Why Your Document Management System Needs Future-Proof Architecture

Perhaps all your company needs is a simple document management solution running on a single workstation. On the other hand, you might need a system that spans multiple organizations, thousands of users and millions of documents.ThinkstockPhotos-481850118

In either case, your system’s architecture and core technologies play a major role in performance and its ability to adapt to meet your company’s changing business needs for years to come.

1) Modern web-based and mobile interfaces: Your document management technology should perform equally well on a Mac or Windows OS, as well as the variety of mobile devices your employees rely upon. Choosing a document management system that only accommodates one platform limits your choices of hardware and your employees’ productivity.

To ensure maximum flexibility, look for a document management system that supports all standard browsers, using HTML5. This architecture allows you to access the system from any Internet-capable device running a standard browser, and ensures that your document management solution is able to keep pace with the rapid changes in IT devices. To further encourage mobile productivity, look for a system that offers native mobile applications optimized for iOS and Android.

2) Open communication standards:
For a future-proof document management solution, your interface architecture must be able to communicate between Windows programs, HTML5 web clients and native mobile apps. Look for a system that uses open communication standards, as well as HTTP/HTTPS in conjunction with REST (Representational State Transfer).

3) Compatibility with the cloud and on-premises servers:
Before purchasing a document management system, make sure that it supports all of the leading database server technologies, from the latest Windows versions to MS SQL, MySQL and Oracle. Even if you don’t think you want to move your documents to the cloud right now, it’s a good idea to choose a solution that offers a true Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud-based option in addition to supporting a variety of on-premises servers.

4) Multi-tenant capabilities:
Multi-tenant capabilities represent an important aspect of system architecture, especially when you want to deploy a document management system for multiple organizations. With multi-tenant capabilities, there is a clear divide between the system resources and the organizations using these resources.

The organizations that represent each tenant might contain certain users, archives, access rights and
digital workflows, as well as various other configuration settings. In a multi-tenant system, everyone’s data remains securely separated while making the most efficient use of system resources.

5) Scalable architecture:
A good document management system should allow you to start with a few users in a department, and then gradually expand the system into other departments without the number of users or archived documents affecting performance. The key to this flexibility and scalability is a system architecture that handles all document access and user actions with services.

With a small system, these services may all run on the same server, together with the database. For larger systems, the same services could be run on multiple servers. To balance the load on larger systems and increase system protection, the services could also run each as multiple instances, distributed on separate servers. No matter the size of the system, this architecture maintains flexibility and scalability.

In the end, an architecture with true multi-tenant capabilities, a service-oriented structure and seamless interfaces for web and mobile applications is essential to a high-performance, future-proof document management system. Regardless of how quickly your company grows, such a system is able to grow and adapt with you without the need for extensive changes or time-consuming re-training.

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Topics: Mobility, Document Management Selection