Document management with Doxis4
Taking part in processes that involve a lot of different documents without the support of an electronic document management system (DMS) is often very difficult: these processes often have to be completed in a particular order, lack transparency, are particularly prone to errors and involve a long, drawn-out time line. Doxis4 DMS manages to overcome all of these challenges, plus many more.
A document often has to pass through a number of different editing processes and receive approval from a number of different people before it reaches a final version that is ready for audit-proof archiving. Doxis4 DMS features all of the document management functions required for any type of content- or process-based business process: from template management and the use of annotations for making changes to non-editable formats (PDF, TIFF, etc.), right the way down to simply accessing and replacing documents. When combined with the Doxis4 Content Repository, Doxis4 eRecords and Doxis4 SmartOffice, it enables companies to replace their complicated file directory systems and various storage systems.
A smart solution for day-to-day work using Microsoft Office
Users will start to notice the benefits of using Doxis4 DMS the minute they start to create their first document. Using Doxis4 SmartOffice, users can search for content- and process-based information and documents straight from MS Office. This provides key support when creating new documents because, in an ideal case, it will provide users with a template for further work that only requires slight adjustment. This is also where the format-free storage function in the Doxis4 Content Repository comes into play as it enables the original file from Word, Excel, etc. to be stored alongside the audit-proof format (PDF, TIFF, etc.). As a result, users are able to save themselves a lot of time and effort as they no longer have to create new documents from scratch.
By applying a standardised approach to creating documents, Doxis4 also helps you to manage your drafts and templates, e.g., straight from an electronic record in the Doxis4 Client or using the template function in Doxis4 SmartOffice. Doxis4 templates are much more than simple letter templates containing CI content. Templates also contain document attributes such as the direction of communication (inbound/outbound) and the title/subject matter. For example, let's say that a user wants to draw up a new letter to one of his business partners; he can use the template to create a Word document that already contains all key information, such as the business partner's name and address. Alternatively, if he is drawing up a project status report, the document will carry over the most important project parameters from the template, thus reducing the risk of error. Creating new documents has never been quicker or easier. To use Doxis4 Templates to their full effect, you are recommended to combine them with eRecords. Templates can be assigned to an existing folder to make the storage process even more efficient. Alternatively, you can set up filing to a particular folder or pre-defined document types, even at the start of a workflow, e.g. when creating a project completion report.
Joint editing process for “live” documents
A large number of documents often have to run through a long creation process and/or are worked on by a number of different participants. This results in a number of different versions that then have to be filtered and managed. To help you with this process, Doxis4 features an extensive version management function that helps you to distinguish between the main version of the document and various working versions. As soon as the user clicks on “Edit”, the document in question is checked out and blocked for editing by other users but is still available for research purposes. Once the document has been revised and checked in again, Doxis4 automatically creates a new version of the document. Depending on the case in question, the user can either find out for themselves whether the version in question is a working version or a new main version, or he can use a release workflow to track the current version. Users can refer back to previous versions of a document at any time and can also reactivate earlier versions if necessary.
Collaboration using temporary workspaces
To make sure that collaborative work remains secure, Doxis4 uses a fine-grained security concept all the way to object level. This concept defines which users see which versions, who is permitted to make changes, and who is permitted to check out a document. Users are able to set up so-called workspaces, providing a handy form of support for team tasks. A state-of-the-art collaboration solution, Doxis4 gives users the chance to set up a form of temporary project record that can hold a number of different documents, process instances and objects and is accessible to the entire work group. So that users don't have to keep checking to see whether their colleagues have edited a particular document, they can sign up to a notification function that informs them as soon as changes have been made to a particular document or record folder. This helps to keep all project members up-to-date without wasting precious time. Once a project has been completed, the workspace can be deleted again and any content can be transferred to the archive – either as a final version or with various versions from the creation process.
Doxis4's Audit Trail function provides audit-proof documentation showing who created, added, edited, looked at, changed or deleted which document and when. The logging process therefore keeps a transparent record of all stages of the creation process. This helps users to comply with legal and internal regulations and may also be useful when it comes to determining liability in disputes or damage claims.
