ELOoffice 7.0

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Wouldn't it be great if small businesses could afford one of those clever electronic document management systems? Well now they can with the well featured SMB version of ELOoffice!

My current electronic document management (EDM) system consists of a laptop with a file structure that covers the various key sectors of my business, particularly the testing project files. These files contain a mixture of Word, Excel, Acrobat and PowerPoint documents plus images and other files. This system works quite well and I can usually find items quickly, especially with Google Desktop installed, but I'm not sure if somebody else could, without knowing the context of my system.

ELOoffice 7.0 comes with a sample archive that illustrates most of the features of the system. Couple this with a very comprehensive manual with step-by-step examples and you have a good system with which to undertake a features and functionality walkthrough.

What's inside
ELO (Electronic Leitz Organiser) Digital Office GmbH was part of the Louis Leitz Group, the inventor of the lever arch file, and as such has a great heritage in providing office productivity solutions (now part of Swedish-based Esselte AB). This small business version was designed to provide much of the functionality of larger document management systems at a price within the reach of small business or home office.

Installation of the software was relatively straightforward although novice users may have trouble with some of the terminology used; for instance, using macros when creating links to other applications.

For the more technical user, a scripting tool is available so that custom functionality can be incorporated along with automation of some processes.

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Key to the operation of the application is the ELO work area (above). This is similar to many other Windows applications and is based on two main work areas. The left hand area contains the archive entries which are displayed in a conventional expanding tree structure similar to Windows Explorer. The entries provide the name or description of the filing cabinet, folder index or documents, indicated by appropriate icons. The right hand window shows the contents of the respective filing cabinet, folder etc.

New filing cabinets and folders can be quickly and easily created and items can be simply dragged and dropped between them. One of the keys to being able to rapidly find an item in the archive is through the use of a range of default indexes such as alpha and numeric, in addition the user can define frequently used indices.

There are six tabs across the work area with the Archive tab displaying all levels of filing cabinets, folders and documents; Clipboard allowing frequently used documents or favourites to be readily accessed; and Mailbox acting as a central point for the collection of documents such as scanned documents and acts as a window to the operating system. As the name implies the Searching tab provides access to a range of search capabilities including full text search; other features include "sounds like search" and wildcards. The Task tab provides a method for submitting documents to other users on the network. Finally all documents that are in use appear under the In Use tab.

In order to file paper documents ELO interfaces to a range of scanners which can be set up with user defined settings. Documents can be scanned in as individual pages and stored as separate files or they can be scanned and joined as a multi-page document.

Documents can be readily transferred to the archive directly from major applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint , Acrobat, Internet Explorer, Open Office products and many more. The linking to these applications is undertaken by installing appropriate macros. Once the macro is installed a set of icons are added to the application tool bar, (shown in the below figure, above the image of the Opera House).

Documents can be made secure through group and administrator rights and 128 bit encryption is available for particularly secure document requirements.

For larger archives, when paper documents are required to be archived, a bar code reader module is available to read barcodes from the document in the Mailbox.

ELOoffice 7.0 interfaces with a very wide range applications, has excellent scalability through professional and enterprise versions, and has local technical support. Overall it is a well featured EDM system and offered at a very good price.

Rating
4.5 out of 5
Interoperability
4.5 out of 5
ELOoffice 7.0 interfaces with a very wide range applications including scanners, OCR, barcoding and MYOB.
Futureproofing
4.5 out of 5
Excellent scalability through professional and enterprise versions along with interfaces to a wide range of other applications.
ROI
4.5 out of 5
A well featured EDM system at a very good price.
Service
4.0 out of 5
Local distributor and support.

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