I've thoroughly searched SR and clearly the best open source document management system is Alfresco. I downloaded and installed the community version, and I concur ... however for my purposes it is the proverbial bazooka vs fly situation.

I've already seen these posts, among others:

I really need more of a document/file scan, tag and catalog system. One program that looks like it could work is Nuance's PaperPort, but I've ruled it out because of Nuance's quality and support reputation and my own personal experience with other Nuance products. (Try searching for "alternative to paperport")


  • Local to my desktop
  • Integrated scan to PDF (TWAIN preferred but I can live with WIA)
  • Documents live in the filesystem at their original location; catalog/database stores only metadata
  • UI with
    • Standard file management tools: Windows Explorer style folder display, copy/move/delete, etc
    • Preview of common types (PDF, doc, txt, jpg, png, gif, etc)
    • Boolean expression filter/search based on filename, timestamp, tags
    • Open document folder in Windows Explorer

Nice to have

  • SHA1/MD5 to detect duplicates and re-connect moved files to metadata
  • Free, but I'm willing to pay a reasonable amount for something that matches my needs

Things I don't need

  • OCR
  • Web based backend
  • Version control
  • Mobile access
  • Multi-user, access rights, security, etc.

Applications I've examined and why they're inappropriate:

  • Alfresco - Way too heavyweight; documents copied into opaque location
  • Evernote - Database backend is remote
  • PaperPort - Poor reputation for quality and support
  • Lucion FileCenter - Low-cost "standard" version is missing most basic features
  • DocuXplorer - Too expensive ($500 for "personal" version)

Any other suggestions of what to look at?

EDIT: Any photographers out there might recognize my requirements list as overlapping significantly with the catalog functionality of Adobe Lightroom, but for general documents. I use Lightroom for my images and would love something that worked like the Library module plus document scanning. Adobe really got that one absolutely right (IMHO :-)

  • Very thorough question (+1) – but maybe you could edit it and name your budget as well as the OS (explicitly – though reading between the lines Windows seems a good guess, you might also accept Linux-based solution in your home network/VM, for example ;) // "simple … but not Alfresco": uh-oh, you'd call Alfresco "simple"? ;)
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 7:08
  • 1
    The title says "open source", could you please add it to your requirements list as it is easy to miss? Actually, since you seem OK with commercial software, you might consider removing it from the title and just saying "Ideally open source, or just free, but I'm willing to pay if [...]". Cheers!
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 9:11
  • @Jim: I independently ran across each of those linked questions today an was similarly unsatisfied.Did you ever find a suitable app?
    – N Jones
    Commented Jan 17, 2016 at 0:01
  • @NJones No, I never found anything. I shelved that project awhile back. See also my recent edit/addition to the original post. Commented Jan 17, 2016 at 3:11
  • @Jim: That's exactly the kind of behavior I was envisioning except I was thinking of Picasa and it's per-directory meta-data files. Thanks for the reply.
    – N Jones
    Commented Jan 17, 2016 at 18:45

3 Answers 3


LogicalDOC Community is Open Source and free. Full-text search

LogicalDOC is platform-independent and offers a simple web interface. It is absolutely lightweight and you can install it in a server as well as in a normal PC.

The Community Edition offers you the following features:

  • Web based backend
  • Standard file management tools
  • Preview of common types
  • Full-text searches
  • Version control
  • Mobile access
  • Multi-user, access rights, security, etc.

The Enterprise Edition gives you many more features like:

  • Boolean expression filter/search based on filename, timestamp, tags
  • Open document folder in Windows Explorer
  • OCR
  • TWAIN scanner integration
  • Workflow
  • Auditing system
  • Customizable reports

I like OpenProdoc. http://jhierrot.github.io/openprodoc/ This open source EDMS is java based and runs as either a (Swing) client or (web) server. A standalone version is available that runs right out of the box with no installation required. It has role based security, flexible folder setup, text search and the ability to import a single document or an entire folder of documents.


I would take a look at the following,

SOHODOX (Single User $199)
SOHODOX Screenshot 1
SOHODOX Screenshot 2
SOHODOX Screenshot 3

Sohodox is a windows-based document management software for small business and home that helps you to quickly create a centralized, searchable database of all your documents. Keep documents private or share them with other Sohodox users on your network.

Sohodox paperless office software is quick to install, cost-effective and easy to use. It is a small business tool for you that is designed to deliver.

Sohodox electronic document management software works with any TWAIN compatible scanner. Save scanned documents as PDF, TIFF, JPEG, or PNG files. Re-arrange and add pages to PDF or TIFF files at any time. Sohodox file management software features a modern MS Outlook style user interface that you are already familiar with. You can add documents by dragging and dropping existing files and scanning paper documents.

Take a look at their feature page for more features, Sohodox Features Page

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