Curing document management complexity
Xythos, Xerox prove X marks the spot for keeping tabs on text, files
The only one of these tasks that may take some experience is creating a “team space,” which is based on a module called DocuShare Interact. Customizing templates for a functional team meeting room requires some HTML and scripting skills.
Collections appear within Outlook as regular mail folders, so I didn’t have to switch to another application. Moreover, the DocuShare Outlook Client supports Outlook mail rules, so files you receive as e-mail attachments can automatically be routed to DocuShare according to criteria you establish. You can also submit content via the optional DocuShare Email Agent. Much like a wiki, users can e-mail documents directly to the DocuShare server.
Those using paper documents can scan content directly to DocuShare with the bundled ScanSoft PaperPort software (PaperPort also works with any TWAIN-compliant scanning device). Drag a PaperPort document to the DocuShare desktop icon and an upload dialog appears; then, fill in the required metadata, and you’re done.
Administration isn’t complicated, either. DocuShare delivers a strong mix of collaboration, personalization, and ease of use, yet you don’t get painted into a corner. For instance, add-on records management turns the system into a compliance solution, and an archive server scales the system from workgroups to the whole enterprise, while providing disaster recovery.
Going further, Version 4.0.1’s portal view gives a unified picture of documents and action items. There’s granular security on documents down to specific versions, which are easily routed using multi-step workflows. Collaboration tools help workgroups update and track items such as research documents or marketing plans. With this scaling and interoperability, Xerox fields a very competitive ECM (enterprise content management) system.
Xythos Enterprise Document Management Suite 5.0
Xythos doesn’t pretend to be a do-it-all document manager -- you won’t find Web content management or digital asset management. What Enterprise Document Management Suite 5.0 delivers, however, is simple, affordable, essential document and file management.
To do so, Xythos is built around a complete set of library services, including version control, audit history, and subscriptions. The system addresses compliance regulations with retention rules and logs that track file changes, while document routing and workflow is integrated into the product’s single browser interface. Anchoring all this is safe file sharing (with secure URLs) and strong remote access based on DeltaV, a network protocol designed for remote versioning and management of documents stored on a Web server.
Xythos doesn’t kid about easy setup and use. In less than 30 minutes, I set up the underlying WebFile Server (written in Java) on a Windows 2000 server and configured Xythos’ Document Manager application.
For end-users, the system is equally straightforward. I found the suite works very well with the kind of workflow processes enterprises likely have in place, which should boost adoption rates and not burden support staff.
At the most basic level, users load the Xythos Drive desktop application, which instantly turns any desktop applications into a WebDAV-compatible publisher. Using this add-in, I easily edited Word and Excel documents stored on my Xythos server. Publishers control access rights, file locking, and versioning, and Xythos Drive provides offline synchronization.