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What Features should I look for in Document Retrieval Software?

There are many document retrieval systems on the market. Below is an outline of basic features you should look for when investing in a document imaging solution.

Security
Document retrieval software within a medium to large organization requires in built security. An organization is usually made up of different divisions or groups that require access to different documents. Employees within the organization may also require the ability to look at certain document and others may be restricted from looking at these documents. For instance Payroll may have access to documents, which have employee salary details, tax file numbers, and other personal documents that other employees do not need or have an interest in. These documents are allocated a security level that only those in Payroll can view.

As well as the documents having security levels as part of their attributes, some document retrieval software includes document level logging facilities. Access to documents by users can be stored in a record so that management can see who has been accessing the files if need be.

Support Electronic Documents Of Different Types.
Document retrieval does not stop at paper documents converted to electronic images. A document is a container for information. Documents exist as paper files scanned images, electronic files and printed statements. A good document retrieval system needs to support other objects such as video clips, sound files, photos, HTML files, presentations, images, and office suite documents such as Microsoft Word and Excel files.

Users need to be able to add objects from their pc’s so that relevant information can be added to the document retrieval system. These objects are indexed and uploaded to the system for searching by others. They can be linked to other documents so that users can gather related information quickly and easily in one spot. No longer do users need to visit different areas to gather all the pieces of information they require to carry out their day-to-day job.

Support on-line and off-line storage.
The goal of any document management system is to take a paper document, scan it through a scanner, and convert it to an electronic document, which can easily be searched, retrieved and shared with other people across a network, the internet, or an intranet. Eventually, the documents will be removed from the active system and archived. Therefore a document management system must support active documents, those that are being accessed or will be accessed quite frequently and those that are not accessed frequently.

Depending on volumes of document, active documents will be stored on a server. This enables instant access to documents over your network. Archived documents can be stored on tape, CD, DVD or some other mass storage device. The document indexes continue to be stored in the main document management system, however if the document image is required it is retrieved from the mass storage device manually or through a jukebox. With hard disk storage costs dropping, the amount of active documents being stored is increasing reducing the amount of offline documents.




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