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Author Topic: Trying to find way of managing documents  (Read 8577 times)


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Trying to find way of managing documents
« on: November 08, 2009, 01:22 PM »
I'm doing alot of research into this topic as I want to organise my electronic documents at home and also at the office. Finding affordable solutions one
can actually test drive is quite hard. Some that I've downloaded just don't seem to work (testing on brand new Vista PC). I've seen some
software on Amazon like Paperport with variable reviews and I'm not convinced to take a chance.

For home I'd like something to organise files, full text search, good scanner integration, ability to tag, nice interface etc.  I'd prefer desktop software here.

But for the office it seems harder. I need something that does proper workflow and keeps versions. So I have the latest version of a
document for a given year for example and I can roll back to another version. It will have an audit trail. Documents can be approved,
checked in/out etc. I know with something like Sharepoint you can do simultaneous edits but that's overkill for me and too confusing for users.
I'm open to hosted services but I need to work with documents using MS Office.

I've looked at the following (among others) with various degrees of success; (ok but some features not working, could have hidden costs/downsides) (eye-wateringly expensive and basically not for the very small offices I'm involved with) (ditto the above) (ditto again) (evaluation failed to install) (evaluation failed to install)

Nothing fits the bill enough for me.  Office Live looked promising (and free) (if a bit ugly) but when I save and it says "saving to Office Live workspace" it never actually does and the original document on the server is unchanged.

Seems like this is something that more people should be using but apparently aren't. My Google/twitter searches lead back to the same tired and
vague webpages that are selling expensive customised services.

All I want is affordable desktop software for the home and some sort of hybrid hosted/desktop service for small offices that doesn't cost the earth either.  Currently I manage documents using Dropbox ( which is a brilliant service and one of the best things I've ever used.  I can grab files from home or office directly from Windows Explorer because Dropbox synchs them.  Nevertheless it does have limitations - if another user edits a file at the same time it creates a copy of that file calling it "conflict" and then it can get confusing.  And there's no interface to search/tag etc.  It's great for a single user and if you're working closely with someone else and can easily resolve any conflicted files but I have my doubts about it as a solution you can throw at the uninitiated.

So after all that palava does anyone have any suggestions for likely products?  Or I do have to learn some more programming and do it myself? :)

many thanks


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Re: Trying to find way of managing documents
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2009, 01:46 PM »
Take a look at Columbus by a company called Oasys. It doesn't have everything on your wish list, but you can use it to get a better idea of how some of these document management products work. They have a free "personal edition" available for download.


What is Columbus?

Columbus is a combined navigator and viewer that allows you to organise and view data in a more structured way.

Columbus utilises a powerful viewing engine and supports many commercial file formats, including Microsoft Office, AutoCAD*, MicroStation* and Hewlett Packard HPGL/2.

Logically related files and folders can be gathered under one heading even though they are spread across multiple folders and servers around the office or globe*. This makes it easy to view, edit, redline, issue and print data regardless of the document type or where it resides.


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Re: Trying to find way of managing documents
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2009, 02:34 PM »
There's a free version of Alfresco with minimal limitations, so if it otherwise meets your needs, it might be worth another look. If you haven't already seen this list, it may be also be useful: http://en.wikipedia...._Management_software

- Oshyan