massive amounts of content
unmatched freedom of customization that it “spoils” its users with?
2. LogicalDOC Takes Open Source to a New Level
An open source document management system that comes in two flavors:
A highly versatile one, that can be used in any web browser, perfectly “equipped” to:
handle a significant load of documents
boost the team's productivity while enhancing team collaboration, as well
Some of LogicalDoc's top features are:
quick & easy installation and intuitive use
multilingual full-text indexing
task manager & events log
version control & document searching
local file system
reporting & statistics
task manager & events log
Web Services (SOAP & RESTful)
import from ZIP archives
And the list is literally an endless one! Do consider this feature-loaded, free open source document management software when looking for the right DMS to meet your requirements.
3. Seed DMS, A Powerful Open Source Document Management System
If for you “the best document management system” means “the most powerful one”, then you might want to take the Seed DMS for a test drive.
It's mature enough, so it's already built a strong reputation around it, and it's enterprise-ready. Built to store and to share huge loads of documents.
And now, here are its other strong points worth your full attention:
users & groups management
HTML documents editing
built-in metadata support (author, description, keywords)
document review & approval workflow
functionality for creating online presentations
multi-level content directory, which supports +32000 documents
Should I go on? For, the deeper I delve into the pile of Seed DMS features, the more I find. Or even better: how about you give this open source document management system a chance and see whether these features do meet your organization's particular needs.
4. Feng Office: More Than “Just” a DMS
Why “more”? Because you get so much more than just the “standard” document management and team productivity-enhancing features.
And these additional, beyond the “conventional” functionalities are:
Its set of features also include:
automatic alerts & reminders
wiki & forum support
reports & tags
5. OpenKM, A Conveniently Extensible DMS
And extensibility, coming from its OpenKM plug-in architecture, is not its only “superpower”.
Versatility comes right after, since it practically supports:
all web browsers
all major DBMS databases
all common file types (OpenOffice, PDF, Office, XML, HTML, JPEG etc.)
Moreover, it empowers teams to set their own rules (logic) for automating the documentation process. For example, imagine that you'll need to set up a rule specifically for moving a particular document to a new destination.
You can do that with OpenKM!
And now, the (almost) full list of features that this open source document management system has been supercharged with:
document encryption/decryption functionality
automatic key extraction
web services API
a functionality to create new documents leveraging pre-built templates and forms
mobile interface & Google apps synchronization
metadata navigator (along with categories, thesaurus, keyword...)
6. Kimios, The Best Alternative to the Heavy Document Management Software
If it's an alternative to the robust, heavy “document managing machines” that you're looking for, lightweight Kimios makes the perfect fit for your needs.
And it's not just its lightness that convinced us to add it to this list of document management systems, but its entirely service-oriented architecture, too (among others).
This means that it follows the client-server model: Web client, Kimios for Office, Kimios Explorer and all the other supported third-parties are connected to the main Kimios server.
To its central server, “in change” with exposing the web service layer covering Kimio's features.
Speaking of which (this DMS's features):
repository customization using metadata
customizable search engine
document-centered functionalities: create, delete, update
user rights management
bookmarks documents (along with creating bookmarks and advanced requests functionalities)
And it goes on and on... and on.
Note: Kimios does integrate with Microsoft and Windows Desktop environment, but only under commercial license!
The END! These are the top 6 open source document management systems that you should consider selecting the right one for you from. And this no matter how your own list of feature needs& specific requirements might look like.