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Side-by-side comparison of key document management features like security, workflow, email management, supported platforms and pricing for several applications.
document imaging consulting handprint recognition software document scanner service parts scanner consumables document workflow software optical character recognition

Compare features for several document management solutions for secure storage, searching and viewing of archived documents.
For software that quickly inputs and organizes scanned documents you can compare scanning software here.

Guide to Comparing Document Management Solutions
Types of Document Management Software - Choosing a Solution - Features Compared on This Chart

Software Cost Setup Cost Licensing Platforms
Free $-$$ Folder/file storage and search are included with Windows. Google Desktop is free. MS Search Server and SharePoint have free versions. Network file shares are truly cross-platform; files may be stored on any file server using any host operating system. Web search tools may also be accessed from any client.
$ $-$$ Per workstation Windows 2000/XP
2003/Vista (32-bit Only)
2008/Windows 7 (All Versions)
$ $ Per workstation Windows XP/Vista/7
$ - $$ $-$$ Per workstation Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7
$ - $$$ $ - $$$ Per concurrent user.
License includes all DB, server & webserver components.
Client: Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7
Server: Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7 (Server OS recommended but not required)
$$$-$$$$ $-$$ Hosted web service with monthly fee based on Gigabytes of stored data. Unlimited users may access data from anywhere in the world. N/A - Hosted solution
$$$ - $$$$ $$-$$$$ Named and concurrent clients available. Separate concurrent web client licenses. Server, DB, & administration components are not included with client license. Client: Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7
Server: Windows 2000/2003/2008 Server, Novell Netware 6.5 Server, RedHat Linux, SuSe Linux
Imports Scanning Database Client
Images must be saved with organized folders and filenames by the scanning application. Searchable text optional. SimpleIndex can automatically organize files based on keywords in filename or text. Use SimpleIndex or  PaperFlow to scan and index documents, then export them to structured folders and filenames based on index values. Google Desktop, Windows Search, MS SharePoint or Search Server can be used for fast full-text searching of documents on your network. Browse files with Windows Explorer. View in default applications like Acrobat Reader or Windows picture and fax viewer. Use content search tools for web interface for searching and linking to files.
Use SimpleIndex to import electronic data files in any format (images, MS Office, PDF, multimedia, etc.) TWAIN & ISIS scanning with robust automated indexing using SimpleIndex. Any ODBC or OleDB supported database Desktop only
Dokmee can help you organize, secure, and manage a variety of file formats (PDF, Tiff, Word, Excel, CAD, Emails, etc.) TWAIN
(& ISIS in Enterprise)
SQL Server Express (Enterprise); MS Access (Home/Pro) Desktop only
Imported files must be in PaperVision Datagroup format. Use SimpleExport to convert any delimited text file to a PaperVision datagroup. No built-in scanning interface. Use SimpleIndex or  PaperFlow to scan and index documents. SQL Server Xpress 2005 (included); SQL Server 2000/2005/2008 supported Desktop only
Imported files must be in PaperVision Datagroup format. Use SimpleExport to create PaperVision datagroups. Directory Manager feature automatically imports network files using folders and filenames for indexing. Single file scanning supported from client or web via TWAIN interface. Batch scanning available with SimpleIndex, PaperFlow or PaperVision Capture. SQL Server Xpress 2005 (included); SQL Server 2000/2005/2008 supported Desktop or Web. Client license allows access from desktop or web.
Import datagroups via automatic uploading application or secure FTP. Basic, single file, manual scanning is available via the web client. Use SimpleIndex, PaperFlow or PaperVision Capture to batch scan documents. N/A - Hosted solution Web only
Manually import batches of docs in CSV format. Custom BIF format required for automatic import. Convert delimited text to BIF files with SimpleExport. Basic TWAIN scanning with manual indexing included. ISIS scanning is optional. Use SimpleIndex for batch scanning and indexing of documents. SQL Server 2000/2005/2008 & SQL Express (with Microsoft's limitations); Oracle 9i/10g Desktop or Web. Web clients are licensed separately from desktop clients.
HIPAA & Security Workflow Report Mgmt. Email Management
No No No No
Basic password authentication using database login. Not HIPAA compliant. No No No
Professional & Enterprise versions are HIPAA compliant. Activity Audit Trail records and datestamps all file actions. Rights Management designates user authorizations. File Encryption prevents file access outside of Dokmee. Yes
(Professional & Enterprise)
No Yes
(Professional & Enterprise)
Password authentication and document type level security. Not HIPAA compliant. No No No
