Dancing with documents

Collaboration, records management, and workflow are just some of the features in current electronic document management software. We examine your options.



Collaboration, records management, and workflow are just some of the features in current electronic document management software. We examine your options.


Contents
Objective
DocuShare
Hummingbird
DocBanq
Interwoven
SmartLibrary
Trim
Specifications
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

What's your filing system like? How are you coping, in the era of the paperless office, with all the paper you still have deal with? How similar are your electronic and physical paper filing systems?

The latest electronic document management systems (EDMS) provide a wide range of solutions to these common yet critical questions.

Modern EDMS are able to deal with the wide range of electronic records. When combined with effective records management capability, an EDMS can provide a whole-of-document lifecycle solution from creation to filing, versioning, retrieval and display through to controlled disposal, ensuring the availability of the most recent version of documents and a document history (crucial to most organisations).

Over and above the capability to produce better productivity by having well-organised access to both electronic and physical records, there are compliance issues that organisations need to address.

The seven packages submitted for review covered a wide range of features and capabilities providing effective document management solutions for organisations from small businesses through to large enterprises. Several of the products were components of overall enterprise-level content management solutions offering extremely powerful capabilities to all aspects of the business.

Several of the products reviewed provide a workflow capability that enables you to track business processes and see how they relate to documents throughout the lifecycle.


Contents
Introduction
Objective
DocuShare
Hummingbird
DocBanq
Interwoven
SmartLibrary
Trim
Specifications
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

Objective v6

This review was conducted using the current version of Objective, however, the company is about to launch version 7. Objective can handle virtually any kind of information object from word processing to CAD applications. In addition, it includes features to create an electronic record to help track and control physical assets, such as software or legal evidence.

A wide range of modules are available that can be combined to provide integrated solutions. The Foundation module provides the system's infrastructure and includes user interface, security, audit trails, meta-data definition, user management and searching. Electronic documents can be captured manually, or automatically using ODMA-supported applications. Physical/paper documents can be captured, and further processed using imaging and/or optical character recognition (OCR), or through the creation of PDFs.

The electronic document management (EDM) module is used to manage the entire document lifecycle. Users can create and revise documents, send documents to peers or management for review and, once approved, can publish documents to the organisation, an intranet or the Internet. All objects are subject to version control, security and capture of metadata. This provides a comprehensive audit trail for evidentiary proof of compliance with industry standards and regulations. EDM allows the creation of an electronic record to help track and control other physical assets, letters, faxes, receipts, or legal evidence.

The Records module provides the ability to manage both physical and electronic records within a single solution. This provides accountability of business records and effective lifecycle management.

The server and client packages were easy to install and we were quickly into the Foundation first screen which was simple and intuitive. The interface is simple to use and is easy to customise for the individual user preferences.

For this review we were provided with the Windows Interface version which is designed to Microsoft Windows design standards. Users access information through their own personal workspace, much like an Explorer window and can store shortcuts to information they require within their own personal area. In addition, a portal interface delivered by a browser is available. Organisations can choose a preferred interface or a mixture of the individual interfaces may be used.

Search functionality was simple to understand and use. The basic search allows the selection of object type (ie folders, documents and so on) together with search criteria to define the information sought. The Workflow module provides a graphical user interface that allows business process to be represented in a flow chart in order to automate work processes.

Product Objective
Price The GSAS Panel list pricing for all user modules is AU$1877 +GST per seat plus server software.
Vendor Objective
Phone (02) 9955 2288
Web www.objective.com
Interoperability
Objective runs on a wide range OS and works with major ODMA supported office products.
Futureproofing
A full range of modules to provide links into other applications (Xlinks) is available and a set of APIs provides programmers with a facility allowing for custom development in several programming languages.
ROI
½
Objective provides a comprehensive enterprise level product at a reasonable price.
Service
Objective provides a range of support services including user group, upgrade and support program and consulting support program. Users can access online or telephone to a support centre.
Rating
Objective v6

Click to enlarge


Contents
Introduction
Objective
DocuShare
Hummingbird
DocBanq
Interwoven
SmartLibrary
Trim
Specifications
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

DocuShare v4

DocuShare 4 is to be launched in a couple of month's time. The DocuShare product is a Web-based application that provides a complete document management system that allows the user to have full control over documentation versions, access, and archiving.

