Introductory information on many aspects of bitfarm-Archiv Document Management can be found in our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). If your questions are not answered in the FAQs, we will gladly be of assistance via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (+49 (0)271 / 31 396 - 0).
Frequently asked questions
- Is bitfarm-Archiv DMS more complicated than other DMS/ECM systems?
- What are the advantages of the Open Source concept?
- Is there a guarantee or warranty for licence fee free software?
- Do I need to have programming experience in order to work with the GPL or the Enterprise Version?
- Does a DMS introduction with bitfarm-Archiv DMS take longer than with other systems?
- bitfarm-Archiv DMS does not have affiliated businesses in every region. How can bitfarm GmbH guarantee a prompt support or SLA?
- What differentiates bitfarm-Archiv DMS from its competitors?
- Can documents from other DMS / Archive Systems be transferred to bitfarm-Archiv?
- What should be taken into consideration when introducing a DMS?
- How scalable is the solution?
- Which platforms are supported?
- How do I benefit from this software? Who can profit from using a DMS?
- What about the ROI (Return on Invest) in regards to bitfarm-Archiv?
- Is there a version for single-position systems?
- What recommendations are there for a server?
- Which scanner does bitfarm recommend?
- Which e-mail and fax systems work well with bitfarm-Archiv DMS?
- Can I also manage my contacts and appointments with bitfarm-Archiv?
- Does bitfarm-Archiv also offer a web interface?
- Does bitfarm-Archiv also work with Office systems?
- What about the collaboration with ERP / PPC / CRM and other important operational software systems?
- Does bitfarm-Archiv work with DATEV?
- Can I have the documents of a process shown directly from my ERP?
- Is bitfarm-Archiv audit-proof?
- Can I destroy my original receipts, when I use an archiving system?
- How do I retrieve my documents later?
- Can I install the software myself?
- What services does bitfarm GmbH and their affiliated partners offer and what is recommended?
- Can documents be exported into self-supporting archives?
- Can I delete documents?
- What does the authorisation concept look like?
- What possibilities for administration are there?
- How does bitfarm-Archiv DMS support controlling?
- How are processes automated? What is a workflow?
- Are there pre-set business template?
- Is there a duplicate check?
- Can documents also be processed "en masse"?
- Do I get notified when a new document is ready for me in the DMS?
- Can bitfarm-Archiv do a full-text search?
- What possibilities are there for tagging / classification?
- Can classification also be automated?
- How can I account for paper documents, e.g. the inbox, most effectively?
- Which formats for files that are to be archived are supported and which formats does bitfarm-Archiv use internally?
- Does the system support multiple clients?
- Can you establish a version control with bitfarm-Archiv DMS?
- Are "dual control" principle and ISO-9001-workflows supported?
- Can document lists be issued in Excel for an evaluation?
- Can the interface be customised?
- Can I capture further information in addition to the electronic documents, e.g. notes?
- What costs are incurred with the introduction of the system?
- Is there a demo-version?
- What functions does the Enterprise-Version contain, that the GPL-Version does not contain?
- How do I get the GPL- or Enterprise-Version?
- What support does bitfarm GmbH offer for the GPL- or Enterprise-Version?
- Since when is bitfarm-Archiv being developed and what is the current version number?
- What licence fees are incurred for the Enterprise-Version?
Questions & answers
No, it is not. bitfarm-Archiv DMS offers a whole range of configuration possibilities to depict general and specific requirements of various industries. Thus, the system is a complex piece of software that one needs to get into, if one wants to know and use all the possibilities. But the DMS is not any more complicated than other DMS systems of the Enterprise Class; functions can usually be set via corresponding configuration tools. The system is also not more complicated because it is based on Open Source. Open Source only offers more influence and adaptability as opposed to Closed Source systems, which can be decisive in a business-essential software system.
On the customer's side, the Open Source concept's advantages are certainly the lack of licence fees, which helps keep the overall price of the system at a comparatively reasonable and economic level. What should not be disregarded, though, is that Open Source software can also be adapted to very specific requirements. This advantage also improves the future security; "no can do" is not a question with Open Source. Also, the client is not bound to a provider "for better or for worse". With corresponding IT specialists the system can be adjusted without the help of the producer.
bitfarm-Archiv Document Management uses open standards, which allows re-accessing data. Which Closed Source producer can offer such future security? Perhaps an argument one should spend some time thinking about nowadays. After all, a DMS quickly turns into a universal source for information within a company; its meaning, thus, increases. On the producer's side, one can help one's self from the pool of free software, which means the wheel does not have to be reinvented every time. In addition, the stability of free software components is very good, because a large number of users and developers (community) find every flaw.
