I seek a basic-features document management system.

This DMS is to be used in a Windows/.NET organization where users submit various documents via email, upload, scanning etc. These documents need to be stored and indexed and their metadata made readily available in the database. In addition to any front-end it may supply, the system would need a .NET API so that it can be invoked by the organization's applications.

Additional features such as OCR, Version Control etc. are not needed.

I haven't been able to come up with such a product.

Is something like this easy enough to implement in-house, or is there a product out there that fits the bill?

To summarize the requirements:

  • Windows XP/7 Compatible
  • Implements a storage and indexing scheme
  • Supplies a .NET API for programmatic access
  • May be a commercial product but price range not exceeding, say $1,000.
  • Just to clarify, are the OCR, Versioning etc. not needed or not wanted - ie first case fine if they are there but it really doesn't matter, second case the shouldn't be there because they'll just be bloat? Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 15:24
  • not needed is probably more accurate than not wanted. I just mentioned it because I've found that the products with those features are the expensive ones. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 15:27
  • 2
    makes sense - by not pricey what price range are you thinking? Defining it as not enterprisey I would guess <$1000 but better to be explicit (even explicity vague) rather than based on possibly differing interpretations of a word like enterprisey Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 15:32
  • How many users are you looking at?
    – James
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


Alfresco Community would do the job well.

  • You can upload documents by email (not activated by default as anyone can send emails).
  • You can upload documents via the Web interface (drag-and-drop to browser window).
  • You can set up CmisSync to automatically sync a folder between your computer and the server, and then configure your scanner to put all images inside this folder. That way, images will be automatically uploaded when scanned. (disclosure: I develop this tool)
  • Data storage in internal database or external database for the metadata, and filesystem for the files themselves.
  • Metadata automatically filled, you can edit it via the web interface.
  • Windows XP/7 compatible (among others).
  • Both metadata and full-text are indexed and searchable.
  • .NET API: DotCMIS. This API is also compatible with most of the other document management systems (CMIS standard), so your organization's applications will continue to work even if you switch to another document management system, which is not the case with proprietary APIs.
  • Free on-premise. There is also a free limited cloud-hosted version if you prefer.

Version control is also available but off by default. There are many features that you won't use, but I don't think they will get in your way.

Disclaimer: I don't work for Alfresco, but I am member of the open source project, and I sometimes develop solutions based on Alfresco.

  • Just took a cursory glance at their website; did not find any free offerings.. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 17:07
  • see the pricing page - scroll down to the SAAS offering there is a free version there. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 17:11
  • 3
    It is a bit hard to find there IS a free open source version: alfresco.com/products/community Click on "No thanks" to go directly to the downloads. Updated answer.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 2:50
  • Does Alfresco require any browser plugins? Does it require java for the browser? Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 17:54
  • @steampowered: No, Java is only needed on the server, not on clients like web browsers.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Oct 10, 2017 at 2:29

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