Being a Web-based product widens the choice of platform to basically anything that will support a browser. In addition, DocuShare will run on most common browser types.

As you might expect, DocuShare can be tightly integrated with Xerox multifunction systems providing scan solutions to deliver end-to-end document lifecycle management solution from a single vendor.

Records management is based on the optional add-on DB2 Records Manager which enables users to declare, classify, manage, and dismiss electronic records within the DocuShare environment.

The browser interface is very clean looking and was intuitive to use. The interface makes good use of white space making it easy to read. A breadcrumb navigation trail provides the user with feedback, showing where they are in the site and gives a quick navigational control to retrace your path rather than clicking the browser back button.

DocuShare uses the Verity K2 search engine for indexing and content location.This provides search features such as full text and metadata search, indexing of over 200 content types, including MS Office, Lotus, HTML, as well as the ability to carrying out image, single word or text string searches.

DocuShare supports document-related collaboration and offers interfaces to leading office and e-mail applications. It also provides threaded discussions, calendars, group spaces, tasks, and notifications.

DocuShare offers a number of collaborative capabilities such as user or group-managed collaborative spaces, with integrated access to content, management of e-mail threads and discussions. This is facilitated through integration with Microsoft Outlook as well as document routing and support for advanced workflow functionality (using a workflow add-on module).

This workflow capability allows many document-related business processes to be automated for significantly improved efficiency. This includes support for parallel and serial routing, splits and merges, conditional workflows, exception-driven workflows, and sub-workflows.

Product DocuShare v4.01
Price 10 users + 1 guest RRP AU$7000, 100 users + 10 guests RRP AU$17,000
Vendor Fuji Xerox
Phone (02) 9856 5000
Web www.fujixerox.com.au
Interoperability
A wide range of server OS supported, client is browser based and runs on most recent browsers.
Futureproofing
Feature set improved through use of a number add-ons and third-party
products.
ROI
Developer environment provides additional ways for customising, creating batch processes and integration with third-party products.
Service
½
Online Support Assistant, 30-day initial support following installation, contract provides ongoing support.
Rating
½
DocuShare v4

Click to enlarge


Contents
Introduction
Objective
DocuShare
Hummingbird
DocBanq
Interwoven
SmartLibrary
Trim
Specifications
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

Hummingbird

The Hummingbird document management system is a component of an enterprise level integrated content management system. The key components of the system include automated e-mail management, records management, collaboration, document imaging, workflow/business process management, and engineering document management.

The system provides a number of familiar user interfaces such as the Windows Explorer, Outlook, and browser. In addition, users can create, edit, search for, and retrieve documents from within applications such as Corel WordPerfect, Lotus Notes, and Microsoft Word.

In common with several of the other packages reviewed, Hummingbird offers a number of interfaces so that content is transparently accessible by different user groups in an organisation through a range of interfaces familiar to the particular group.

The Webtop and browser interfaces are easy to use and intuitive. The Webtop uses a standard browser as the basis for delivery. It is designed to be compatible with Internet Explorer 5.5+ (although there are a couple of limitations such as the back button and refresh do not function). The Webtop works with the DM server to transform an HTTP server into a DM client using Active Server Pages (ASP), which allows for customisation and high performance.

The tree view allows access to different libraries, including the Quick Searches for those libraries, and work with documents using workspaces and a drag-and-drop feature.

The search field on the right side of the navigation pane provides access to an instant document search by entering a document number or search criteria and clicking the Perform Search icon -- but it will only find words that are an exact match for the criteria entered.

The desktop view is quite similar using three panes to indicate the overall document tree structure, the contents of a particular folder together with a display of a particular document.

Hummingbird has extensive workflow and business process management capabilities. It uses a graphical input method that is powerful yet simple to use and understand.

The visual representation of the workflow provides a simple way of defining and designing the process and it also provides feedback as to where the system is at in process through coloured indicators.

