Alfresco or no alfresco
September 26, 2009 3:48 AM   Subscribe

I want advice on setting up a basic, password protected, document management system to host pdf documents and pdf forms. I am inundated with terms like Joomla, Drupal, Alfresco each one with its pros and cons [similar questions on askmefi havent helped much]

I am looking for a quick implementation of a server based system which people from the organisation and outside (who have access via username and password) can download them for their use.

What we need it for: We have to submit reports monthly for the projects we do and currently we manage this via an informal mailiing list but everybody else in our industry has not migrated to 'document portals' and the ability for the clients to have all documents in one place is the most requested feature.

'Must Have' features:
1. Different levels of access depending on the level of user
2. Company logo and branding to give it a professional feel
3. A left pane with a folder tree and when a folder is clicked it brings up a list of documents with a short description of the document and a link to download.

'Nice to Have' features:
1. Ability to upload documents via email
2. Ability to fill and submit pdf forms
3. Advance printing features
4. Email users when a new document is uploaded.

The options I have been offered are:
- commercial document management systems hosted for a monthly fee
- joomla hosted on a third party server
-alfresco hosted on a third party server


1. We do not expect for the total amount of data held on the server to be more than a few gigabytes.

2. Total number of users (including all categories) will not be more than 10 and at maximum can rise to 50 if we really really push it.

I am told that Alfresco is the all singing dancing platform for something like this but takes a higher level of skill to deploy than joomla which is not really a document management system but can function like a basic one.

I am looking for advice on the above or any other ideas. Thanks
posted by london302 to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
alfresco sounds like a bit of overkill for this -- if im not wrong its superiority comes from its workflow features for which you have little need (besides getting emailed on new uploads)
joomla is the last product you need for this -- if i had to do this i'd write it from scratch: you could probably have a working version in less than a week if you were to use a decent serverside technology (im thinking coldfusion since it has builtin tree widgets and pdf support and is made by the same people who own PDF, namely Adobe)
Adobe does have some superduper hosted solutions in this space too but ive never used them and they would likely be overkill too.
posted by 3mendo at 11:49 AM on September 26, 2009

Response by poster: 3mendo, I an not at all skilled in writing anything software so the only chance I have is to get someone to install it for me (on Elance prehaps). Any suggestions on how I can communicate my needs?
posted by london302 at 12:59 PM on September 26, 2009

Best answer: Try as well , i think more people use it.
Your write up made sense; you may want to add some layout sketches and maybe some usage examples in plain english so that your coder can better understand what you're after.
Specifications can never be too detailed..
posted by 3mendo at 1:06 AM on September 27, 2009

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