Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Document management system

A document management system (DMS) is a computer system (or set of computer programs) used to track and store electronic documents and/or images of paper documents. The term has some overlap with the concepts of content management systems. It is often viewed as a component of enterprise content management (ECM) systems and related to digital asset management, document imaging, workflow systems and records management systems.
In the broadest sense, document management systems can range from a shoebox all the way to an enterprise content management system. There are several common issues that are involved in managing documents, whether the system is an informal, ad-hoc, paper-based method for one person or if it is a formal, structured, computer enhanced system for many people across multiple offices.
Where will documents be stored? Where will people need to go to access documents? Physical journeys to filing cabinets and file rooms are analogous to the onscreen navigation required to use a document management system.
How will documents be filed? What methods will be used to organize or index the documents to assist in later retrieval? Document management systems will typically use a database to store metadata about documents and a File System to store the actual physical files.
How will documents be found? Typically, retrieval encompasses both browsing through documents and searching for specific information. What kind of information about documents are indexed for rapid retrieval?
How will documents be kept secure? How will unauthorized personnel be prevented from reading, modifying or destroying documents?
Disaster recovery
How can documents be recovered in case of destruction from fires, floods or natural disasters?
Retention period
How long should documents be kept, i.e. retained? As organizations grow and regulations increase, informal guidelines for keeping various types of documents give way to more formal records management practices.
How can documents be preserved for future readability?
How can documents be available to the people that need them?
If documents need to pass from one person to another, what are the rules for how their work should flow?
How are documents created? This question becomes important when multiple people need to collaborate, and the logistics of version control and authoring arise.
Is there a way to vouch for the authenticity of a document?
When, where and by whom are documents created, modified, published and stored?

Functions of DMS
Audit Trail
Document Security
Document Control
Adhering to Compliance

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