If you are currently looking for document management software (DMS) for your business, then there is a good chance you will stumble upon OpenDocMan at some point in your search. OpenDocMan is an open-source DMS that you can use to digitize your files, collaborate on documents with other users, and more. In short, it’s a web-based tool that allows you to create a “digital file cabinet” of sorts for your business in the cloud.

The main draw of OpenDocMan is that it is an open-source DMS, which means that it is free to download and use. If you or someone in your organization has coding experience, you are also free to modify OpenDocMan as you see fit. OpenDocMan, for the record, is coded in PHP.


The Features of OpenDocMan

Similar to any DMS, OpenDocMan is a fairly detailed and multi-tiered program with a laundry list of features.

We have briefly described a few of the most notable OpenDocMan features below:

  • Document management: Obviously, the core purpose of OpenDocMan is web-based document management. You can upload any file into the system, divide your documents into different folders or categories, delegate access permissions for different files, and more. OpenDocMan also includes a search function to help you find your files quickly.
  • Track changes: OpenDocMan allows supervisors to review changes that employees have made to files before accepting them. The open-source DMS also allows for viewing of revision history and has a “check out” feature to ensure that two people aren’t editing the same file at the same time. The latter feature is designed to make sure that no edits are overwritten or lost due to simultaneous file access.
  • Automation: One OpenDocMan feature allows business leaders to mark different files for expiration. If a file becomes out of date, irrelevant, or otherwise expired on a certain date, you can mark it for expiration and have it automatically deleted from the OpenDocMan system on a predetermined date.
  • Feature request: One of the perceived benefits of using an open-source DMS is that you can request new features at any time. For instance, if you go to the OpenDocMan homepage, browse through the full list of features, and see that a feature you want or need is missing, you can visit the forums and make a feature request. Since OpenDocMan is open source, the idea is that anyone could see your request, go into the program source code, and create an alternative version of the software with your requested feature included.

Please note that this list does not constitute every feature included with the OpenDocMan software. Rather, these are just the key features that business managers might find useful with this particular open-source DMS.


A Comparison to eFileCabinet

OpenDocMan sounds promising enough, right? But should you choose an open-source DMS for business applications right off the bat? Or would it be wiser to compare an open-source program such as OpenDocMan to a paid enterprise document management system?

Needless to say, it is always better to have more information on hand before making a major software decision for your company. With that in mind let’s take a look at OpenDocMan through the lens of a competing enterprise DMS. Specifically, let’s compare OpenDocMan to a well-established DMS program called eFileCabinet.

The most obvious difference between these two pieces of software is that OpenDocMan is free and eFileCabinet charges per user, per month. However, if you dig deeper, you will notice that the differences between open-source and enterprise document management systems are much more pronounced than they appear at first.

Even just a few minutes spent browsing the eFileCabinet website will show that the program offers what OpenDocMan does and then some. Document management with folders, subfolders, permissions, and easy searching? Check. The option to track file changes, view revision histories, and revert to previous versions of a file? Check. Automation of certain file actions? Check. Any DMS—open source or otherwise—should have these features, and eFileCabinet brings all of them to the table.

In addition, eFileCabinet adds a slew of features that OpenDocMan does not offer.

These include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Built-in server hosting: Even the most basic version of eFileCabinet includes server hosting and data storage. With OpenDocMan, you have to set up your own server hosting because no data storage is included with the free download.
  • Mobile app: A document management system should make it possible for you to access and manage your files from anywhere. eFileCabinet has a mobile app that makes it possible for you to do everything from your smartphone or tablet—as well as from your computer.
  • Security: With eFileCabinet, all of your data is securely encrypted at all times—whether during transit or at rest. In addition, your files are stored redundantly across numerous servers—ensuring that if one server does fail, your files aren’t lost. OpenDocMan offers zero encryption, no storage redundancy, and little more than a secure URL feature to keep you and your data safe.
  • Ongoing program updates and customer support: The utopian idea about open-source software is that users will collaborate with one another to make the software better, requesting and adding new features regularly. With OpenDocMan, requests for features or bug fixes can go unanswered for months. Click here or here for examples. With eFileCabinet, you can count on regular updates to fix bugs or improve the software. If you have a problem that you need help troubleshooting, meanwhile, the eFileCabinet includes numerous manuals, FAQs, forums, and other resources to help. And if none of those resources solve your problem, you can speak directly to an eFileCabinet representative, either over the phone or through live web chat.
  • ISO 17025 accreditation: ISO 17025 is an international standard that establishes different requirements for testing and calibration laboratories around the globe. The standard has various stipulations about laboratory document management systems, including requirements for document review, revision, organization, accessibility, storage, and deletion. While OpenDocMan’s homepage says that the program was “designed to comply with ISO 17025,” eFileCabinet has actually been ISO 17025 certified.

Want to learn more about the many, many features that are available with eFileCabinet? Check out the acclaimed enterprise DMS online, at www.efilecabinet.com.


A Word on SecureDocMan

Clearly, the only area in which OpenDocMan can compete with eFileCabinet is price. But if you spend more than a few minutes on the OpenDocMan website, you will see that the “free” version of the program isn’t even the full version. On the contrary, there’s a “Pricing” tab on the OpenDocMan website where you can purchase a more fully featured version of the software, called SecureDocMan.

From the SecureDocMan pricing menu, you should be able to see that eFileCabinet isn’t just the better program, but the better bargain as well. There are two packages available for SecureDocMan. The “Basic” version costs $14 per month, gives you 25 gigabytes of storage and adds custom workflows, batch import, and audit reporting. The “Standard” version is $28 per month and features all of the same features as the Basic version, but doubles the storage space.

Even the lowest tier version of eFileCabinet (which is $40 per user per month) offers 250 gigabytes of storage, plus workflow, audit trails, and all of the features discussed earlier in this article. Bottom line, the choice is clear: skip the free OpenDocMan download, bypass the SecureDocMan pricing page, and opt for eFileCabinet instead. In every single way, eFileCabinet is just the superior product for business use.