The best example is the free database MySQL, which has proven itself a thousand times in business settings for years. bitfarm-Archiv also uses MySQL. Using Open Source software, thus, enhances the profitability of software development. The savings get passed on to the customer. A further advantage is the fact that nobody is trying to make a short-term "quick profit" with Open Source software. Therefore, through the lack of licence fees, positive, long-term customer relations are the goal of every Open Source provider.
The same laws apply to licence fee free Open Source and every other software. The product liability law is applicable, whether licence fees are demanded or not. This also applies to the warranty. Thus, every flaw and bug in the system is immediately fixed and patches and updates are made available to the client free of charge. bitfarm GmbH also gives a guarantee on the entire system, if it was installed by a bitfarm employee.
Programming skills are not required, when wanting to work with the DMS. Every function is available as a full-fledged graphic menu. The software can be installed "out of the box" and can be used immediately. Programming skills are also unnecessary on the side of the administration. Programming would only be necessary when special adjustments were to be made. In this case, plugins can be installed as release-proof parts of the programme, e.g. in the form of scripts. All functions that can be taken from this website and the corresponding documentations and accompanying materials, are fully fledged and part of the complete software package.
The DMS introduction does not take longer with bitfarm-Archiv DMS than with other document management systems under the same requirements. bitfarm-Archiv DMS offers many useful functions, which were developed over years according to customer needs. The requirements may have increased in the mean time and the possibilities may now want to be fully exhausted. The more fine-tuning to the system is to be made, the more time is needed in the beginning. Time which is well spent, considering that fine-tuning by automating and adjusting the system - e.g. the menus - can save the user hundreds of mouse clicks. Time, which can be saved many times over in processing. The easy and intuitive - typical Windows - programme interface reduces the training extent, so that bitfarm-Archiv DMS may have a time advantage during the introduction already.
bitfarm-Archiv DMS does not have affiliated businesses in every region. How can bitfarm GmbH guarantee a prompt support or SLA?
bitfarm-Archiv Document Management mainly uses modern remote servicing possibilities to provide DMS support. On the one hand, bitfarm-specific tools are available, so that the client does not have additional expenses. On the other hand, bitfarm naturally also uses other possibilities, in case the client had any special requests and/or guidelines. This way, a bitfarm consultant/technician can virtually be on-site within a few seconds and give support. Bitfarm has an appropriate pool of support personnel, so that special SLAs and arrangements with customers can always be observed. An on-site visit, thus, only takes place once for a few days during system introduction, whereby the client can demand on-site support instead of remote servicing at any time, if required.
The Open Source development idea, for one. From the expenses' side, this is an economic system in its acquisition and its operation. Open Source also offers future security through adaptability and open standards (not open in the sense of "unsafe", naturally there are safety mechanisms, password protection etc.). Adaptability is a further difference; the bitfarm-Archiv DMS offers many functions, which by far exceed other systems in its possibilities in some ways. This is important after the first steps with a DMS have been taken and its usefulness has been recognised, when the wish for further fields of application is there.
Automability aims at his field as well; here many things are possible with bitfarm-Archiv DMS (Data Management, Output Management, Information Management). But perhaps the viewer's easy user interface has to be mentioned especially, which is operable intuitively. As a typical Windows application it is immediately understood by most users and appeals with its fast search times and direct document presentation of any format without disturbing sub-screens. Since this minimises training expenses and quickly leads to a high user acceptance, DMS projects are quickly becoming successful. The highly efficient Google-style full-text search also convinces in many projects; without having to think about it hard one types in one or two key words (or parts thereof) and has the results immediately. The Omnipage 18 OCR - market leader among text recognition systems, which is used by bitfarm-Archiv - sees to reliable finding of terms in scanned paper documents.
The transfer of documents and search data (metadata) from other DMS applications is possible with bitfarm-Archiv, when the foreign systems have the data available unencrypted. Usually this is the case with most known Document Management Systems. Nevertheless, please specifically enquire beforehand. In the past, many projects have been successfully executed by bitfarm or a qualified partner, which also entailed the migration of documents and metadata from elo, Easy, Docuware or Hyparchiv into bitfarm-Archiv.
