Simple to use Document Management System?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by notjustjay, May 16, 2007.

  1. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    So here's the scoop. I volunteer with an organization (a summer camp) that is having real trouble keeping track of documents. We're all volunteers, and people come and go, so over time we quickly lose track of things -- did we have a policy written out for this? Who's got the original Word document? etc.

    I thought we'd solve this problem by having a Content Management System in the form of a dokuWiki, but people find this difficult to use -- remember these are kindly volunteers, not web geeks like me. :)

    Here is, ideally, what I want in a document management system.

    * Ability to work with popular file types like Word, Excel, etc.

    * Simple, visual, hierarchical filing system. Make it very, very easy to find a document and open it or download it.

    * Primary focus on READING and/or DOWNLOADING documents. We will type things up, post them in our repository and keep them there for easy access. I don't want a cluttered page full of statistics and view counts and checkout history -- I just want a newbie user to be able to find the document, click it, and view it.

    * That said, I do want easy ability to upload changes. This will not happen frequently, and it could be done by any one of our authorized board members, so I want the process to be as painless as possible. Login, download the document, make the change, upload it back.

    * Make it very, very easy to ADD a new document.

    * Version control, but as transparent as possible. These more advanced options can be tucked away in a menu somewhere for those who know what they are doing, but for everyone else, again, it should be a piece of cake to download a document, make a change, and upload it back.

    * Site-wide keyword search (with supported document types).

    * (Is this possible?) In-line editing of popular document formats? If this is possible it would save most people from even the whole process of download-edit-upload. Maybe send the content to FCKEditor or some such. Whatever it is, should be WYSIWYG, no visible markup tags or anything.

    * Tiered access control. Ideally one section of our site would be for documents accessible to anyone (and editable only by authorized users). Another section would be for board members' eyes only. This is probably a given in most DMS's but even if it isn't it's not a big deal, we can do what we need using .htaccess.

    * PHP based. Since we're uploading a pile of Word docs it would be nice if they were filed somewhere on the server that I can easily FTP in and do backups, and give hard links to people to download.

    I was looking at the website for DocMGR, which looks like it might fit the bill. There's another one out there called Knowledge Tree that looks interesting. Any feedback or suggestions?
  2. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I've never been a fan of web based document management.

    Have you simply considered using a web host that supports WebDAV? Each user simply mounts the share like a network drive and works as they would normally.

    Just a thought.
  3. notjustjay thread starter macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    That would be interesting. Our current webhost doesn't support it, though.

    I'm not a huge fan of web based systems either, but for an organization like us it makes sense. All of our board members and leaders are volunteers, and we "work" out of our own homes. As such the organization really has no "office" or any central place where we could put a filing cabinet of papers. Stuff like that gets shuffled around and eventually things get lost. At least this way the website becomes a virtual office where we know our soft copies are.

    The problem with our existing CMS, a wiki, is that users have a hard time learning wiki code and the resulting document is web-ready but not print-ready. Ideally they could sit down in Word, which they already know how to do, and then just "post" the file online when done.

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