Document management

Document management systems, they will allow the an organization to organize all source of information according to her business rules :
  • Workflow to approve the changes made into a document
  • Metadata to allow a quick search and retrieval of the document
  • Indexing to be able to retrieve a document based on information contained into it
  • Check in / check out to avoid that different person write at the same time in the same document, creating change conflicts hard to resolve
  • Smooth integration with your office application to allow your uses to work on the documents the same way that did without the Document Management System
  • Authentication and authorization of the users, restricting them to certain part of the system bases on their groups or roles appartenance

Some solutions :
  • KnowledgeTree, integration with the Windows desktop and Microsoft Office require some non-free connectors
  • Alfresco, integration with the Windows desktop and Microsoft Office is foreseen at no cost with the Community Edition
  • OwnCloud, to build your document synchronization platform


Briefly comparing the solutions

KnowledgeTree

If you want to start quickly a document management system, very intuitive, web based, then you will use KnowledgeTree.
This application is written in PHP and is very easy to understand and manage without no big expertise.
This application features :
  • integration with LDAP and Active Directory
  • workflow to publish documents
  • easy management of keywords and other meta-data
  • creation of template to quickly apply meta-data
  • bulk import
  • fine permissions to create independant container on the same server
  • WebDAV access

Alfresco

Alfresco is a very robust and very mature application implementing a lot more than simple Document Management. Its a java application running into Tomcat (or in any other J2EE application server) implementing Web Content Management, Enterprise Content Management, Archivage system for e-mail, ...)
Alfresco is really an Entreprise Content Management System, a solution to centrally manage all the non-structured information that makes an enterprise life. From offices documents to mails, including videos for marketing campaigns and other multimedia content, it will allows to centralize everything, apply strict policies on the access enforcing all kind of content policies an enterprise may have.
This solution is similar to the commercial Microsoft Sharepoint solution.
This is a solution to easily implement team collaboration on any kind of documents. Also, it is used to apply strict goverance and compliance on the document ("record") hosted on the system (access policy, retention time, auto-expiration, ...)


Solution with synchronization platform

Besides the 2 above solutions that are really directed to documents collaboration within one organization, you can find solutions to build your own document "cloud". By this term, I want to describe solution that will allow you offer the same features as a Microsoft OwnDrive, Dropbox or Google Drive but by keeping the documents in your premises, under your own ownership.
For this, there is a solution called OwnCloud, which allows you to build a central server that will keep in sync any documents between various client platform (Windows, Android, iOS, ...).
There are many add-ons already available to extend the platform with mail, calendar, WebDAV, well-know cloud back-end (Dropbox, OwnDrive, Amazon S3, ...)