Curing document management complexity
Xythos, Xerox prove X marks the spot for keeping tabs on text, files
Most users will want to take full advantage of the Enterprise Document Manager application, controlled via the Xythos Web UI. Version 5.0 improves this experience with a more manageable menu structure: You can expand and collapse logical sections such as bookmarks (links to shared folders), searches, workflow, and document classification.
In practice, Enterprise Document Manager operated true to form. The File Manager let me quickly create shared folders and upload documents using the top toolbar. Action Icons offer a simple way to manage an item’s access permissions and change collaboration properties, including versioning, locks, and subscriptions (automatic notifications of content changes).
Version 5.0 improved Xythos’ built-in seek tool as well. You may now save searches and organize them under the left-hand navigation, making it easier to locate files you use every day. Also, the system automatically loads your most recent search and lets you quickly edit the parameters; settings include advanced options to hone in on files by creation date and other criteria.
I found several benefits to the classification tools, which let me specify that specific file types were saved to particular folders, and add custom metadata to documents. Classification will apply retention rules to uploads, ensuring that certain documents are saved for a designated time period.
Building workflows takes just a few clicks to designate which users need to review and approve document changes. Xythos provides e-mail notification of required actions, encouraging users to perform their assigned tasks, thus keeping projects on schedule. JSR-168 portlets let you display folder content, perform file searches, and upload documents from compatible portal applications, such as BEA WebLogic Portal.
For IT staff, Xythos Developer Studio’s graphical Workflow Designer helps coders quickly create complex workflows, such as those for capital expenditures. WebFile Server APIs permit developers to integrate Xythos library services into other apps.
On the security front, Xythos replaces inherently insecure e-mail attachments with secure file links to content that resides on the central server; the links can be password protected for added security. Using the Tickets function, you can permit non-Xythos contributors (such as a contractor) access to your directories. E-mail sharing is more usable in this version because you have the choice to send the URL in several formats, such as a short redirect.
Although it wasn’t provided for testing, Xythos does have a Scan Client module that should allow organizations to scan and index paper documents into the Enterprise Document Manager for further management and classification.
Xythos Enterprise Document Management Suite 5.0 is a fine step up from legacy ECM systems. If you haven’t yet adopted a document management solution, Xythos will bring significant improvements over e-mail because it gives users access to essential document collaboration with no extended learning. The solution is also a good complement to higher-end ECM systems that can be reserved for more complex needs.