It is difficult to give a general statement here. Every company works differently and the requirements differ, too. Generally, bitfarm recommends dividing the DMS introduction into multiple steps. In a medium-sized company one would first have to find out which department has the highest priority. Next to the department-oriented file repository - repeatedly provided with specific requirements - and their workflows in the Document Management System, the company-wide e-mail archiving, the incoming mailbox could, for instance, be the first step towards a digital office.
The consideration of all requirements for the capture and the workflow of incoming mail (incl. invoice receipt workflow with accounting etc.) is already so extensive - if you want to do a good job - that this can quickly turn into a mid-sized project and takes up one's full concentration for a while. Once the first project has been completed, additional business departments can then be furnished with the DMS. Here, one profits from the experiences made during the first steps of the DMS introduction. This way, the users get to know the system step by step and do not get confronted with too many functions right from the start. Of course, this categorisation always depends on the size of the company. In a five-man-business one can certainly choose a different path.
bitfarm-Archiv Document Management is a highly to highest scalable DMS application. The documents' storage space is restricted only by the size available on the harddisk, which usually ranges at about a terabyte nowadays and thus offers space for a couple of billion documents. With bitfarm-Archiv the documents do not get stored in the database, but immediately on the server. They then only contain metadata and stay relatively small. The database itself is setup to work not only with a global table, but with tables for every individual archive (structure in the DMS). Search times of only a few seconds can still be achieved, even when dealing with large amounts of documents (even in the full-text search!). A further feature of the software is the division of the server in multiple functional units (multi-tier architecture); so that an ideal load distribution onto several machines is possible. A calculation cluster can be installed for the OCR function – this is also a standard function of the DMS that can be set up quickly. Several thousand documents can be processed each day, indexed and stored in the DMS or be archived. The number of users, who can work with the DMS, scales up from 5 to 5,000 users on a server at the same time. Several servers can be configured, e.g. every business site (with spread out locations) can be set up with their own server. Automatic software distribution and AD support with group guidelines are standard.
bitfarm-Archiv DMS requires a Windows Server 2003 or 2008 (32- or 64-bit). In case of small installations (e.g. five-user-office) Windows-XP or Vista / 7 can also be used as a "server". Linux can be used as a database server for MySQL and with restriction also as a file server. The standard recommendation concerning medium installations, though, is to use an off-the-shelf server with Windows OS. Linux is not required for this.
On the client's side, Windows is also used, all Windows versions as from XP are compatible. Linux as a client can be used with restrictions via Wine. The client is also terminal server-enabled.
A Document Management System is worthwhile for any business or institution, which has to manage and process more than a certain amount of documents; be they classic commercial enterprises with bills and delivery orders or businesses, where one works on Office documents collectively, but also businesses that want to control their daily information flood in the form of e-mails etc. In other words, everywhere where large numbers of documents are produced, received and stored and which have to be retrievable without delay, if possible. A DMS can also be interesting for businesses and institutions, where a higher transparency of processes is desired. Wanting to make business know-how available to the employees is a good reason for the introduction of a DMS.
Based on experience, investing in bitfarm-Archiv DMS quickly pays off, since the acquisition costs are fairly low and the system can be used quickly and easily without long periods for settling in or training expenditures. Please enquire for a reference, if you require concrete figures.
No, unfortunately there is not. bitfarm-Achiv DMS is a client-server application, which makes sense to use as from five users and more and also requires a server. Because a database and more needs to be installed, the effort is too high for a single-position system; also, there are inexpensive systems for easy tasks (e.g. for private use) such as Paperport or Maxxarchiv.
Depending on the requirements, number of users and the total number of documents to be expected (as well as the number of additional ones per day) the requirements for a server are scaled. When dealing with small-scale installations the server need not be better equipped than an off-the-shelf Office PC. Nevertheless a RAID system (RAID-1), a UPS and a data storage device are generally necessary and also fairly inexpensive. With medium requirements an industrial standard server (perhaps with multi-core processors) should be used; in large scale installations several server are necessary.
