Document collaboration and assembly solutions?
February 21, 2007 6:05 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for recommendations for tools and workflows to simplify my firm's document creation and assembly processes.

As part of my firm's operations, we frequently have to put together large bound reports on our performance or potential investments, and these document invariably require the efforts of multiple individuals, across many weeks or months. Invariably there are documents like PropertyReport1Jan07_FINAL.doc and PropertyReport_Newer.doc (which makes me crazy), lost versions, bothersome hand assembly, etc.

There have been a number of Ask.Metafilter questions about collaboration tools, but most collaboration tools seem to focus on scheduling, tracking, chat, and document storage (not versioning or checkin/out). It looks like the legal field has some products that may serve my needs but I would think there would be some industry-neutral products. I suspect tools like K4 and QPS would be massive overkill, and tools like OJS seem very academic-publication specific. Wikipedia's page on Document Management Systems doesn't list any products. I'm not sure where next to look.
posted by mjbraun to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
My company will be converting to Alfresco in a month or so (from our current shared network drive "system", if you can call it that). I know at least one of our departments work on a lot of collaborative documents and will be using the workflow, versioning, and check in/check out features of Alfresco. I don't know too much about it other than that it has those features, since we haven't migrated yet.

Oh, and it's open source.
posted by misskaz at 6:27 AM on February 21, 2007


We use Visual SourceSafe for this. I'm not sure it's the most ideal tool but it's way better than the previous system (or lack thereof---like misskaz's company, it was all about the network drive, sometimes in horrible combination with email attachments from remote employees.)

Only one person at a time can have the document checked out for editing, though. I don't know if this is good or bad in your case.
posted by slenderloris at 7:06 AM on February 21, 2007


Our network drive gives me the heebie jeebies, so it sounds like misskaz and I are in the same boat.

Sample:
CORP PROPERTY Narrative 11-28-06 VERSION 6 (2).doc
CORP PROPERTY Narrative 11-29-06 VERSION 6.doc
CORP PROPERTY Narrative 11-30-06.doc
CORP PROPERTY Narrative 12-12-06.doc
CORP PROPERTY Narrative 12-15-06.doc
CORP PROPERTY Narrative 12-3-06.doc
CORP PROPERTY Narrative 12-4-06.doc
CORP PROPERTY Narrative 12-5-06.doc

I thought about using a revision control system like SVN but I decided that it might be too intimidating for the non-technical folk around these parts.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that we're a mixed Mac/PC shop, to further complicate matters.
posted by mjbraun at 7:40 AM on February 21, 2007


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