Business Management Software
Published December 29th, 2016 by

Document Management System Terms Explained

Confused by Document Management System Terminology? This’ll Help

Many people don’t even know what a document management system is, even if they are in serious need of one. For starters, it’s more than cloud storage, and certainly more than a Dropbox or fancy receptacle for things you already have on your desktop.

Essentially, it’s a solution that solves all issues an organization could face in the accounting, financial solutions, insurance, real estate, technology, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, property management, and human resources documentation management.

Below are some common acronyms that will help you understand the features of a document management system, and bring you one step closer to leveraging one of these systems successfully.

HTML Previewers

A Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) previewer or HTML editor gives an interactive toolbar for viewing files in a document management system. It provides the document altering that one would find in Microsoft Office solutions like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, but within the ECM itself—helping users remain on a single platform throughout the workflow and content life cycle.

This toolbar usually appears automatically once a file is selected, giving access to content navigation, text highlighting, magnification, width fitting, rotating, zooming, full screen, and printing functions.

This HTML previewer should also be able to view files in vector format, meaning the image can be enlarged or shrunken without losing quality. Additionally, a document management system with the ability to generate images of Microsoft office documents, PDF files, most picture types, and various versions of text files with a faster previewer response time is crucial, since it will sequentially load one page at a time instead of uploading the whole document at once, meaning the document is usable even while downloading.

Structured Query Language (SQL)

A robust SQL feature will help organizations of all sizes (not just small to mid-sized organizations) in the insurance, manufacturing document management, healthcare, finance, accounting, human resources, and technology fields better manage extensive files, folders, content, or users. Additionally, SQL gives enhanced performance improvements in search and template bandwidth, and workflow in a document management system.

Many document management vendors utilize SQL requirements and standards as they are administered by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). SQL is used in a document management solution to communicate with a database or various databases.

The best document management system vendors leading DMS vendors alter the SQL properties of their products every couple of years to improve communication with computer databases, and if an organization wants to manage its systems alone, irrespective of its size, choosing the document management option with a recent SQL boost is worthwhile.

The optimal grade SQL option for organizations can improve the speed of software functions by as many as 1,000 times—showing the importance of ample, enterprise-grade SQLs from the business process management perspective.

Full Application Programming Interface (API) Access

Making sure a document management system vendor has robust, system-level API access is crucial to prospective document management system users who want to stick with a long-term solution without switching vendors.

An Open API allows for programmers to make their own rules, whereas a closed API allows only one route for its processes as predetermined by the software vendor. Both open and closed APIs have benefits and downfalls, but most ECM vendors offer robust API for third-party software integrations, ensuring business continuity for both DMS vendors in their software integrations and document management system users alike, who thus benefit from these integrations.

Not to be confused with open source technology, which contributes to decentralized software development, an open API contributes to decentralized business development, allowing changes to be made to the software in terms of configuration.

A great analogy for describing how an open API and a closed API differ begins with a deck of cards and a board game. A board game is like a closed API. It only allows you to take one route given its structure within the system.

However, an open API is like a deck of cards considering the cards can be constructed in multitudes of ways to play a wide range of different games.

Although there’s a uniform structure within a deck of cards (a certain number of spades, hearts, and card types), the components can be utilized to achieve drastically different objectives.

Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR)

Intelligent Character Recognition is similar to optical character recognition (OCR), but works on a smaller scale to identify individual characters via neural network technology, a useful feature when needing to search for documents based on the signatures in documents, and when metadata that would have otherwise identified the object of a worker’s search cannot retrieve the document or content itself.

Although ICR is yet to be adopted and implemented in mass within the typical document management system, its development is on the upswing, and it’s still a technology in its nascent stages of creation. This feature will likely be popular and in widespread use within the next decade.

Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS)

CMIS defines domains used by various applications to alter a storage system’s content. These services facilitate the interoperability of content navigation across the web, including multi-filing capabilities.

Although included in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for content management in 2015, this solution is only considered native to several document management system vendor solutions because it belongs more in the ECM playing space, which entails more high octane content management solutions designed for larger businesses.

Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV)

Another open standard based in the internet, this feature, inherent to some document management system vendors’ products, allows users to edit pages on the web over hyper-text transfer protocol and HTTPS connections.

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