Document and File Management Systems


The term document management system, or DMS, is actually a misnomer. The current generation of DMS software should actually be called file management systems because their primary purpose is to provide a more effective solution for managing all your electronic files, compared to using the traditional Windows Explorer folder system. With the exponential growth in the amount of files we are storing due to scanning and e-mail attachments, the inherent deficiencies in the Windows Explorer model are being exposed.

The first generation of DMSs from 20-plus years ago were designed primarily for the purpose of scanning paper documents and managing the storage of the document image files, which were typically stored in tagged image file format or TIFF. Today’s DMS systems are designed to manage virtually any type of file and have a much broader scope of features and functions.

From a business process perspective, the key benefit of a DMS is to allow you to access, process, and distribute files more efficiently and to provide controls that are simply not possible in the world of paper documents. The nature of how each DMS handles these functions can be quite different, so you should investigate a number of alternative solutions to gain a better understanding of the whole concept.

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