The following requirements should be met by a document scanner: firstly it must produce very high document quality. Good document scanners automatically adjust the brightness / contrast settings to the source material to be scanned. The results are documents, where the script is consistently black and the background is consistently white without any disturbing pixels even with difficult templates. The settings should be chosen, so that no grey scale "pixel raster" are produced, but either completely black or white. Why? This way, the text recognition, which supplies the database with search tags for the document on the server, can do its job best and one can perhaps save oneself further tagging, because one can rely on the text recognition.
Furthermore, a good document scanner should be able to capture documents in Duplex, automatically align them and have a paper feed, which can process 50 pages or more in one go without paper jam. An ultrasonic sensor for recognising pages that are "stuck together" should also be integrated to ensure complete capture of a document. bitfarm GmbH has tested some scanners and can recommend the devices by Kodak and Fujitsu. TWAIN scanners are immediately supported by the DMS; network scanners can also be used. These may have the advantage of being centrally located and can be used without a PC; on the other hand, not all functions of the DMS are available like they would be with a USB scanner.
bitfarm-Archiv DMS directly supports MS-Outlook with and without Exchange, e-mail archiving directly on the Exchange server, Lotus-Notes, Tobit David and many other systems (all systems, that work with the EML format and are able to export these). Among fax systems Tobit Faxware/David and MS-Fax are supported, whereby other systems, that can store the faxes as a PDF/TIF in a predefined folder or automatically print them on a predefined printer, can also be directly integrated.
Yes and no. bitfarm-Archiv is a Document Management System and conceived to recognise documents as "objects". Many things can be done with documents, such as marking them as a hold-file, i.e. they will be called up again at a certain point of time. Contact can be managed in so far as that business cards can be scanned. These can then be searched and/or classified. For Outlook/other mail system a .vcf-file is automatically created. This shows, though, that bitfarm-Archiv is rather more meant to be liaised closely with corresponding systems, but not to completely replace them. Outlook or other groupware systems are thus not replaced by bitfarm-Archiv DMS, but rather complemented. The same goes for CRM / PPC and ERP systems. The DMS is more of an information platform, a "substructure" underneath all other operational software systems. It has many interfaces to guarantee smooth cooperation with these systems.
A web interface is available for bitfarm-Archiv, but the functions are - at this time - very limited (only search functions are possible). Further upgrading will be done in the future, whereby the Windows Client will not be replaced, but rather ported for Linux. The reason: daily work is still difficult with web applications and cannot be compared to a fast and functional Windows application. To access documents from on the road bitfarm-Archiv offers the Offline Viewer, which allows working on database extracts, that can be resynchronised at a later date. For online access, a terminal server or combined VPN solution is recommended.
Yes, bitfarm-Archiv integrates itself directly in MS-Office (from 2000 onwards). A document can directly be integrated into the DMS via an icon in the interface and immediately be classified or start a workflow. From the DMS Viewer, the document can be opened in Office again at any time. The same goes for Open Office.
For most common operational software systems bitfarm-Archiv DMS offers a comfortable interface. This means, that documents generated in these systems automatically get applied into the DMS and are also automatically sorted and classified. If the user wants to have documents related to a process, a client, a product, etc. displayed at a later date, he can start searching directly from the operational system by highlighting the corresponding data field and hitting a simple keystroke combination. This way, the concept of "leading application" can be realised without greater adjustments being necessary. If information from the DMS is required in other systems, data exports in various standard formats are also possible.
Yes, bitfarm-Archiv DMS automatically reads the account distribution information from DATEV and enables the immediate generation of a reservation stamp. The reservation process is thus ideally supported and depicted transparently in the DMS.
Documents can be accessed directly from the ERP. The user simply highlights his search criteria in the ERP with the mouse. The search is then implemented via button click. The list of search hits is immediately given in the DMS Viewer.
Audit-safety is important, so that documents do not need to be stored in the original. bitfarm-Archiv DMS contains effective mechanisms, which prevent scanned or printed documents from being changed. E.g. the system does not have a delete function. If desired, Soft-WORM procedures for the storage on harddisks (recommended) or Hard-WORM Jukeboxes are useable. In both cases the audit-safety according to GDPdU and GoBS for the tax authorities can be proven with a procedural documentation.
