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Has anyone found a good application that would allow a user to store a collection of information such as equipment/product cutsheets in a format that is more robust than trying to categorize according to folders?

I routinely work on projects where we select a product and may have data sheets, installation manuals and quotes all associated with the equipment. Trying to sort them into folders works to a point, but becomes overwhelmingly tedious when trying to gather some particular bit of information after you have meticulously sorted because you then have to go through all of the folders and subfolder to grab the relevant files.

A further feature that would be helpful would be to freeze the collection of equipment data at a particular major version/milestone. Then there will be a record of the changes that occurred as the project progressed.

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I suggest Alfresco.

Just install Alfresco on a server somewhere in your company, and tell everyone the address (you can link Alfresco with LDAP or ActiveDirectory so that you don't need to create accounts manually).

People will be able to store documents in Alfresco:

  • in a folder hierarchy
  • with categories (following a hierarchy of categories defined by the administrator)
  • with tags (freely created by users)
  • with a date

For instance, the document "manual.pdf" could have categories "World>Asia>Pakistan" and "Documents>Manuals" and "Vendors>Cisco>NWD48". People might also have added the tags "out-of-date" and "Project Athena2020" and "Epson renewal 2018".

Search is very powerful:

  • Search queries are answered in just a few seconds, rather than minutes if you were using a filesystem or shared drive,
  • Full-text search is available,
  • You can filter your search for particular categories and tags, or between two dates,
  • You can even set up OCR if you need to search through scanned documents.

Alfresco is free and open source.

An example of tag usage: enter image description here

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We use Doxis 4 (Not the cloud version, but I wish we were).

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