Sunday, December 26, 2010

Document Management

So, with the new year here and various things going on in my personal life the need to be more organized has made itself quite obvious. To that end, I've finally implemented the document management system I've been meaning to get around to. Allow me to explain what a Document Management System (DMS) is and how I was able to set one up.

A DMS is a software suite that will allow you to store documents in a digital form and allow you to organize them, quickly find them, and do neat things like send them to your phone or access them from anywhere in the world (if you so desire). For more information on the definition of a DMS, see Wikipedia. Both a CMS (Content Managment System) and a KMS (Knowledge Management System) can serve the function of a DMS.

Perhaps the simplest way to get a DMS running is to use one provided online. Google Docs and Microsoft Office Live are both forms of a DMS in addition to being an Office suite. This is probably the best solution if you want to be able to access your documents via the internet.

Another option is to run your own DMS on your PC or your local network. Wikipedia has a list of CMS's. The system I chose was OpenKM. It was very easy to setup. All you need to do is download and extract the program, then run the "run" script for your system. I chose to set this up inside of a VirtualBox running Ubuntu Linux. Virtual Box and Linux are both free to use and what makes it even easier is that has prebuilt images for you to use. OpenKM supports mobile devices including android and iPhone, it allows you to scan documents directly from the browser, allows you to drag and drop from your desktop and much more. And best of all, it's free. One thing to keep in mind if you are going to be using virtual box is that you need to setup your local machine to port forward to the virtual box. You can read about how to do that here.

Here's a complete list of features for OpenKM. Good luck in your document management endeavors!