Dancing with documents

Dancing with documents

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


Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT


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
A wide range of network OS supported.
A comprehensive array of options and add-ons are available covering most aspects of enterprise content and cocument management.
Reasonably priced with a wide expansion capability.
A wide range of support contracts available providing options for number of cases per contract term, 24-hour availability and 1-8 hour response.
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Topics: Software, CXO, Data Management, Enterprise Software

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1 comment
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  • Electronic Document Management

    While your reviews on EDMS options are solid they fail to take in to account the biggest users of these packages in Australia are Engineering biased.

    Most of the packages reviewed I found found to be nearly useless in an Engineering Environment.

    One, named after a bird, can not store more than one electronic file to a profile (essential for storing the native and a image file of the signed original) and can only manage one to one relationships in its database which is not good for correspondence let alone a drawing with say 100 equipment tag numbers to be related to it.

    I suggest you also look at products such as Documentum, Filenet (both the McLaren add-on), ProArc and Assai to name a very few.

    The other issue is that engineering is also moving rapidly away from CAD centric applications to datacentric design tools and your reviews make not mention of the future in this regard. Look at, for example, SmartPlant Foundation and Aveva products.