Web based Document management system have come a long way. Filenet and Documentum were a few pioneer technologies that made life easy for organizations that need to maintain loads of electronic documents. The second generation of DMS appeared in shape of client server based system which used java webstart like techniques for document hosting. Xinco is a good example. The third generations of web based DMS have appeared more like a enterprise content management solution rather than a simple DMS. Here in this post , I would discuss third generation web based DMS and the features they offer.

In open source arena, There are multiple such solution available. This multiplicity of projects have either matured as a complete enterprise DMS solution or died off after setting future roadmap for other DMS projects. I have able to sort out a few DMS solution that can serve document management requirements based on either volume or number of features they provide.

Alfresco : Alfresco is the first open source enterprise-scale document management system that includes a modern content repository, an out-of-the-box portal framework for managing and using content designed to work with standard portals, and a groundbreaking Common Internet File System (CIFS) interface that provides Microsoft Windows file system compatibility. Alfresco takes the lessons of building document management systems for the last 15 years and applied them to build an open source content management system that is easier to use, more scalable and more adaptable. Apart from being a DMS , Alfresco provides feature like web content management, records management, image management, content repository etc. . Alfresco is a direct competitor of Microsoft sharepoint 2007 and offers some better features . The search facility is far more superior in Alfresco compared to MOSS2007.

Being a ECM solution, It can be used for document management but in many a cases it proves out to be a overkill for the job. It is most suitable for integrated CMS as well as document management and complex workflow solutions in a distributed environment. Alfresco can be deployed on almost all available platform and has a very good support available

Knowledgetree : Knowledgetree is one of such open source solution that may defy alfresco by its DMS centric approach. It is the most suited DMS solution available today for handling document repository needs along with a well defined method of document classification and attaching simple workflows. Knowledgetree can be as big as deployed for organizational DMS needs or it can be as small as handling a project specific DMS requirement . The product includes advanced document version control, full text search capabilities, multiple search types and extensible metadata fields for documents and scan-to repository feature. A complete list of features is listed here.

Knowledgetree also has a very nice support available either through community or as a premium paid service subscription. KnowledgeTree Support is provided by a professional support team backed by the software and system engineers who have designed and built the product.

Nuxeo 5 : Nuxeo 5 is a robust, extensible, global, standards-based Enterprise Content Management solution available as Open Source Software (OSS). Nuxeo 5 is based on other open source software, notably from the Apache Foundation, the JBoss Group (a division of Red Hat) and the Eclipse Foundation, and developed in a truly open manner. A set of screencasts describing various features is available here

OpenKM : OpenKM is a Open Source electronic document management system, which, due to its characteristics, can be used by large companies as well as by the small ones, as a useful tool in knowledge management processing, providing a more flexible and lower-cost alternative to other proprietary applications. A exhaustive list of features is available here

One of my previous reviews on a scan-to-repository DMS solution [greenstone library] is here