I'm looking for a tool for record retention, with the following requirements:

  • [must] be installable on-site
    To satisfy legal needs, no data leaves the building.

  • [must] provide API for upload
    For integration with other products.

  • [must] Handle millions of documents without performance loss
    So dropping everything in a Windows folder is out of the question.

  • [must] Allow filtering by metadata, including metadata of other types than string, like date/time
  • [must] Allow for purging of old documents
  • [should] Allow encryption of stored files
  • [nice to have] Access audit

Not required:

  • Capture: scan, OCR, OMR - because documents are electronically generated in the first place
  • full text search - searching by metadata is enough
  • Validation - not required because it's already done by the system this tool will be integrating with
  • Distribution, other than archiving. Only a few user accounts should have access to the documents
  • Workflow, versioning, collaboration - documents are generated automatically, and they're read-only
  • Federated search - single archive
  • Publishing & reproduction - internal use only

I know, Google should be my friend. But by googling I only learned that

  • a CMS may, if configured, satisfy the requirements, but I assume a CMS is not usually designed with document archiving in mind
  • a DMS like LogicalDoc, OpenKM, ContentCentral, or Alfresco should cover most of the needs out of the box, but it may be overkill

So it looks like what I need is a dumbed-down / minimal DMS built specifically for record retention. Is there a name for such a tool? Can you recommend any specific such tool, based on your own experience? Feels like I'm not using the right keyword.

  • Would an internal git or other version control system work?
    – ivanivan
    Mar 9, 2018 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


Alfresco and its Records Management extension is the right tool for this. I don't believe it is overkill.

  • Installable on-site: Yes, you can download the software and install it on your internal network, no Internet needed
  • API for upload: Yes, the CMIS standard allows uloading
  • Handle millions of documents without performance loss: Yes, people are storing crazy amounts. See how this guy has servers with "tens of million of documents".
  • Allow filtering by metadata, including metadata of other types than string, like date/time: Yes, backed by built-in Solr.
  • Allow for purging of old documents: That's what the Records Management extension does.
  • Allow encryption of stored files: Yes, see the documentation.
  • Access audit: Not by default, but you can enable audit and set it up to record READ events. The audit configuration learning curve is a bit steep but there is good documentation.

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

  • Your endorsements might indeed be accurate, but you still need to disclose your involvement in the Alfresco project Oct 6, 2017 at 17:06
  • @steampowered: Done :-)
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Oct 10, 2017 at 2:32

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