If the archiving system, which is being used, is audit-proof, then the receipts are also entitled to be deducted pre-tax in their exclusively digital form. The digital records are also sufficient for a company audit. The inspector can ask for the receipts to be picked out for him, he can pick them out himself and he can ask for a relinquishment of the data receipts. bitfarm-Archiv DMS offers all possibilities; self-supporting archives can also be generated and be handed over on CD / DVD together with a search mask.
One has to differentiate between the fiscally relevant and legally relevant documents, though. Thus, documents and contracts that carry a signature still have to be stored in the original.
bitfarm-Archiv DMS offers a whole range of possibilities for categorisation and classification. Documents can be sorted into "storage places" and "archives" manually or also automatically. These are arranged in a central hierarchic structure tended by the administrator. Often a formal structure is defined according to company / department / document type. References of the documents between one another in terms of content are illustrated via virtual files. These "links" link documents across archives and are n-n relationships. In every archive there are also different, again centrally definable data fields, e.g. plain text or numerical fields, selective fields, fields for dates and many more. Status information to all documents are added as well. All these data elements can be logically combined for searching. Complete search definitions can also be provided as "stored queries" by the user or administrator. "Last but not least" a very efficient full-text search is available, which can also be included in the combinatorics. With a bit of practice one can quickly have the requested information displayed on the screen with the help of these various methods; the actual search is done by the SQL server, so that the search results are displayed within moments.
The GPL version can simply be downloaded and installed. This is not the case for the Enterprise version in business operation, since many more parameters come into play. In order to avoid problems such as misconfigurations or data loss, the installation is always done by bitfarm GmbH or an affiliated partner. A warranty is then given for the entire system. Also - in respects to the concepts and the data structures - a basic introduction into the configuration, which can be done in conjunction with the installation, is highly recommended. This prevents concepts being misunderstood / misused, which could lead to a worse performance later on, when ever more documents are stored in the system. "Alienated" use of available elements through ignorance is also avoided, which could also lead to difficulties - e.g. worse operability - and thus will not be satisfying in the long run. For the same reasons it would be advisable to book an introduction / training session with the GPL version. Here, a lot of know-how and "best-practises" from other DMS projects are imparted.
bitfarm GmbH and their affiliated partners deliver all services, that are necessary for a successful introduction of the DMS and the guarantee for smooth operation. Foremost, this includes the consulting / planning / process analysis in the beginning, the installation and configuration of the system, training of the client's responsible IT staff and - if requested - training of the employees. When the system is operating productively, the bitfarm software support is the competent partner for any configuration questions via telephone or on location. We are available for delivering updates and solve any problem promptly. bitfarm GmbH also has a hardware store for ideal scanners fitting the system.
This is possible. You can "collect" as many documents as you like in the Viewer and then export them together. It is not only a loose collection of files which gets exported, but rather a complete database with search interface which gets written on CD/DVD/USB stick. The export can e.g. be handed to an inspector (catchword data relinquishment, GDPdU). An export archive can also be worked on (e.g. Office files). Changes can later be fed back into the DMS.
When talking about deleting one needs to differentiate between two types of files: audit-proof and non-audit-proof documents. Generally, all scans and prints are stored audit-proof. E.g. in the case of Office files a system-wide pre-setting controls the behaviour. As long as these documents have not been filed in an audit-proof archive, they can still be deleted. The audit-safety can be set for each document in the viewer, which has not yet been filed thusly. For audit-proof documents there is a "workaround", a transfer into a different folder which can then be called "Recycle Bin" or "Trash". Thereby, the document has not been deleted, it is still there. Rather it cannot be found in its original archive, but only by searching via the trash bin, a task which can be limited to the administrators.
Authorisation can be very closely defined in the Enterprise version. Rights such as reading, searching, making / changing notes, sending e-mails, printing, cancel workflow, relocate and many more can be defined on the basis of storage places and archives. These rights can be assigned to individual users or groups and build up on one another. They can also be copied and inherited in the hierarchy. The user and group management can be tied to the active directory, which prevents double administrative effort. Rights can also be assigned to database fields and status buttons, so that only specific users / groups can make changes to specific fields and conditions. Even the search within an authorised archive can be restricted user- / group-related to specific elements / conditions. Rights to individual documents existed in an earlier version of the DMS. But this concept was abandoned again, because the desired effects could be controlled via other elements in all cases and the administrative effort for the rights to individual documents was too great and did not have any relevance for the practice.
