An open-source document management system (DMS) is like any other open-source software, but for document management. Open-source document management systems allow businesses to digitize their operations and store their information on secure digital servers. Since open-source document management systems are freely available on the internet, they can be easily accessed, modified & updated by anyone. Users can also add or modify features of open-source document management systems by adding their own codes. Open-source DMS are like a test-run for companies that want to invest in a proprietary solution in the future.
The key difference between open-source and proprietary document management systems is that the code for open-source document management systems is available to the public. This enables users to customize the system as per their needs. But the readily available source code also poses major security concerns.
The primary reason why users choose open-source document management systems over proprietary systems is that they are freely available on the internet. So users don’t need to invest money in a system that might not work for them. Instead, users can download & use as many systems as they want, and choose the one that fits best with their business.
Users can add their own codes to the existing codes of open-source document management systems to add any features they want. This works best for a company that wants to build its own system. Another benefit of this feature is that the system is continuously evolving & improving, and there are many different versions of the system at any given time.
Think of it as purchasing a home. A home is an empty space that needs to be filled with stuff like beds & cabinets to make it livable. That’s how an open-source document management system works. Open-source document management systems need customizations and customizations take time & knowledge, both of which can be spent doing better things for the business.
Open-source document management systems can be accessed, modified & monitored by anyone. Even though users can set up a login process after downloading the system, data security is still a threat to anyone using an open-source system. Data breaches & thefts have become a major concern for businesses. Hence most big businesses opt for proprietary systems over open-source systems.
Most international certifications like International Certification for Standardization (ISO) and Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) make it mandatory for businesses to follow certain protocols like maintaining data safety & ensuring auditable document trail. Open-source document management systems don’t always provide the features necessary for obtaining or evening applying for these certifications.
Open-source document management systems don’t have a dedicated team managing the system’s backend operations and mostly rely on users to highlight bugs & create fixes. The lack of technical support is not a viable option for most businesses that don’t want to waste their working hours.
Open DocMan has all the common document management features like workflow automation, advanced search & document organization. Open DocMan was developed under the guidelines of General Public License (GPL) and hence can be modified to suit different business needs.
Like LogicalDoc, OpenKM too has a community edition for users looking for a free & customisable document management solution. OpenKM has features like mobile access & workflow creation and is compatible with multiple operating systems like Windows & Mac.
Alfresco Community Edition is developed by Alfresco Content Services. It is written in Java and uses PostgreSQL. It is compatible with multiple operating systems like Windows & Unix, and has a web interface as well as a mobile app. Alfresco Community Edition, similar to its commercial version, makes it easy to collaborate with tools such as task lists, version tracking & team sites.
Proprietary systems are owned & developed by a team of individuals who, thanks to their years of experience in the subject, have a detailed understanding of aspects like customer requirements, interface design & more. There are plenty of proprietary systems available on the internet for varying costs. Most proprietary systems also allow you to take a free trial. The best alternative to open-source document management systems is proprietary systems like GLOBODOX.
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