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We are a small software consulting firm with 10 programmers. We have many corporate contracts and paperwork that we currently organized in a big file share with hierarchical directories. This is causing some headaches (though not a ton) around the lack of being able to tag documents that could legitimately live in more than one place.

I'm wondering what solutions small-businesses have implemented AND USED for extended periods of time to get to the next step on document organization. If there was a SUPER lightweight workflow management piece as well we would try to use it, but most of what I've seen is pretty heavyweight considering that majority of the users are just the management team.

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We use worldox as a document management system. It is easy to use and integrates well with Microsof OFfice and WordPerfect. It allows you to categorize and tag documents. It also comes with a full text search that helps you find documents when you can't remember what you tagged it.

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Maybe Alfresco or Maarch is the type of solution you're looking for.

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We keep moving everything out of files and into our wiki (Atlassian Confluence), the the MS Word import module its taken everything we have thrown at it.

That obviously doesn't work for everything, but a good file structure (maintained in a VCS mostly) is enough for what's left.

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I have used SharePoint extensively over the past 18 months in several small teams, and it has worked wonderfully. It even includes both its own workflow system, and Windows Workflow Foundation.

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If you are running Windows Server 2003 or 2008 and have CALs for all your users/devices, then you already own the license to WSS 3.0. – shufler Aug 6 '09 at 15:07

Some kind of Wiki based solution could meet your requirements. Windows SharePoint Services may also be suitable (pros would be integrated AD authentication and strong Office integration), but it comes with the advance warning that if it requires any kind of customization at all it can very quickly gain a lot of admin and development overhead.

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Document management systems in my experience almost always causes users more issues than they solve. You mentioned that for the most part your existing directory structure is working. Can your issues be address by training or small tweaks to your existing solution? In most cases this approach will go over better with users and is more effective. The trap is that technology will solve all our problems...but in reality it doesn't work out that way.

We rolled out a DMS a year ago where I work and we are still making tweaks to document types, workflows, and training users. I think 95% of the users preferred the old directory structure to what we have now. I'm not saying that a DMS can't work if used for the right tasks, is setup correctly, and all the users understand how to use it. DMS systems are a bit of garbage in garbage out problem and when users don't understand what a tag or can't figure out what document type a document is you get a lot more garbage than you think.

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just search "Document Management Software" at google you will find lots of DMS provider those who offer trial version, you can chose any of them after use trial version. :)

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protected by sysadmin1138 Jul 21 '11 at 18:44

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