OfficeTools Document Management System (DMS) works in a very unique way that can be a little foreign to traditional Windows users. This guide is meant to bring an understanding to how documents will be stored, what actually exists in OfficeTools, and considerations to take when using the DMS system.
OfficeTools can be used as a Documents Management System which adds another layer to the idea of an integrated system. Being able to access documents from the same system you are tracking time, tracking due dates, and looking up contact data, lends itself to the efficiency of the firm.
DMS is unique in the way that we utilize what we call “cross folder search and merge”. However, to understand what that means, first a foundation of what actually happens to your documents when they are put into OfficeTools, should be laid.
The OfficeTools system does not actually store your documents. They do not physically sit in the confines of the software. All documents are stored in a location you designate, typically the machine or service that acts as the server for your office. On that server, the documents are put into a Windows file folder structure that is created by OfficeTools. There are options that affect how that Windows file folder structure is created in correlation to your documents, however, you will not be able to manually create or adjust the Windows folders; OfficeTools will create and manage the structure as it needs.
Please note: It is imperative for all documents to be put into and accessed through the OfficeTools interface, not the server. Because the documents are actually stored on the server, the DMS system only links back to the documents on the server. Any change to the filename or file path that takes place on the server and not through the OfficeTools interface, will break the link that exists in OfficeTools and the document will show as (Missing).
“Cross folder search and merge” describes the way we can organize the documents, or as you now know the document links, in OfficeTools. Because we are dealing with specified labels and naming as it exists in OfficeTools, we can set aside a “tree structure” and the heavy-handed order that comes with it. Using a typical “tree structure” means you to have to know the exact sequential order of folders a document exists under. For some offices that have immaculate organizational skills, this isn’t a problem at all. However at some juncture it is likely staff is going to get creative and add a new layer that wasn’t expected, or maybe isn’t totally sure the nature of the document in question and just sticks it in the client file. Finding documents after that could be pretty tedious.
OfficeTools helps standardize the names of folders and allows you to search any folder or “label” in any order among other things. This more flexible way of searching files allows for you to know just a few pieces of information about the document, and search those to find desired files.