There are various tools available to the administrator, which enable him/her to configure the electronic Document Management, apply structures and allocate rights and control document processing. The tool bitfarm-Archiv Administrator, especially, offers a simple possibility to manage daily tasks. Otherwise, bitfarm-Archiv relies on the common procedures; it applies users and groups from the AD, runs as a Windows service and reports errors in the Event-Log. Thus, the system is easily administrable and configurable; after an introduction the DMS can be expanded and fine-tuned to encompass the individual requirements by the client himself within the company.
bitfarm-Archiv DMS offers a range of possibilities for process controlling. Thereby, not only can one define who (user, groups, different modi) is allowed to work on manual and automatic workflows under which circumstances, but one or more controllers for the individual steps of the workflows can also be defined. The controllers can see the status of individual documents and can intervene in the workflow, if necessary. Additionally, a history is kept for every document, which lists the entire life cycle of the document in the DMS with all actions connected to the document. Filtered document lists with classifications / status can also be exported in various standard formats (e.g. Excel) for evaluation purposes.
Recurring job sequences are automated via the so-called "workflows". For this purpose, corresponding tools and a macro language are available to the administrator. Workflows can depict sequential, parallel or mixed job sequences. The workflow can be triggered through various events. Individual users can participate in the workflow or groups with mixed processing modes ("one for all", "everyone for himself" etc.). But workflows are not only definable by the administrator. Users also have the possibility to send / delegate tasks to other users / groups via the function Resubmission and start manual workflows. Examples for typical workflows in the Document Management System are incoming invoice workflows or document workflows according to the QM handbook.
There are a couple of pre-set database constructs for various industries, which can simplify the introduction of the DMS. But the requirements often diverge greatly, so that it is often easier to set up the structures from scratch instead of "bending" a business template.
Yes, a duplicate check is integrated in bitfarm-Archiv DMS.
Mass processing is possible without a problem – bitfarm-Archiv is intended for larger amounts of document! Complete folders with subfolders can be fed into the DMS at the same time during file capture. e-mails and faxes as well as printouts from various other software systems are handled similarly. Barcodes can be used for scanning to separate documents from one another. Processing in the DMS can be automated according to rules, so that sorting, classifying and the workflow run fully automatically for smaller and larger document amounts.
If a document is ready for processing via a workflow or through resubmission, the user receives a notification not only in the Viewer but also via a tray icon e.g. when the programme is closed. Alternatively, the notification can also be sent via e-mail.
Yes, the full-text search is integrated in bitfarm-Archiv and is a highlight in regards to speed and accuracy. Omnipage 17 - as leading text recognition component - allows for almost error-free recognition of paper documents in the DMS Enterprise Edition. It makes the full-text search a simple and intuitive search method for daily use. Tags and database fields are searched simultaneously in the full-text search, so that the user ideally only has to enter his search term into the full-text field. This allows for an extremely simple "Google-style" approach. The semantic full-text search with MySQL is also available, which knows similarity search.
Documents can be filed in the DMS according to different criteria. Firstly, they get sorted correctly into the archive hierarchy, whereby connections with other archives / documents can be depicted through links. In each archive the different classification, status and database fields are available. There are many different characteristics that are defined by the administrator. Some fields are optional; others can be defined as mandatory fields. When a document is filed, the user can or must fill in the data fields. The software helps avoid typos, e.g. through check boxes and integrated, intelligent updating. With scans the user can simply draw a frame around an area to have a data field from the computer filled out via the OCR procedure. An automatic, rules-based classification is also possible, where the user ideally need not enter anything; the capture of the document is e.g. restricted to the pure scan.
Yes, there is the possibility to have sorting and classification for known document types done automatically via rules. The rules can be set by the administrator and are easily adjusted at any time.
From the DMS' point of view, most effectively means automatically as far as possible. Documents can be separated with a barcode, so that the DMS then knows, where one document stops and the next one begins. Rules see to automatic sorting, classification and distribution in the company. These processes can also be done manually or semi-automatically. Often, though, manual classification has to be done during scanning or shortly thereafter. bitfarm-Archiv DMS offers a comfortable tool for this with the viewer or the Manuscan programme, which facilitate manual capture through intelligent field choices and OCR function.