HIPAA compliant. All document access and disclosure is tracked. Web server meets security and encryption requirements. Records retention and security access policies available. Automatically approve, update, route and email documents with built-in worksteps. Custom worksteps can be developed to launch applications or perform any other task. Workflow license required. Add Report Manager option to import mainframe reports, capture pre-printed forms and other print streams and create searchable virtual documents. Email management for unlimited mailboxes is included. Automatically import, index and encrypt all email for a secure chain of custody record. Supports Exchange and SMTP email servers.
HIPAA compliant. All document access and disclosure is tracked. Web server meets security and encryption requirements. Records retention and security access policies available. Automatically approve, update, route and email documents with built-in worksteps. Custom worksteps can be developed to launch applications or perform any other task. Workflow license required. Add Report Manager option to import mainframe reports, capture pre-printed forms and other print streams and create searchable virtual documents. Email management for unlimited mailboxes is included. Automatically import, index and encrypt all email for a secure chain of custody record. Supports Exchange and SMTP email servers.
HIPAA compliant. All document access and disclosure is tracked. Web server meets security and encryption requirements. Records retention and security access policies available. Documents can be routed to users and custom actions or reminders defined. No Fully compliant email archiving solution with retention schedules, automatic indexing and full text email search. Supports Exchange and GroupWise servers.
Our Likes Our Dislikes
With any batch scanning application you have the ability to use network folders and filenames to organize the files. This has the main advantage of being free. Simply use Windows Explorer to browse the folders and view them in Acrobat Reader or Windows Picture & Fax Viewer. If documents have been OCR'd you can do full-text searching with Windows Search or Google Desktop, as well as several free web-based search applications. Security depends on file system permissions and is of course not HIPAA compliant. Cannot do number and date range searches, search multiple criteria and other index-based search methods that are helpful when locating documents among thousands of files.
Low cost and simple design make it a great solution for desktop or small office solutions. Ability to use any database lets you interface with custom databases and applications. Command line interface lets you integrate document search & view with other applications. Limited search and viewing options. Not HIPAA compliant and does not secure documents beyond file system permissions.
DokMee is the perfect all-in-one scanning and document management solutions for home offices, or small businesses. It has all of the important features like security, HIPAA-compliant audit trails and workflow, but at a fraction of the price of enterprise document management systems. Lack of a web client means software must be installed on each computer, making it difficult to share documents with occasional users or third parties.
Scaled-down version of PaperVision Enterprise is easy to setup and offers a very good, stable searching and viewing interface. Very low cost for 1-5 user systems. Easily upgrades to PaperVision Enterprise. Find and view almost 200 different files formats. Named client licensing makes Xpress more expensive than Enterprise when several users need infrequent access to documents.
Includes everything you need with a single client license; no extra server, webserver or database required. Easy to install and learn. Very secure. Highly scalable. Fully customizable client and open API. Hotkey searching from any application. One-time passwords for sharing files via URL. Export to searchable CDs. Offers all the features you expect in an Enterprise document management system without being weighed down by hundreds niche market modules. No capability to browse documents--only keyword searching. No server-based OCR--all documents must be OCR'd before importing. Only supports SQL Server databases.
Hosted solution reduces the ongoing cost of hardware and software maintenance and is great for organizations without dedicated IT staff. Professional hosting facility is much more secure than the typical office. Powerful PaperVision-based server provides many features. Per-gigabyte pricing is more expensive over time and means you will likely limit the use of the system to only the most important files, which can hinder adoption of the system by users.
Folder-based document storage and security makes it much easier to find and manage documents versus keyword based systems in many cases. Server based full-text indexing means any document you add to ContentVerse becomes full text searchable without having to perform OCR during the capture stage. Simple search box makes basic keyword and text searches very easy. Excellent viewer can display almost any file format without installing 3rd party software. Highly scalable system architecture makes this a great choice for larger installations. The scalability of the system comes with an increase in setup complexity that makes the initial configuration more difficult than the other document management systems listed here. There is no standalone or small office version, so pricing is not competitive for systems with less than 5-10 users. Advanced keyword searching interface is not as intuitive as other systems, but the simple search is sufficient for 90% of users.

