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ISO 9001-Compliant Document Control? 152

Posted by kdawson
from the where-did-you-put-the-oh-here-it-is dept.
SmoothBreaker writes "Coming into a new company, I have been tasked with sourcing Document Control software to meet ISO 9001 standards. From everything I can find, ISO places no requirements on the software itself, aside from maintaining control of documentation and process. This was discussed eleven years ago. I'd like software that allows intuitive use for our less savvy users, and in a perfect world, graphical access to previous revisions of a document. I've used Microsoft's SharePoint, which the higher-ups like simply because it's Microsoft, but thankfully they trust their Tech Department to find the cream of the crop. What experience do you have with this kind of software, what would you recommend using, and what should I avoid?"
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ISO 9001-Compliant Document Control?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Did I meet you yesterday? When you transferred to this company from India? If you need help, just walk over and ask.
  • KT (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GigsVT (208848) on Friday April 09, 2010 @11:39AM (#31790136) Journal

    You might look into KnowledgeTree. It's open source.

    • Re:KT (Score:5, Informative)

      by solevita (967690) on Friday April 09, 2010 @11:43AM (#31790188)
      I clicked reply to say that very thing. We use KT here at work, is very nice, and we're not the only ones [knowledgetree.com]. We'd also looked at Alfresco in the past, but KT won on a number of factors, including ease of use and installation.
      • by theaveng (1243528)

        What he said but would add this:

        If you're already using MS SharePoint, then I'd stick with it. No point making people relearn a whole new program. However if you're not currently using anything, then yes go with the free (as in beer) option.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by solevita (967690)

          However if you're not currently using anything, then yes go with the free (as in beer) option.

          We pay for KT, but the free (as in Open Source) nature allows for some nice things, like integration with Zimbra [launchpad.net].

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      I've heard good word about KT from other folks too, although I've never used it myself. Sharepoint is not bad, but it locks things into it, too. It's a major pain to get things out of sharepoint once it's in, and why many companies still use sharepoint - even ones that don't want to use MS products.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      We're using KT and with the ease of setup and simple to use API's that allow us to automate some tasks I'd highly recommend it. We tried Alfresco and after a couple of days of setup became fed up with it.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I like Agile. It's expensive, but I've used it as document control for military contracts, NASA contracts, measurement instrumentation, and small scale s.

      Whatever system you chose, make your change control easy to change. It's change control, not change prevention. If you can't check in a document and get it approved in an afternoon, your implementation is wrong.

    • Documentum has been the leader in document management systems for years, the down side is that it can be expensive, difficult to program (docbasic???) and only runs (really) well on Oracle database (do NOT run it on SQLServer).

      Filenet is not a bad system, but it has gotten hella expensive since IBM started calling it Enterprise Content Manager.

      Sharepoint is a Documentum killer, in about two more releases. My team makes pretty good use of it, but I honestly am not impressed by the overall performance, config

      • by rainmayun (842754)
        I run a 50 TB (and growing) pair of Documentum repositories on a SQL Server cluster. The only performance issues we've had can be traced to the storage system, not to the database.
  • You really don't need anything more than compressed files with timestamps.

    Anything more than that is overkill, especially if you're trying to get ISO9001.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You really don't need anything more than compressed files with timestamps.

      Anything more than that is overkill, especially if you're trying to get ISO9001.

      It's rather zen how shortsighted your advice often is.

  • Alfresco (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 09, 2010 @11:41AM (#31790160)

    You might try checking out Alfresco which is an open-source Java based content management system with an excellent document module. In addition to ISO, it also meets many of the FDA requirements for medical product documentation. The link is http://www.alfresco.com

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Gr8Apes (679165)

      Alfresco as far as I know still uses Acegi for security - just be aware that only one call per authorized user can be handled at a time.

