First released by the Drupal in April of 2010, filedepot is an open-source document management system. This program, which can be downloaded for free on the official Drupal website, is Drupal’s content management platform. It is meant as an alternative to Google Docs and other similar file-sharing and collaboration applications. In a filedepot overview video published on YouTube, the program was succinctly described as “a purpose-built application” that can be used by companies to share and edit files.
Features of filedepot
Drupal’s filedepot document management system boasts many of the same features as other similar programs. Arguably its defining characteristic is that it is an open-source document management system, which means that companies and other user groups can use it as a free file repository. Google Docs, of course, is also free but is not as feature-rich as filedepot.
A full-service program despite its $0 price tag, filedepot allows for file storage, sharing, editing, and collaboration—among other things.
We have highlighted most of the program’s chief features below:
- Versatile file support: Instead of just supporting common file types (.doc, .xls, etc.), filedepot supposedly allows for the storage of any and all types of files.
- Convenient organization: The main navigation interface for filedepot, while not slick or particularly aesthetically pleasing, does its core job in a satisfactory fashion. Navigating the program is easy, and organizing files (into folders, subfolders, etc.) makes it easy to find items. A “Recent Files” section keeps track of documents you’ve recently opened, and the ability to flag files as favorites makes the file-finding process even simpler. You can also tag different folders or documents, which is useful for organizing very large collections of files.
- Permissions: As with other similar programs, filedepot allows users to stipulate who can and cannot access their files. Specifically, you can decide which users in your organization can view, download, upload, or edit a certain file.
- Versioning: The filedepot open-source DMS includes a versioning feature, which helps keep track of files through their updates and evolutions. When users update new versions of existing files, both the new and old versions are kept and cataloged in the file repository. This feature makes it possible for users to look back at edits (or find mistakes) based on older versions of a file.
- File status: Drupal’s content management platform allows users to lock files that they are in the process of editing. This feature helps ensure that two people aren’t editing the same file at the same time and makes sure that all edits or changes are applied to the file without conflict.
- Easy uploading: Filedepot uses a drag-and-drop upload system to help users conveniently add folders and documents to the online file repository. Specifically, filedepot works with the Filebuilder application to upload “hundreds or thousands” of files and folders at once. Filebuilder was developed by Nextide, which also designed the filedepot DMS.
The Comparison to eFileCabinet
While the filedepot open-source document management system brings a range of useful features to the table, the program also has some drawbacks. Most of these limitations are born from the fact that filedepot is an open-source program that is essentially freeware. The program can work for businesses, students, or other communities or users, but it doesn’t have the extra draws that a paid program from an established company would.
For instance, take eFileCabinet. A well-established and nationally recognized document management system, eFileCabinet boasts similar features and capabilities to filedepot in file organization, permissions, uploading, sharing, and editing. However, eFileCabinet also adds security, mobile options, access to ongoing product support, and compliance with numerous sets of government regulations—to name a few of the advantages of a paid product.
Security and Government Compliance
So what do these extra features mean for a user?
To start, eFileCabinet’s security means that your files will be kept safe and encrypted at all times, from file transfer to file storage. Secure storage is particularly important if you are sharing or editing documents with sensitive information. Some organizations are even required to meet certain government standards and regulations when it comes to uploading and storing files to document management systems. The eFileCabinet DMS is fully compliant with FINRA, the SEC, and other government organizations so that you can meet regulations and keep your documents safe and secure at the same time.
The benefits of mobile access in a DMS, meanwhile, are self-explanatory. Through eFileCabinet, executives and professionals can access their files from anywhere, whether they are traveling, in a meeting, or otherwise away from the computer. The bottom line is this: each year, tablets and smartphones become the default channel for email and internet browsing for more and more people. Having a document management system that is optimized for mobile usage is a must.
Support access is often one of the major differences between open-source programs and paid software. Drupal’s filedepot is an attractive option because it is a free open-source DMS. However, the open-source nature of the program affects the availability of support. If you need to troubleshoot a problem with filedepot, your primary option is a forum.
Ultimately, while eFileCabinet does charge a monthly fee for per-user access, the benefits of managing files through a well-established brand and service will be worth the expense for most companies. An open-source DMS is good for basic file collaboration, but for enterprise applications, a service like eFileCabinet is the only way to go.