If you are aware or not, your organization is capturing, storing and retrieving hundreds of documents everyday. It can be in the form of electronic files, paper documents, spreadsheets, scanned files or images.
For most organizations, this process is amazingly time consuming and burdensome. This is where the document management system has become extremely essential.
A document management system can be used to capture and store all of these documents into easy-to-find electronic documents.
According to the Association for Intelligent Information Management, document management software “incorporates document and content capture, workflow, document repositories, output systems, and information retrieval systems. Also, the processes used to track, store and control documents.”
Types of Document Management Systems:
Image Credit: Folderit
Though Document management system software are generally used to handle the organization and preservation of digital documents, they are categorized variously based on storage and function.
We will focus on both the types of electronic document management system here. Basically, the electronic document management systems are classified into four types based on how their storage methods
Types based on their storage
On-Premises Document Management System:
The on-premises solution is something where you store your documents and files on your own server on your maintenance and risk.
Many companies love this DMS mainly because they are in control of everything and not relying on any other sources. You will be completely responsible for the security of your data. This is recommended for companies that require robust security due to the content of their documents (like legal offices, government agencies, etc..)
The other positive side is that you don’t need an internet connection to use this DMS. You can even connect it to your LAN and can use it without any need for the internet.
The downside is that you need to have strong IT resources because of its higher technical demands. The upfront costs that you need to pay may also be higher compared to others.
Cloud-Based Document Management System:
As the name implies, the data will be hosted on the cloud by your provider and stores it’s information remotely.
Users can access the files online from any device at any time.
For small and Non-IT companies, this might be the best solution as everything will be handled by the provider itself. The pricing usually would be a monthly or annual fee, which would include all maintenance and software updates.
The downside is that you cannot work without the Internet as in the case of Server DMS. Also, if there is any problem on your provider side, that will affect your documents.
Database Document Management System:
In the Database document management system, the software will be integrated with the database that the organization is using.
Database document management systems are helpful when you need to store and manage a variety of file types.
The software then stores the data and allows you to sort and search for what you need based on field queries or a range of other options.
Some examples of Database DMS are MySQL, Oracle. There are much more Database DMS in the market today.
Web-based Document Management System:
In Web-based DMS, the documents are stored using a web browser. It is accessed through a browser and does not require any specific software to be installed to run it
Most of the Web-based DMS would be free or low cost as most of them are open-source.
The downside is that customization would not be as extensive as on-premises and also the learning curve would be quite high.
The Document management systems are also classified based on how the documents are stored and protected. Let’s explore the types of Document management systems based on their functions.
Types based on their function
Content Management System:
Content management systems are designed to organize, share, and publish a wide range of content to web users. A CMS allows users to publish directly to the web. Some popular CMS are WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
Record Management System:
Record Management systems are usually used by an organization to maintain their specific records especially that involves transactions. These are mainly used by Government-regulated businesses like Healthcare, Corporate Welfare, etc. Record management systems are helpful to minimize litigation risk.
Enterprise Content Management System:
Enterprise Content management system also manages content just as CMS, except that it focuses on the whole process of a particular business. Therefore it has a wider scope and covers the various processes that are involved in the business, not just limited to content management.
Document Imaging System:
Document Imaging systems are used to store, manage, reprint the images of the documents. They help convert physical copies to digital files so that images could be stored safely without the risk of losing it.
Workflow Management System:
Repetitive processes are always a waste of time. A Workflow management system helps in automating the routine tasks to help streamline a specific workflow. They also help in getting the right documents to the right people at the right time.
Also see: Best Examples of User Documentation
Best Document Management Software – 2021
Let’s see some of the premium cloud-based and In-premises document management software which will help you to better manage documents and files.
WordPress based Document Management systems:
WordPress itself is a Content Management System, created primarily for blog article type of content. But it can be extended with extensions to be used as a document management system.
Helpie is primarily a knowledge management solution, where you store knowledge base content. But it can also be modified to be used as a document management solution, in which the documents are stored within a knowledge base article so that you can categorically organize your documents to easily find and use the documents.
It can also be used with file managing WordPress extensions that are mentioned below.
Features of Helpie:
- The plugin offers both front-end and back-end access to create, edit and manage documents.
- When adding content or uploading a document via front-end or back-end, users can state the category of the document and then can display the list of documents in that category alone.
- Documents can be restricted to certain users and user groups alone by their dynamic capabilities feature. You can restrict the particular document or the document category or the whole folder to users. You can also make the document status public by default.
- You can also send the documents for review before uploading. You can have the admin alone to review the documents or can also set any users to review the document by giving them approval capabilities.
- $49 for a single site
- $129 for 5-sites
- $199 for unlimited sites
SP Project & Document Manager:
SP project and document manager is a fantastic document and Project management plugin which is fastly growing and being regularly updated to date. This is yet another WordPress based solution.