How to Compare Document Management Software

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Types of Document Management Solutions

  1. Document Management Systems - use structured folder hierarchies and index values to organize documents. Full-text searching is available, but primary search method is by keyword. All files must have keyword indexes assigned during the scanning or importing process to be searchable. Search and view via client application or web interface. Can include advanced records management features like retention scheduling, workflow, report management and email management.
  2. Hosted Document Management - offers many of the same features as a standard document management system but is hosted and managed by a 3rd party and all documents are accessed via the web. Instead of purchasing software, storage space on the server is rented monthly.
  3. Desktop or Enterprise Content Search - designed to operate like Google search for your shared network documents. These applications read the document properties and body text to make them searchable. It has the advantage of fully automating the indexing process, but can be more difficult to find specific documents in a search.
  4. Custom Document Management Solutions - associate images with records in a database and then display from your custom application or website. Use SimpleIndex to integrate scanning with your custom software or database.
  5. Ad-Hoc Document Management - use a simple folder and file naming scheme to organize files on a network drive.

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Choosing a Document Management System

Here are some things to consider when deciding what features you need in a document management system:

  • What type(s) of documents will be stored in the document management system?
  • How many users will need access to the documents?
  • How often do the users have to access the documents?
  • What information will the user need to be able to find the right documents?
  • Do the users ever have to search through long documents for specific information?
  • Will all the users be located at the same location or on the same wide are network?
  • What computer operating systems will the users have?
  • Will the users always have the required software to open the files on their computer?
  • How sensitive are the documents?
  • Are the documents subject to any regulatory security or retention mandates from HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, FRCP, etc.?
  • Are there any document approval or distribution processes that could be automated with workflow?
  • Do you just need to be able to store your documents in a way that you can find them when you need them, and you don't care about security, workflow, websites or any other fancy bells and whistles and don't want to spend a lot of money?

If you answered yes to the last question, perhaps an ad-hoc document management system is for you! Check out SimpleIndex scanning software for an easy, inexpensive way to automatically organize your scanned files and existing electronic documents into structured folders and filenames on a network drive. There are also many free desktop and web-based search tools you can use to create a full-text index of your documents and single interface for finding and accessing files.

If you have a sensitive data, documents subject to regulatory mandates, or highly active documents that must be shared by many users or users in multiple locations, we highly recommend using a Document Management System.

Document management systems tag each document with one or more keyword indexes. This lets you find documents by specific criteria like a customer name or ID, date and number ranges or complex boolean searches. A content search system relies on searching the text contained in each file. This is better for finding information hidden within mountains of loosely organized electronic documents, like a typical shared drive. Full-text searching is available with either solution, but with content search it is the primary search method, while document management systems use it as a backup for misfiled documents or a data mining tool.

Hosted solutions are best for companies that need enterprise document management but do not have the IT resources available to support an in-house solution. It also works well when a large number of remote users need access to documents. Hosted solutions are even more secure than in-house since e-commerce rated encryption protects all data, and service hosts have redundant servers, internet connections, off-site backups and other protections in place.

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Features Compared on This Chart

  • Supported Scanners, File Types & Databases

    Imports - supported data formats for automatic import of images and index data
    Scanning - supported scanner drivers and recommended applications for integrated batch scanning
    Database - supported database server platforms
    Client - whether client access is done via application, website or other
  • Features & Options

    Security & HIPAA
    - provides security and document access tracking features required by HIPAA for medical records
    Workflow - automatically route documents from user to user for approvals and other business document processes
    Report Management - import batch print jobs from servers and mainframes as text documents with image overlays
    Email Management - integrated regulatory-compliant email archiving solution available
  • Price Range

    Software Cost
    - The lower price range represents the minimal, standalone configuration price.  The upper range represents the typical price of a system with 5 concurrent user licenses, or workstation licenses if concurrent is not available.

    Setup Cost - The low price is based on a minimal remote installation, configuration and training for one document type and security level. The higher price assumes 5 document types and security levels, as well as configuration of 3 advanced features like workflow, report management, email management or records retention schedules.

    $ - 500-2,500
    $$ - 2,500-5,000
    $$$ - 5,000-10,000
    $$$$ - 10,000+

    Pricing details and demo downloads are available when you create a ScanStore User Account.
  • License Types

    Named Workstation - each computer with the software installed requires a separate client license
    Concurrent User - each person simultaneously logged on to the system requires a separate client license
    Site License - the maximum number of users the server can support may connect to the system at once

Please feel free to contact us for help deciding which document management solution is right for you!

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