Product Hummingbird
Price AU$680/individual named user enterprise DM
Vendor Hummingbird
Phone (02) 9923 2011
Web www.hummingbird.com.au
Interoperability
A wide range of network OS supported.
Futureproofing
A comprehensive array of options and add-ons are available covering most aspects of enterprise content and cocument management.
ROI
Reasonably priced with a wide expansion capability.
Service
A wide range of support contracts available providing options for number of cases per contract term, 24-hour availability and 1-8 hour response.
Rating
Hummingbird

Click to enlarge


Contents
Introduction
Objective
DocuShare
Hummingbird
DocBanq
Interwoven
SmartLibrary
Trim
Specifications
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

DocBanq

This product is different to the others reviewed as it is provided as a managed service operating from a secure datacentre and delivered via the Internet or dedicated communications link.

DocBanq uses Bullant Remote to look at the application running on the central server not the client.

The Bullant Remote is a high-level thin-client for Internet and mobile devices, including PCs, PDAs, and mobile phones. The Remote enables Java or Bullant server applications to present high-quality graphical user interfaces on these devices.

The Remote achieves this without downloading applets or application code and consumes far less bandwidth than HTML based applications.

To use DocBanq users must first download and install the Bullant Remote, a small (2.4 MB) .exe file, from the DocBanq site. Then you simply enter the appropriate DocBanq URL into your browser to open the remote. The "home" screen is very Windows-Explorer like using the typical tree structure and associated content pane. The design is simple, clean and uses meaningful icons. Control is through item select on mouse left click followed by right click for function selection.

Unlike some of the other systems reviewed you cannot create new documents from within DocBanq. The documents must be prepared using normal document tools such as Word, Excel and then saved.

Clicking the Users tab provides a hierarchical list of the various user groups in the left pane. Selecting one of theses groups will display the members of that Group in the right pane. Left-clicking a group in the tree allows the setting of Group Properties, Membership of that Groups and a delete. Right-clicking a group member in the right pane allows User Membership to be displayed, reset or change of password, delete and display of user properties.

The Docbanq search function was quite easy to use and an "add criteria" button allows multiple criteria to be set.

Product DocBanq
Price From AU$8900
Vendor DocBanq
Phone (02) 9455 0537
Web www.docbanq.com
Interoperability
A wide range of OS supported through the Bullant Remote including Windows and Linux as well as mobile devices.
Futureproofing
½
The feature set is not as extensive as some of the other products with not as many options available but provides a good path into document management.
ROI
Relatively inexpensive but not as feature packed as some of the more expensive competition.
Service
½
As a managed service, availability issues are critical and receive utmost priority. Other user queries within 24 hours. No maintenance fees.
Rating
½
DocBanq

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Contents
Introduction
Objective
DocuShare
Hummingbird
DocBanq
Interwoven
SmartLibrary
Trim
Specifications
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

Interwoven

Interwoven provides a full range of enterprise content management solutions including the WorkSite product that offers comprehensive collaborative document management functions such as check-in/check-out, version control, audit trails, archiving, categorisation, full text, and meta data searches.

Worksite is an easy-to-use, out-of-the box document routing and approval system that enables simultaneous and faster processing.

As with several of the other packages reviewed, users can interface with the WorkSite server via either desktop or browser-based user interfaces including Desksite, a desktop document management application that is fully integrated with Microsoft Office applications. Extensions are available that provide integration with Lotus Notes and Novell GroupWise.

For users wishing to use an Outlook interface, Interwoven provide MailSite which is fully integrated with Microsoft Outlook and Office. Users requiring a browser interface may use the WorkDocs Web-based document management.

These applications offer tight integration with popular Windows applications such as Microsoft Office, WordPerfect, Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, and Novell GroupWise.

Users can create a new document, open an existing document, save a document as a new version, change profile information, and perform many other document management functions without leaving their familiar application interface.

Interwoven also has simple and advanced search functionality on every inter face along with collaboration features, and a portal capability that allows for single sign-on from the interface and access to personalised portal pages to track documents and tasks together with project and document notices.