Working with the Doxis4 Archive, Doxis4 DMS covers the entire document life cycle – from creation and editing with document version management right up to completion and long-term secure storage. It also enables users to manage additional renditions, links between documents and digital signatures. To complement the functions in Doxis4 DMS, we recommend adding electronic records that can be used as a basis for managing records and documents at department, project, process instance and content level. Workflow functions that provide support with automatic management and control for document-intensive business processes are also particularly useful when using Doxis4 DMS.
What it has to offer
- Wide range of functions for storing and editing “live” documents
- Version management with working versions and main versions
- Assortment of annotation features including a practical overview function
- Intelligent template management
Company-wide solution: The Bahn content management system of DB AG
The Bahn content management system (BCM) is the primary solution used by the Deutsche Bahn to process documents. The solution is based on the Doxis4 iECM suite and covers all areas of modern enterprise content management. With over 32,000 users, BCM is one of the most used IT platforms in the DB corporation. BCM plays an important role in the digitalization strategy of the Deutsche Bahn. Project leaders, corporate strategists and users from the DB corporation explain the high value of the Bahn content management system in this video.
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Features & strengths
Doxis4 DMS includes a comprehensive version management function which helps you to track changes to documents that are subject to long editing processes and/or are edited by a number of different people. This enables you to differentiate between working versions and main versions, some of which may have different access rights, e.g. at a department level. The check-in/check-out mechanism ensures that a new version is automatically created as soon as a document is edited. This helps you to make sure that you don't overwrite content by accident. Depending on the case in question, the user can either find out for themselves whether the version in question is a working version or a new main version, or he can use a release workflow to track the current version. If necessary, users can also access earlier versions at any time. The close relationship between the Doxis4 Archive and its DMS functions ensure that work on a “live” document can also be “frozen” as an uneditable version at any time and then archived in an audit-proof manner.
In most companies, Microsoft Office is an essential part of day-to-day working life. This is why Doxis4 includes standard functions for transferring and filing documents, tables, presentations and emails straight from Microsoft Office applications into the Doxis4 Content Repository. However, the Doxis4 SmartOffice Plus Add-In extends integration into the Microsoft Office applications Word, Excel and PowerPoint even further: As well as including simple document filing functions, the add-in also enables users to search through documents that have already been archived, use a practical result list using the standard filter options in Doxis4, obtain direct access to the template management function in Doxis4 and create additional renditions, e.g. in PDF form. All of the functions are available to users in the well-known MS Office environment.
The template management function in Doxis4 helps users to standardise the document creation and storage process and is also available in Doxis4 clients and via Doxis4 SmartOffice. Doxis4 templates use basic document attributes, such as communication direction (inbound/outbound) and title/subject matter and transfer key content, such as address data, transaction numbers, etc., into new documents. This speeds up the document creation process, while also helping to avoid errors. Templates can be assigned to an existing folder in electronic records to make the storage process even more efficient. Alternatively, you can set up filing to a particular folder or pre-defined document types, even at the start of a workflow, e.g. when creating a project completion report.
A range of different annotations can be added to documents, even for formats such as PDF and TiFF that can't be edited. For example, you can add comments in post-it style, stamps, arrows and text form – just like working with paper documents. An individual annotation layer is created for each user and rights can also be assigned individually. However, in contrast to paper documents, annotations in Doxis4 are not a fixed part of the document. Instead, they are assigned at their own level (think of a removable clear film on a paper copy) and can be hidden if necessary – this is particularly useful for documents that cannot be altered, such as contracts. A practical annotation overview makes sure you never lose track of recent changes, even in larger documents.