    • Re:Nuxeo (Score:3, Informative)

      by batje14 (1018044)
      I looked at the 3 big ones, alfresco, KM and Nuxeo, and like the latter best. For one, their full version == their GPL version. So if you want to do it all yourself, you will get all the features.

      Secondly, I found the interface nice and simple.

      Thirdly, they have this option where you can open a document from your browser, edit it and save it back into the DM system directly. (That requires a plugin for your browser & office). They used to have an openoffice version of that plugin too. Very sweet.
  • by grub (11606)

    sudo touch important.document
    sudo chmod 700 important.document
    sudo vi important.document

    and control access with your sudo acl.

    I'm joking, put down all those heavy ISO tomes.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The irony of the mere existence of physical tomes containing a standard for electronic document management should be enough to strike you down ;)

  • by jockeys (753885) on Friday April 09, 2010 @11:50AM (#31790272) Journal
    but I'm actually a fan of Sharepoint. Have used it for years and never found it lacking for documentation management in my line of work (engineering software development field). The price is an issue for some, but it requires very little maintenance and is fairly intuitive in it's workings, even to a newer user. Most of our co-ops figure out how to use it with little or no instruction, and our senior developers (myself included) haven't complained about lack of features or expressed frustration with not being able to get something done.

    just my 2 cents.
    • by uberjack (1311219) * on Friday April 09, 2010 @11:53AM (#31790308)
      My problem with Sharepoint is that doesn't work equally well on non-IE browsers. For example, text formatting is completely unavailable unless you're running IE.
      • by jockeys (753885) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:00PM (#31790432) Journal
        that's a valid concern, and a good reason to consider another product.

        ten minutes in, and I'm already modded down for saying I've been satisfied with a MS product... typical /.
        • modded down for saying I've been satisfied with a MS product

          No, you're getting modded down for recommending a product that has an IE-only web interface.

          • But most corporations mandate the use of IE anyway, so what's the problem? Corporations don't care about whether or not some interface supports web standards and all the various alternative browsers. They care that it works with the corporate standard which is IE.

            • by camperdave (969942) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:24PM (#31790790) Journal
              They care that it works with the corporate standard which is IE.

              They care that it works with the corporate standard which is IE6.

              Fixed that for you. Sigh! What a sad world we live in.
              • by ArhcAngel (247594)

                +5 insightful

                We have been "planning" to move to IE7 for 2 years. A few lucky souls have actually received it but it is still not compatible with some of our SAP modules so until they update the modules on IE6 we will stay.

              • by MobyDisk (75490)

                Sharepoint is garbage. Document management over AJAX is just a terrible idea. It isn't just that it only works on IE. It's that it only works if your workstation is exactly perfectly right. That means:

                - Make sure everyone has the same exact version of office. Service pack and all.
                - Don't have 2 versions of office installed.
                - That includes any 3rd-party software that installs office components
                - Don't upgrade from an old version of office -- just reformat.
                - Don't even have another browser installed.
                - Don

            • They care that it works with the corporate standard which is IE.

              You got it backwards. IE is the corporate browser because they've heavily invested financially and politically in crappy, brittle enterprise systems that break when you move away from IE6. Nobody picked enterprise software because of the browser it ran on.

              I deal a lot with corporate IT management types. Seriously IE--in particular IE6 which is the standard that is the issue--has NO redeeming qualities WHATSOEVER. IE6 does not conform to standards. IE6 is insecure. IE6 is slow. IE6 is obsolete. In pl

          • by moosesocks (264553) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:35PM (#31790950) Homepage

            1) Sharepoint works in FireFox. Quite well in fact.

            2) If you want to use some of the IE-only features, just install this extension [mozilla.org], and add Sharepoint to your IE-only whitelist, and you can use the "IE-only" features from within Firefox.

            3) Microsoft's official recommendation for Web UIs is now to use JQuery [jquery.com] (and they're also contributing code to the project!). Assuming they eat their own dog food, Microsoft webapps should start being a lot more friendly toward non-IE browsers.