Product Interwoven
Price AU$10,000 for approx 40 users
Vendor Informsys
Phone (02) 9223-9299
Web www.informsys.com.au
Interoperability
An extensive range of network OS supported.
Futureproofing
A comprehensive set of features available either out of box or through add-ons and third-party products.
ROI
Appears to provide good value for money with a very wide range of features. Good expansion potential.
Service
Maintenance agreement includes all patches and minor upgrades and two level of support with phone response 1 or 2 hours, 24x7 or 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, Web/e-mail response 1 or 2 days.
Rating
Interwoven

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Contents
Introduction
Objective
DocuShare
Hummingbird
DocBanq
Interwoven
SmartLibrary
Trim
Specifications
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

SmartLibrary

SmartLibrary is built on the Microsoft Sharepoint Portal Server 2003 and Windows Sharepoint Services document, form and picture libraries to provide document management and workflow. It includes features such as document versioning, approval workflow, check in and check out, document profiling, and publishing with the aim of easy collaboration.

SmartLibrary uses a browser interface and the interface design is quite straight forward. Documents can be viewed as a list or in a Windows Explorer format. It provides an audit trail of actions performed on documents. Information tracked includes the time the action took place, user information, action performed, and the location of the document.

SmartLibrary uses a graphical interface to implement workflow that is quite easy to use. Workflow status is indicated by a colour status or Workflow Key. Workflow statistics are available before, during, and after the particular workflow has completed.

The system provides for serial or parallel approval at the document or folder level as well as progress reporting, reviewer comments and customisable alerts for items such as approval, completed, escalation and so on via e-mail.

SmartLibrary permissions can be can be assigned in a number of ways -- globally (site wide), to individuals or assigned to specific document libraries.

Product SmartLibrary
Price AU$8745
Vendor Nintex
Phone (03) 9606 9222
Web www.nintex.com.au
Interoperability
Built on Microsoft Sharepoint and runs on Windows server 2003.
Futureproofing
½
The feature set is not as extensive as some and the potential to integrate additional features not as extensive either.
ROI
½
Relatively inexpensive but not as feature packed as some of the more expensive competition.
Service
½
12-month warranty, maintenance agreement includes all patches and minor upgrades and support 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Rating
½
Smart Library

Click to enlarge


Contents
Introduction
Objective
DocuShare
Hummingbird
DocBanq
Interwoven
SmartLibrary
Trim
Specifications
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

Trim

We found that the Trim installation process was particularly simple and intuitive. Trim works directly with ODMA applications such as Word, Excel Powerpoint as well as major e-mail packages such as Outlook and Groupwise.

The Trim Desktop provides users with a convenient and intuitive way to search for records, open them, and then edit them using a double click on the document. Records can be accessed in a number of ways and documents can be saved directly into Trim ODMA-compliant applications such as Word and Excel. Similarly documents can be directly opened from within Desktop for editing in the appropriate application using normal Windows save dialogs.

If you have existing documents on a local or networked directory they can be easily transferred into Trim using standard actions such as Drag & Drop, Send, or using a Document Queue.

The software has a number of search methods that provide for basic searching as well as ways of refining search result lists to narrow down to the items being looked for.

Trim provides records management for paper-based and electronic documents. This includes tracking of both physical and electronic records, automatic capture and classification of records, structured and controlled metadata extraction/analysis, records lifecycle management and support, and complete audits of the record lifecycle.

The Trim Workflow module allows users to automate and track the routing of a business process in an organisation. Users may set up workflow projects, then attach records to the Workflow. This functionality helps manage the approval of documents, the handling of correspondence, purchase orders, Freedom of Information requests, and accident reports.

Generating a workflow is quite a straight-forward process using templates and a graphical process manager and viewer providing process workflow structure support, including branching/parallel workflow, looping, and decision points. In addition resource management enables delegation, supervision, automatic allocation, and monitoring.

