DMS software should be an electronic file management system. it should provide a structure for organizing all digital and paper documents. It should store, manage and track documents and ultimately reduce the dependency on paper. This system should work in tandem with document scanners, cameras etc., (to convert paper documents into digital versions). The software should allow for quick access to any document or file. It should organize all of their paper and digital files in one central location, where everyone in the office has access in a secure manner.

The basic functions and features required in this system are:

  • Storing various document types, including word-processing files, emails, PDFs and spreadsheets.
  • Searching an entire library of files by keywords.
  • Restricting access to certain documents.
  • Monitoring who is viewing documents.
  • Tracking edits being made to documents.
  • Retrieving previous versions of edited documents.
  • Controlling and regulating when out-of-date documents can be deleted.
  • Accessing, editing and sharing documents via the internet and mobile devices.

Document management systems provides the following components


Metadata is stored for each document. The metadata includes a date the document was stored, the identity of the user storing it, and probable keywords or provide for the text search capability.


It should Capture document by accepting and processing images of paper documents from scanners or multifunction printers. It should be able to capture multipage documents. Capture may also involve attaching electronic documents and other computer-based files directly instead of scanning.


Indexing tracks electronic documents. Indexing may be as simple as keeping track of unique document identifiers; but often it takes a more complex form, providing classification through the documents' metadata or even through word indexes extracted from the documents' contents. Indexing exists mainly to support retrieval.


Storage of the documents often includes management of those same documents; where they are stored, for how long, migration of the documents from one storage media to another (hierarchical storage management), and eventual document destruction.


Retrieve the electronic documents from the storage. Simple retrieval of individual documents can be supported by allowing the user to specify the unique document identifier, and having the system use the basic index (or a nonindexed query on its data store) to retrieve the document. More flexible retrieval allows the user to specify partial search terms involving the document identifier and/or parts of the expected metadata. This would typically return a list of documents that match the user's search terms.



A published document for distribution has to be in a format that cannot be easily altered. As a common practice in law regulated industries, an original master copy of the document is usually never used for distribution other than archiving.


Document security is vital in many document management applications. Compliance requirements for certain documents can be quite complex depending on the type of documents. It should have a rights management module that allows an administrator to give access to documents based on type to only certain people or groups of people. Document marking at the time of printing or PDF-creation is an essential element to preclude alteration or unintended use.


The system should have a built-in workflow module. The system should have a Manual workflow where a user to view the document and decide whom to send it to. The other workflow should be Rules-based workflow which allows an administrator to create a rule that dictates the flow of the document through an organization: for instance, an invoice passes through an approval process and then is routed to the accounts-payable department.


Collaboration should be inherent in this system. In its basic form, a collaborative document management system should allow documents to be retrieved and worked on by an authorized user. Access should be blocked to other users while work is being performed on the document. Other advanced forms of collaboration allow multiple users to view and modify (or markup) a document at the same time in a collaboration session. The resulting document should be viewable in its final shape, while also storing the markups done by each user during the collaboration session.


Versioning is a process by which documents are checked in or out of the document management system, allowing users to retrieve previous versions and to continue work from a selected point. Versioning is useful for documents that change over time and require updating, but it may be necessary to go back to or reference a previous copy.


Searching finds documents and folders using template attributes or full-text search. Documents can be searched using various attributes and document content.


Publishing a document involves the procedures of proofreading, peer or public reviewing, authorizing, printing and approving, etc. Those steps ensure prudence and logical thinking. Any careless handling may result in the inaccuracy of the document and therefore mislead or upset its users and readers. The published document should be in a format that is not easily altered without specific knowledge or tools, and yet it is readonly or portable.


Document/image reproduction is key when thinking about implementing a system. It's great to be able to put things in, but how are you going to get them out? An example of this is building plans. How will plans be scanned and scale be retained when printed?