At the start of a business process, often is not defined, if it is a short adaption of a document or a complex workflow with a lot of participants. Only a system which flexibly supports the full variety of adaption is suitable for the enterprise wide deployment in the assistance of the teamwork.
Document Management and Workflow are two areas of collaborating work
Working with documents in the DMS of @enterprise happens intuitive – similar to the Windows Explorer. A key difference is the support of a Document Management works in the background:
Documents can belong to a certain type, e.g. vacation request or an order. A set of meta data elements are defined for each of these document types. The meta data will be stored in a specific SQL table for each document type, which ensures an efficient search. Presence of meta data allows programs to deal with documents, e.g. selection of an editor based on meta data of the document. It is also possible to define a template (prototype) for each document type.
The creation of document types takes place like the definition of form types in @enterprise: a HTML form will be created and then it will be loaded into the system.
DMS and Workflow
The integration of DMS and Workflow allows flexible working. A document can be created and it can be attached afterwards to a workflow – or a workflow can be started with this document. The workflows can be predefined or they may be Ad Hoc workflows where the users interactively define the steps of the workflows and the editors.
Even when a document is processed by just one editor, workflow functionality can be used: documents can be put into the suspension list, if an adaption is desired at a later time. Due-dates can be assigned and escalation measures can be taken.
Documents can be signed, thereby automatically creating an unchangeable version of them. Other users are able to verify the signature. The implementation based on the X.509 standard where the signing takes place with a private key of a user certificate.
The storage of documents is separated from the administration of meta data by an interface, so this component is replaceable and can be implemented by another system. Two standard-storage-mechanism are available: the File-Store saves the documents in a file-system, the DB-store saves the documents in a database in form of BLOBS (binary large object).
Arbitrary notes can be attached to documents.
Those notes can either be private – only visible for the creator – or public – visible for every editor of the document.
Documents underliy the permission system of @enterprise. Rights for editing and reading can be assigned to certain users, roles, departments and workgroups. Beside individual documents, rights can be attached to folders or folder-trees. It is possible that someone grants other users access to a subset of his documents with the special release right.
Application Programming Interface
The expandability and adaptability of the system is of key importance. Interfaces allow to define folders with particular features. Special programs trigger the insertion to and/or removal of documents from a folder. For example it is possible to integrate an archive system. If a document is moved to the “archive folder”, it will be archived.
The consequent implementation in Java, ensures platform independence.