Document Managment

A document management system (DMS) is a computer system used to track and store electronic documents and/or images of paper documents. It is often viewed as a component of Enterprise Content Management Systems and related to Digital Asset Management, Document imaging, Workflow systems and Records Management systems.

DMS Components
Metadata: Metadata is typically stored for each document. Metadata may, for example, include the date the document was stored and the identity of the user storing it.
Integration: DMS attempt to integrate document management directly into other applications, so that users may retrieve existing documents directly from the document management system repository. Such integration is commonly available for office suites and e-mail or collaboration/groupware software.
Capture: Images of paper documents using scanners or multifunction printers.
Indexing: Track electronic documents.
Storage: Store electronic documents. Storage of the documents often includes management of those same documents; where they are stored, for how long, migration of the documents from one storage media to another (Hierarchical storage management) and eventual document destruction.
Retrieval: Retrieve the electronic documents from the storage.
Security: Protection and security of electronic documents.
Workflow: Workflow is a complex problem.  Manual workflow requires a user to view the document and decide who to send it to. Rules-based workflow allows an administrator to create a rule that dictates the flow of the document through an organization: for instance, an invoice passes through an approval process and then is routed to the accounts payable department. Dynamic rules allow for branches to be created in a workflow process. A simple example would be to enter an invoice amount and if the amount is lower than a certain set amount, it follows different routes through the organization.
Collaboration: Documents should be capable of being retrieved by an authorized user and worked on. Access should be blocked to other users while work is being performed on the document.
Versioning: Versioning is a process by which documents are checked in or out of the document management system, allowing users to retrieve previous versions and to continue work from a selected point.

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