Document Management, no simple solutions.
My Opinion: Document management systems are created by programmers with little realworld experience of how tough it is to manage thousands of documents.
My Document test location: Docs.MySmallCloud.Com Login with username Guest and Password of Password if prompted.
The trend I see in the document management industry isn't very friendly to small business with documents to manage. It really seems to be all about creating another admin role so you are forced into hiring someone to manage the software that manages your documents that you need to manage daily.
Sounds like I'll be in the "Can't get no Satisfaction" role again.
Why is it when I start to share up a few thousand documents I have to learn a new programming language, setup a private access server and build on top of my MS infrastructure? When all I really need is a simple Portal CMS site that allows me to do a ton of things without having to ask someone to program for me.
I was even looking at a eCommerce website design, upload documents based on category, check out or download the document by using the check-out. Edit the document and upload it as a new product. Seriously a good eCommerce site like eTownShopping.Com hosting Open Source software might be the best document management system around. Sort of...
The issue is time, it takes me time to upload documents, create a description, manage where it is stored and determining if it's public, private or for my gal.
I don't have time to use FrontPage or Visual Studio and develop a .Net application. I'd rather pay a opensource developer a few bucks to do up a special setup for me or to create a plugin.
Even better, I'll use my programming ability and create what I need but I need to know its opensource so I can go offline with it or online with it without that old fashioned hit of a license fee. Why would one person need to pay thousands or even $98.00 to use a glorified FrontPage Website to store documents accessible via NTLM and .Net? I have than running on a $50 server that does just fine.
The Meat in the Chili of Document Management.
It is all about your chili sauce recipe. That's right, I said "chili sauce".
That's the part of IT we also know it as the "Secret Sauce" that makes it all work as a profession.
We can't offer up a 100% free complete document management system. How would we IT pay for the IT bills? You know running 4 servers, 3 workstations and a few mobile devices aren't cheap. If you feel you can do your work for free please send me a note and I'll hire your free of charge services all afternoon. You won't last long but I'll do as many do, use your free good natured services to the point you are completely broke and out of business.
The trend I'm seeing is moving more people into SharePoint services. That's good if you can hire a full time programmer and administrator. Or if you know someone that will do it for free. Let's look at the prices of programming, $15 for a temp intern, $35 for junior, $65 for one that has all the tools, $90+ for an old timer that has seem more lines of code than Office XP has to offer.
The goal I have for you is to find a "Off the Shelf" solution or a solution that offers community support for the little issues. Then, when you need something like http://docs.mysmallcloud.com/alfresco/ setup you can ask me or a million other developers to set you up. I'll setup a temporary space so you can test the Alfresco waters just like I am. If you feel good about it, great, let's setup and get moving. If not, I have SharePoint 2010 and 2012 as well as old fashioned FTP and WebDAV.
Find your chili sauce recipe that makes your document management duties taste better. You can only mask the flavor of document management, it's always going to be "Paperwork" and "Filing" so let's flavor it up to make the perfect chili sauce recipe for your workload.