I am used to MS Sharepoint, as I managed it for a few years for around 200 people.
But now I am working for a very small company, less then 7 people. They don't want to use Office 365 or Google Docs. So I am looking for something, probably some freeware on Linux, to do some workflow. I've been looking at Joomla but I don't think it's what I want.

Since I couldn't check all document management systems that exist, I am asking if you know some web app for internal use, that can search and index documents? And in which, if it's also possible to do some business logic to handle just a small workflow of good/bought/sold/returned/damaged/ordered/etc., where one is a bit free to create such a database.

I'm not looking for a CMS with chat rooms / wikis / videos / blogs etc., but something that I can do some workflow, save documents, and perhaps create some standard templates for orders and such. Tracking of goods that go in and out the company.

A webstore is not required.

Since we are a small starting company, freeware is preferable, so it doesn't need to be Microsoft-based. Linux is OK.

  • 1
    Youre disallow wiki, so only as comment. Take a look to Foswiki - it is a wiki, but you can create wiki-applications using already developed macros for workflows and such. You can attach documents and create forms for gathering inputs. Check this: foswiki.org/About/WebHome and foswiki.org/Extensions/WorkflowPlugin and many other extensions.
    – clt60
    Commented Aug 2, 2014 at 9:27

2 Answers 2


Clinker seems to be a very good turnkey solution which includes many different Linux solutions like Redmine, Alfresco (has Activiti as the BPM engine) etc. But you need to be a little bit fluent in Linux based solutions to operate and customize the whole package. It's normally an ALM solution which can be customized and used to achieve whatever solution you want.

It's both a hosted and an on-premises (they call it the virtual appliance) solution. The virtual appliance is free to download and use but you'll be alone on your own with it.


When I was looking at Document Management/Workflow Management (DMWM) solutions a few years ago, the two front runners for our purposes were Alfresco and SharePoint.

Alfresco is long on underlying functions, and, at the time, short on user interface, compared to MS SharePoint (2007 and 2010). It is open source with a commercial version with maintenance available, usually through local VARs.

You can download and install on your personal computer for testing purposes, or a nearby server. I've worked with it on Linux, Windows Server and Mac OS X. The client side is, of course, a web browser; the feature set is identical across browsers (FireFox 4 and later, IE8 and later, Safari, etc.). Installation is straightforward. Out of the box database options are limited to the free DBs, but you can likely install and manage other database drivers, JDBC being what it is.

Document management is extremely capable. Everything is a node; some nodes are directories or folders, some have files attached and some have web pages attached. Files are stored in the underlying file system while nodes and relationships between nodes are stored in the database. Creating new content types takes some work; I understand that more current versions of Alfresco make this a lot easier.

Work flow management was pretty basic when I first looked at it. Out of the box you could get half a dozen of the most common, simple work flows, such as review-and-approve, voting, etc. Since then, the Alfresco developers have added in Activiti for business process management. This is a very powerful work flow management tool. There is a web-based work flow editor that allows you to create the flow diagrams. Work nodes can be assigned to individuals, groups of individuals or resource pools to carry out, or work nodes can be automated with Java, Groovy or JavaScript. Documents can be attached to processes and, of course, work flow steps can modify the document (actually, create a new version of the document) or the document status, or convert to a new document format, such as PDF or HTML for publication.

As a proof of concept, I created a suite of document content types and several JavaScript procedures (to be run server side) that took a spreadsheet with the description of several hundred files, the several hundred files, and then imported them and added metadata from the spreadsheet so that the documents could be searched and served out.

I ended up being very impressed with the document management capabilities. I have only played a bit with Activiti since it was incorporated into Alfresco, but I am excited to see Alfresco headed in that direction.

The basic, out of the box, community edition can be up and running very quickly in your organization. What will take time and effort is training users to understand data quality management, work flow systems and document management; this is true regardless of the platform you choose.

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