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Metadata & DMS

A document's metadata within a Document Management System are all associated pieces of information, that are stored in the DMS' database.

Examples of possible metadata

  • compilation, scan date
  • author
  • document type
  • topic
  • project number, project label
  • product
  • version, revision
  • status
  • examiner
  • cost centre
  • customer name, customer ID
  • process number
  • case worker

Metadata (sometimes known as "metainformation" or "data about data") is descriptive information about a piece of documentation. Metadata can be stored in the object, on the object, and adjacent to the object, as well as in dedicated directories or databases, both analogously and digitally. The type and extent of metadata to be saved are mostly determined by the subject or work area, as well as legal and organizational constraints. In document management or record management systems, metadata describes the content (for example, author, title, date, keywords), the structure (classification, record plan, etc. ), and the method of storage/archiving (data carrier/data format).

Manual and automated DMS metadata

Metadata normally have to be entered into a corresponding form by the user when entering up a document (tagging). Some is compulsory, others are optional.

In Document Management Systems with a high level of automation, such as the bitfarm-Archiv Open Source DMS, metadata can also be determined automatically, e.g. from a document or from the advanced file properties, and thus reduce manual and elaborate user input to a minimum.

Some metadata is even compulsory company-wide, e.g. if quality management according to DIN EN ISO 9001 was introduced. Here, the Document Management forms a PDM and a PLM simultaneously.

Variable workflows

The metadata does not only give information, but also allows for specific search and the filtering of search results.

Document-based business processes can be directed on the basis of metadata. The bitfarm-Archiv Open Source DMS can master variable workflows. Depending on the metadata a document has, the relevant workflow is triggered.

A document management system's main duty is to store documents (text documents, drawings, photos, AV material, and so on) and their related descriptive information (metadata) in a single location and make them accessible to employees based on their permissions. A document and its metadata are one and the same thing. An asset is another name for this unit. Either the document and metadata are stored in the same database, or the metadata is only saved in the database while the related document is saved and referenced in the file system.

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Further reading: Sources and interesting links





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