Features of SP Project & Document Manager::
- Allows unlimited nesting of folders and can create unlimited folders and subfolders to organize, manage documents
- You can set to force a login to download the files for security purposes
- No limit to the number of files you can upload
- Premium version has an option to group users together so they can share files with each other
- Also, add vendors in the administrator panel and easily send files to the vendor when needed
- Can create a discussion within a file or leave comments for your personal use with their add-on
- Premium version starts from $75 and also has multiple add-ons to extend the features
File Manager Plugin For WordPress:
File Manager plugin is a premium plugin that has all the features required for document/file management. Users could create, edit and view files easily in the WordPress folder and sub-folders.
Features of File Manager Plugin For WordPress:
- Has an Advanced Image editor through which you can edit any image formats
- Also supports PSD/PDF editor
- Allows Multi-folder access, also offers front-end access for easily handling files
- Generate shortcodes for the front-end to embed files and folders
- Can set email notification to the admin when any document is uploaded and the Admin can also set user access and user Group Access Control
- $19 for Regular License
- $95 for Extended License
Best Cloud-Based Document Management Software:
eFileCabinet is one of the best premium solutions for a Document management system. It takes care of all the process from automation to workflow creation, to customization and control.
Features of eFileCabinet:
- Has a powerful Automation system that automatically recognizes and organizes the files according to the information contained in the files, so you can automate the redundant tasks like data entry, approvals, and more
- Comes with a unique workflow feature which helps you to schedule your tasks efficiently and also has an in-depth look of how your processes play out across your business
- Offers encrypted file sharing and requests, two-factor authentication, and role-based permissions and even set IP or location-based authentication
- Templates are available to customize the document folder tree throughout your system
- Accessible from your web browser or desktop application and can be stored on-site or on the cloud
- Basic – $15/Month/user Billed Annually (25 GB Storage)
- Advantage – $55/Month/user Billed Annually (1 TB Storage)
- Business – $99/Month/user Billed Annually (5 TB Storage)
- Unlimited – $199/Month/user Billed Annually (Unlimited Storage)
Dokmee is an enterprise content management platform that helps you organize, secure and manage files efficiently.
Features of Dokmee:
- Supports multiple files including PDF, TIFF, Word, Excel, Auto-CAD drawings, emails and much more
- Has a Capture feature that also allows for document imaging and data capture which acts as a full data capture tool with automated file separation, barcode recognition, OCR, etc., without having to pay per ‘click’ as other applications require
- Gives you a flexible workflow design tool helps you to build processes according to your business requirements rather than getting boxed into workflows a software developer has designed
- Multiple users can view files at the same time, along with version control for editing and revisions
- With the built-in audit log, all system and file activity is tracked and recorded for easy report generation
They offer a free demo, but you need to contact their customer support team directly for a custom quote.
If you are looking for a completely cloud-based solution, DocuWare is the right choice for you.
Features of DocuWare:
- A great option for both small and medium-sized business and its integration of cloud storage and office automation helps you to create a perfect digital workplace
- Has an Indexing feature automatically ensure all document types are filed away in the right place
- Offers Pre-configured Kinetic solutions for invoice processing and employee management allow users to get up and running in a matter of days
- The UI layout is intuitive and customizable for each business based on requirements
- With availability in 16 languages, DocuWare currently serves 14,000 customers across 90 countries with a global network of over 650 partners
The pricing works the same as Dokmee. You need to contact their team for a quote.
Open-Source Document Management system:
There are also many open-source document management software. In this article, I have chosen the best two software which would be a great solution for most business practices.
OpenKM is one of the best free and open-source document management system which manages and stores documents of any file types, anytime efficiently. It is an enterprise content management software that allows the user to turn information into valuable intellectual capital and actionable assets for the enterprise.
Features of OpenKM:
- Gives you a powerful search engine to search for documents by content, keyword, date modified, author. etc., and includes an advanced option like search by synonyms, metadata and also using Xpath and SQL.
- Can create complex workflows like workflow for review, approval, validation and supports serial and parallel workflows
- Compatible with all the common file types like text, office, open office, XMS, PDF, HTML, JPEG, and several others
- Also has a powerful version control that lets you access and even restores previous versions of the document, also can add a comment to the versions
OpenKM Community Edition is a completely free document management system.
OpenDocMan is yet another free, web-based, open-source document management system written in PHP which can run on any server that is PHP5 enabled.
Features of OpenDocMan
- Just like any other document management system, you can add any file type to the system and can also assign a category/department to each file
- Has an E-mail notification option which could be sent before and after a review
- Can create custom document properties to match your companies needs
- Add Metadata fields for each file
- The reviewer can approve or reject a new document or a changed document
- Supports multiple languages including; Chinese, Croatian, English, Dutch, Portuguese, German, Spanish and Turkish
OpenDocMan is completely free.
Hope this article helps you in getting a clear understanding of the Document management system and which software/plugin would be suitable for you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to post in the comments section below about these WordPress document management plugins.