Cool Web-based Software- DocMGR

DocMGR is a free, powerful document management system for Linux servers

One of the biggest challenges when working with teams or organizations is information collaboration.  Although tools like email and file servers exist, they do not solve the problem of easily allowing outside contractors or remote employees access to important files, and file servers also do not have the ability to save multiple revisions of a file.  These common problems are easily solved with the use of a document management system.  A good document management system will also have a way to send files to external clients or consultants- people that might not have access to your network.

DocMGR is a popular document management software solution for Linux servers.  DocMGR has been in development since 2005, and the most recent versions include advanced features such as PDF exporting, and a built-in document editor.  DocMGR requires a few software packages to be installed on your Linux server (in addition to PostgreSQL and Apache), such as OpenOffice and ImageMagick.  Typically, DocMGR takes about an hour to an hour and a half to install.

Once installed, log into the DocMGR interface using the default username admin.  When logged in, you are welcomed by a customizable home page.

DocMGR main view upon login

DocMGR's home screen is completely customizable.

From here, you can view your files in thumbnail format (handy for images), or in a list format, which allows you to easily export documents as a PDF.

DocMGR offers list as well as thumbnail views

DocMGR offers list as well as thumbnail views.

One of the nice features of any document management system is the ability to have both private and shared files.  DocMGR’s ACL is easy to edit for folders, giving you the flexibility in controlling exactly who is able to view and change your files.  Subscriptions can be setup for shared folders, so that you are notified when the contents of a folder are changed.

DocMGR Shared Documents

DocMGR shared documents, and thumbnail view.

DocMGR’s built-in editor is quite sophisticated, and supports spell checking as well as the insertion of multimedia files.  The editor requires OpenOffice to be installed on your server, and it also allows you to easily edit any document stored within DocMGR (without requiring programs such as Word™ on your computer).

DocMGR document editor

DocMGR contains a built-in document editor.

DocMGR contains a built-in email client (for sending only), which allows you to send any file in DocMGR via email.  DocMGR also contains an address book feature, which allows easier organization of frequently used contacts.

Sending files via email with DocMGR

DocMGR can email files within DocMGR directly.

I am particularly impressed with the ability to not only email files, but also to send download links to for large files.  This way, you can send someone a very large attachment (that might otherwise fill up their mailbox), which they can download via a special link (that expires within 24 or 48 hours).  I particularly liked the idea that if I send someone a link to download a file, that link is automatically removed after a specified time.  Any time that I send someone a link manually, I usually forget to delete the original file from my server the next day.  This feature helps to keep your server tidy, and secure.

DocMGR direct download link

DocMGR offers the ability to send links to large files directly.

DocMGR’s way of selecting users is my only real complaint.  If you look at the screenshot below, users are selected using the search field at the top right corner.  Normally, you would expect a drop down list, or another way to select individual users.  The search field is not very user friendly, here.  Despite this one fault, the rest of the user management is easy and fast once you get used to selecting users via the search field.

DocMGR user management

DocMGR user management is quick, once you get used to the interface.

While we’re on the topic of searching, this is perhaps one of DocMGR’s biggest strengths- the search times for documents are extremely fast.  In addition, DocMGR can even search within the contents of files for what you want- in case you forget the filename.

If you have the need for a document management system, I would highly encourage you to take a look at DocMGR.  With it’s many features and fast performance, it’s a wonder that this document management system is available for free.  If you don’t want to tackle the installation of DocMGR yourself (and it’s many dependencies), feel free to contact me, and I will install it on your server for you.

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