I have built a filemaker database used for document management.
The documents are stored on a fileserver and in filemaker we store the link to the file
the document management system currently manages 85,393 documents in 512 folders
and it works like a treat!
you could do the document tracking aspect with some custom asp.net/vb.net code - we use filemaker integrated with asp.net/vb.net to perform tasks that filemaker cant do.
However for ease of building and rapid deplyment, starting it with filemakr shoudl do fine.
Alternative try a Joomla install with the DocMan plugin!
Could you give more info on Joomla and DocMan plugin?
Would you be willing to share your document management system FMP file(s) (not the 85,393 documents)! We would be willing to share any changes.
I assume you are on Windows and vb.net is a .net version of visual basic? We are on Macs so I suppose that part of your solution will not work.
On the FM website they have a solution "Document Library" but that is pretty simple and stores links to files but I can't really can't see the purpose. I am going to post some 'developer' questions in another post how to add some needed additions to that, like drag and drop files to be added, and getting some basic info about the file, so kind of hoping your solution does some of this and will reduce our learning curve.
The following solution although non-filemaker would give you what you need:-
Joomla is an open source content management system built using php. http://www.joomla.org/download.html
It is easy to implement and offers are leading content management system with a plugin capability allowing you to use a plugin such as Docman
Docman has the following features right out of the box:-
DOCman is a document management and download system for Joomla!. With this component your users can easily upload and manage files across multiple categories and make them available for download on a your Joomla! websites.
* Infinite categories and subcategories. The documents can be organized across custom categories and subcategories;
* Files can be hosted locally or on a remote server
* Access control: Documents can be assigned to specific user or to custom groups of users
* Download counter and log. You can display a download counter per document and all the downloads can be logged (by user, IP, browser, date and hour);
* Own search system. Documents can be searched by name and/or description. The search system integrates with Joomla! using an optional mambot;
* Anti-leech system. The built-in anti-leech system avoids direct linking to documents;
* Path protection. Real paths to documents are never displayed to users;
* Themes: The layout can be changed using custom themes;
* ... and much more!
If you want to stick with filemaker to do the work then here are some tips:-
filemaker cannot change the security properties of a document, therefore you will need to use filemaker security features extensively to control the document managemenet from within filemaker.
For example write a script that:-
useCase1) Check the logged on users access rights
add an entry to an audit trail table to say the document was released for editing by userName
ask the user to describe the changes to be made
display the document link
useCase2) check the logged on users access rights
add antry to audit trail table to say the document was released for viewing
Remotely trigger a script on the server to email a document to the logged on users email address
Use the troi activator plugin to remotely trigger a script on the server or another copy of filemaker running on the fileserver machine http://www.troi.com/software/activatorplugin.html
These are just some ideas anyway an d not necissarily the best/right answer!
Take a look at NoteBookMaker.com They also custom build solutions for document management and control.
Not quite what we need though. What we are looking for, or might need to make, is a system that will track documents we create for different parts of the projects (analyse and results) and help organize them, check in/check out documents as they are edited and keep track of versions, and match documents vs required documents from the statement of work.
When you say you're making "one of a kind" devices, are making medical devices? if you are, then you may want to ask your client to spend some time discussing cGMP with you.
Our one of a kind devices are for $multi-Million contracts building specialized laser systems, right now for astronomical sites (there are a possible 15 in the world that would want our product(s)). So in general any contractor building one of the kind specialized devices (applied research devices) under contract would be in the same 'boat'.
I have a similar need; I have an engineering and contract manufacturing business and I'm looking for a document control system allowing local and remote users access to engineering and project docs, with check in/check out control, access rights, and version control.
It seems like Joomla and many other document and content management software are for software and web developers.
I've demoed and come close to purchasing Arena, but it runs $ 10k - $15k per year, and there's a steep learning curve. I'd prefer to have a system we can run on our local servers, but I haven't found any solutions. I may need to pay for custom development.
Have you found any solutions, or are you working with an app developer?
Sorry if this is in here twice.
For various reasons by partners punted and we are going to do most of it by hand, one reason is just bandwidth as one of us in two states away, and if we set up a server with the internet connection we have available it might not work too well. So we are just using a file server on a higher bandwidth connections. Check out Document Management on Wikipedia, it lists 20 or so different systems. Of the open source ones that work on the Mac you can download and to tryout (from simple to more complex): OpenKM, O3Spaces. TeamWork is more involved (these work in Windows/Linux/Mac). Also Alfresco should be available now for the Mac. Actually I think OpenKM will do everything you mention, however it would be nice to drag and drop files into it, O3Spaces has an add-in that does this. I think most of these use a simple sort of database manager to let you try it out, but they recommend upgrading to my mysql database, which becomes more ITish.
Document Management is only part of the solution, the other is Configuration Management. There is a lot of talk there on 'ideal' but not much on practical. You might want to look at Engineering Document Control Handbook by Frank B. Watts.
Since we will probably get back to it, please let me know what you learn and progress, I would really appreciate it.