Users are able to access documents requiring editing using the index search and fulltext search functions in the Doxis4 clients or straight from their Microsoft Office applications (see Integration with Microsoft Office). While the index search function looks quickly through particular records or documents, the fulltext search (text mining) searches through all document content. The search for documents and records covers all data pools, from “live” documents to audit-proof, archived objects. Document management with Doxis4 offers a range of major advantages for companies working across several sites: Access to documents is not linked to their retention. No matter where they are in the world, users will have access to documents at any time and can even access them via the web and mobile clients, provided that they have the appropriate access rights.
So that several users can work on documents and records together, Doxis4 features services like the Relationship Service that creates and manages shared workspaces and file structures. This means that users can set up a type of temporary project record for project work (collaboration); these records can contain a range of different documents, process instances and objects that can be made available to the entire project group, even when its members work in different departments. To make sure that all participants are kept up-to-date, the Notification Service can issue automatic notifications whenever documents are revised or added to project folders. Users can use the subscription function to decide for themselves which documents, folders, records or search processes are monitored and which changes should be included in the notification service. As soon as a project has been completed, a workspace can be deleted and shared content can be archived, either as a final version or including all editing steps.
Access rights for viewing, editing and deleting documents can be issued for individual documents. Furthermore, when using electronic records, rights can also be assigned at both folder and record level. Personal user authorisation and authentication, SSL encryption for client-server communication and the transfer of access rights from third-party systems (e.g. LDAP) help to keep your data secure during the editing process. The Audit Trail function provides audit-proof documentation showing who has added, looked at, changed or deleted which document and when. The logging process therefore keeps a transparent record of all stages of the process.
Make changes just like working with paper documents
Transferring document-heavy business processes to full electronic completion doesn't mean that you have to do without your favourite set of tools, like text markers, post-it notes, stamps, etc. Doxis4 provides all of these handy mark-up functions in digital form, so-called annotations.
Keep track with the annotation overview
The practical annotation overview provides you with an overview of all annotations in a simple list form. Double clicking on the annotation in question will take you straight to relevant point in the document. This is particularly useful for larger documents, such as contracts, specifications, etc. Now, you no longer need to flick through an 80-page document to find all of your colleagues' notes, comments and tips.
Smart Office integration
Doxis4's optional Office integration links the Microsoft Office applications Word, Excel and PowerPoint straight to the Doxis4 Content Repository. Additional menu items and dialogs in the Office application's menus enable you to save documents and search through the entire Repository. You can search, create, edit and manage versions directly in the standard Office environment, without having to go through the file system.
Overview of document management in Doxis4
- Comprehensive version management functions (working versions/main version)
- Wide range of template management functions
- Shared workspaces, e.g. for temporary project records (Relationship Service)
- Automatic notification service when changes are made to documents or new documents are saved in the relevant directories
- Search function covering all integrated data using an index search and fulltext search
- Range of different annotation options (e.g. comments, post-it notes, stamps, squares, arrows and text)
- Annotation levels with individual access rights
- Practical annotation overview
- Check-in/check-out function
- Assortment of options for filing and indexing documents (e.g. via Doxis4 clients, scanner link, automatic file import)
Integration with Microsoft Office
- Extension for MS Office to improve key document management functions
- Access straight from MS Office via Doxis4 SmartOffice
- Structured document filing using standard filing dialogs and parameters from Doxis4
- Search function covering the entire document pool – not limited to Office documents
- Check-in/check-out function including subsequent version management
- Additional formats available
- Access to Doxis4 template management functions straight from Microsoft Office
- Assignment of rights for accessing, changing, deleting live documents, down to individual document level
- Secure client-server communication (SSL-based)
- Audit Trail function for documenting all editing stages
- Certified, audit-proof archiving system (IDW PS 880)
Document management within the context of the Doxis4 architecture
DMS Service and Storage Service are the two main Doxis4 functions needed for document management and team tasks (collaboration). These functions are normally complemented by the Relationship Service for setting up workspaces and linking documents, the Text Mining Service for using the associative fulltext search, and the Notification Service for receiving automatic notifications, e.g. when changes are made to documents and records. Additional functions include the ILM Service for managing the entire document life cycle and the File Import Service for the automatic transfer of large quantities of documents.