Product Trim
Price Four concurrent users AU$11,268 +AU$2028 yearly maintenance; 40 concurrent users AU$43,384 + AU$7809 yearly maintenance; 200 concurrent users AU$132,165 + AU$23790 yearly maintenance; 400 concurrent users AU$238,645 + AU$42,956 yearly maintenance; 4000 concurrent users AU$1123485 + AU$202,227 yearly maintenance
Vendor Tower Software
Phone (02) 6245 2100
Web www.towersoft.com.au
Interoperability
Wide range of network operating system support but mainly through ODBC server/database configurations.
Futureproofing
A wide range of features with additional enhancements to the standard package readily available.
ROI
½
A very comprehensive solution but the most expensive tested.
Service
90-day warranty; the support package includes hotline support between 8:30am and 5:30pm (EST).
Rating
½
Trim

Click to enlarge

Specifications

Product DocBanq Docushare Hummingbird Interwoven SmartLibrary Objective Trim
Distributor DocBanq Fuji Xerox Australia Hummingbird Australia Inform Systems Australia Nintex Objective Corporation Tower software
File types handled All All All All Office Files, Images, PDF All All
Security (permission levels, passwords, etc) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Accessability No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Records Management Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Calendar support No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Subscription support No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Collaboration No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mobility Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Workflow support No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Support for physical records Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Bar code support Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
XML Capability Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Integration with Enterprise Applications No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bulletin board support No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Server OS supported N/A Windows 2000 SP4, 2003 Server SP1, Sun Solaris 8,9, Linux Redhat AS 2.1, ES 3, SUSE Linux Standard and enterprise server, Version 8 Windows 2000 Server
Windows 2003 Server
Windows, Linux, Unix Yes Solaris and Windows Operating Systems. Microsoft Windows, NT4, 2000, XP, Windows 2003.
Client OS supported Windows Windows 2000, XP and higher, Mac (Web only) Windows 2000 Client, Windows XP, Citrix Windows No Windows and Web client Microsoft Windows NT4, 2000, XP.
Web client Bullant Remote Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 SP@ or higher, Netspace Navigator 6.x or higher, Mozilla 1.7.1, Mozilla Firefox 1.0, Opera 7.52 Internet Explorer 5.5 and above. IE, Netscape Yes Yes Yes
ODMA compliant No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Document scanning functionality (standard or optional) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


Contents
Introduction
Objective
DocuShare
Hummingbird
DocBanq
Interwoven
SmartLibrary
Trim
Specifications
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

Sample scenario

This company wants to standardise on an enterprise-wide document management system, with a focus on paper elimination, electronic capture of data, and workflow monitoring.

Approximate budget: Open

Requires: A document management system that includes the following features: version control, collaboration, audit trails, archiving, and Meta data searches.

Concern: Integration with existing office software.

Click here to see our Editor's Choice document management system.








Contents
Introduction
Objective
DocuShare
Hummingbird
DocBanq
Interwoven
SmartLibrary
Trim
Specifications
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

T&B Editor's choice
Editor's choice

A number of the products reviewed will provide a very comprehensive solution to the scenario -- and then some!

The major packages are very serious enterprise-level solutions to document management with features or add-ons to provide interface to other major applications such as SAP. Their capability doesn't stop there as they offer a range of other options including business intelligence, knowledge management and Web content management solutions as well.

In this extremely competitive market place picking a clear winner is almost impossible. It is a dead heat between Interwoven and Hummingbird. DocuShare, Objective and Trim coming a close second.

Also don't discount Docbanq or SmartLibrary as a solution if you are a smaller business and have limited budget for investing in infrastructure.

This article was first published in Technology & Business magazine.
Click here for subscription information.



Contents
Introduction
Objective
DocuShare
Hummingbird
DocBanq
Interwoven
SmartLibrary
Trim
Specifications
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

About RMIT IT Test Labs

RMIT IT Test Labs
RMIT IT Test Labs is an independent testing institution based in Melbourne, Victoria, performing IT product testing for clients such as IBM, Coles-Myer, and a wide variety of government bodies. In the Labs' testing for T&B, they are in direct contact with the clients supplying products and the magazine is responsible for the full cost of the testing. The findings are the Labs' own -- only the specifications of the products to be tested are provided by the magazine. For more information on RMIT, please contact the Lab Manager, Steven Turvey.

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