Which formats for files that are to be archived are supported and which formats does bitfarm-Archiv use internally?
bitfarm-Archiv DMS actively stores and manages all Office and Open-Office formats, miscellaneous e-mail and fax formats, PDF, html, text formats, CAD sketch formats and image formats. Other, unknown formats can also be imported, but in these cases an automatic classification or immediate display in the Viewer is not available for these documents. But they can be entered manually and opened from the DMS at any time. Internally, bitfarm-Archiv makes use of a TIFF or PDF depiction parallel to the original format to allow for fast browsing in the Viewer.
Yes, multiple clients can be managed with this system, which can be hosted in different location as separate databases. A user can then indicate which database / location he wants to log into when registering.
Version control is possible with the Enterprise Edition. A SVN system (SubVersioNing) is integrated, which then logs every storage command of a document as a change or requests a manual commit. Additionally, a document can be barred from use for other users for exclusive access via check in / check out. The mechanism also allows documents to be taken out - e.g. for travels - and the altered version then be resubmitted later on. Naturally, version numbers and revisions can also be counted.
The workflow system also allows to define ISO-9001 workflows according to the "dual control" principle. A document has to go to an inspector, who may then send it back to the author / authors for revision. If it passes the examination, it is then sent to at least two further inspectors for approval; both have to give their OK. Only then will it be cleared and available for production. Of course, this is only an example; many other scenarios can also be configured.
Yes, freely filterable synopses including all available metadata can be generated (e.g. in Excel) for controlling and evaluation purposes. Via applied hyperlinks in the Excel table one can directly access the corresponding document in the DMS. Example: Excel evaluation on all bills and their amounts, payable within the next two weeks. Or: list of all transported tonnages within the last half-year for a specific client. Etc.
Every user can make various changes to the interface for himself or pre-specified by the administrator. It starts with the showing and hiding of different menues, continues with individual search and forwarding favourites and leads to stored queries and individual plugin functions. The software always remembers the status of the interface when it is shut down and launches it in the same status again when restarted. bitfarm-Archiv is not only ideal for use with multiple screens, it is even recommended.
That is possible. Users can make use of notes ("post-its"), markers, pens and other writing tools, lines, stamps, etc. in the viewer, during capture as well as later on. The document itself does not get changed. These so called "annotations" are simply transparencies, which can be shown and hidden. But notes cannot be overlooked by any user: they get shown automatically, whenever an (authorised) user calls up a document. Who is allowed to write notes on specific documents, who may change or delete them, is handled via authorisation (usually only the author himself). Every user also has a private notes layer, that can be filled with personal comments and which other users can then be invited to share (release and change layer, notification on new layer etc.).
The price for a DMS introduction with bitfarm-Archiv depends on the individual requirements. It also depends on which things are carried out by bitfarm or a partner or by the client himself. The support flat-rate is also determined by the complexity of the complete system; the number of users is also factored into the equation. Since licence fees are foregone - contrary to other systems - and service is generally accounted for at usual market terms, projects with bitfarm-Archiv DMS are usually much cheaper than other DMS systems. E.g. it has not been uncommon for clients, who were looking for premium and upgradeable DMS solutions, were confronted with prices at the lower end of six-figure sums, and then introduced bitfarm-Archiv DMS without quality restrictions and the same or better functionality for one-tenth of the cost.
A typical demo-version, commonly known from other software products, cannot be offered mainly due to the complexity. A simple bitfarm-Archiv version is available as a download in a GPL version, but it does not include the business-relevant functions. The Enterprise version on the other hand is not available in a downloadable version. A test setting can be agreed upon with bitfarm GmbH or a partner, whereby the installation and introduction into the system is done by bitfarm GmbH or an affiliated partner and is liable for costs.
An overview of the main differences can be found under GPL-Enterprise-Vergleich.pdf
The GPL version can be freely downloaded here. The Enterprise version is delivered only in the context of a client project.
For the GPL version support is momentarily only available via the SourceForge forum without guarantee for prompt treatment. The Professional Support is available for the Enterprise version. It is directly reachable via telephone and offers quick and competent help via remote access or on location. To guarantee high availability in corporate settings SLAs can be taken out for the Enterprise version.
bitfarm-Archiv DMS has been in development since 2001 and is thus one of the longest existing Open Source Document Management Systems out there.
The Enterprise Edition does not incur licence fees. It is not available for free download, but is rather delivered free of charge in the context of a client project.