            • "Coral IE Tab is not available for Linux."

              Yes, handy that...

          • Mod up. OP sounds like a reasonable guy, but I've used Sharepoint and it's nothing like as good as the alternatives, (many of which are free).

        • by owlstead (636356)

          You're back on 5, but note that I got modded down in a previous for dissing the (IMHO) horrible Sharepoint. And I actually even supported it with evidence. It's not that black and white. Sometimes I have the idea that people invite friends to mod things up or down, skewing the scores.

      • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:11PM (#31790608)

        I had XP corporate image, and Sharepoint would crash if I tried any of the AJAX style operations. I could right-click and save, or click directly, but using the arrows and checking out crashed every time.

        IE developer toolbar and Fiddler installed, I uninstalled both and it kept crashing, then the lease came up on my box and I got a shiny new Vista. Installed both and some other stuff and never had a problem. But it keeps worrying me that IE with Microsoft-only additions had problems with Microsoft's website, manipulating Microsoft's document types.

        The problem I believe is the WEBDAV type interaction. When you authenticate, IE lets you do stuff. Then you open the file, and normal browsers would download the file and ShellExecute() to open it (or maintain their own list, but whatever). IE sends the URL to the application (if it's Office type), which has to re-authenticate since it doesn't share IE's session. That way the Office app can check in/out instead of just opening a local copy.

        To tell the difference, you can obviously see the normal IE download dialog if it's downloading and opening, otherwise you get the Office dialog that has "Opening [filename..." and only has a cancel button.

        I just used FireFox, and tried to avoid checking things in/out. It's all intertwined - impossible to fix. Probably lots of code duplication as well.

      • by Anpheus (908711)

        SharePoint 2010 will support Safari (Webkit) and Firefox (Gecko) browsers explicitly, and by extension work on derivatives using those engines.

    • by Necron69 (35644)

      I've used SharePoint at several jobs now. While it does its basic function ok, I have yet to see where SharePoint is any improvement whatsoever over a shared directory and RCS/CVS/Subversion, with a web front end.

      Seriously, why do people like this thing? It is yet another MS redo of technology from 20 years ago.

      My personal favorite for group documentation is Mediawiki, but it may not be suitable for something as formal as ISO9001.

      As for ISO9001 itself, I've survived one job with an 18 month nightmare ISO im

  • Alfresco is great (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    We use alfresco it runs like a champ....setup can be a bit tough but its worth it.

  • Easy (Score:4, Funny)

    by ilikejam (762039) on Friday April 09, 2010 @11:56AM (#31790358) Homepage

    # chattr -R +a /home

  • Design Data Manager (Score:3, Informative)

    by maillemaker (924053) on Friday April 09, 2010 @11:56AM (#31790366)

    I have had good success with Design Data Manager.

    This tools is primarily for managing CAD documents, but can also deal with other kinds of data.

    http://www.designdatamanager.com/ [designdatamanager.com]

  • SharePoint (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 1000101 (584896) on Friday April 09, 2010 @11:59AM (#31790408)
    "I've used Microsoft's SharePoint, which the higher-ups like simply because it's Microsoft, but thankfully they trust their Tech Department to find the cream of the crop.

    It sounds like you don't like SharePoint "simply because it's Microsoft". I've seen SharePoint used for this exact business requirement many times and it is actually quite simple to implement. Some 3rd party tools might be needed for more advanced functionality (i.e. storing content external from the SharePoint database), but even then, the solutions are relatively simple.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RTFA (697910)
      That’s exactly my thoughts. And TFA didn’t specify which types of documents? If it’s mainly MS Office documents, SharePoint is probably one of the best solutions. Especially if you are considering upgrading to Office 2010.

      Also what’s the size of your needs? SharePoint is free (WSS, aside of a Windows server 2003 licence) if your needs are small enough (Less than 2gb of data for MSSQL Express (free)).

      I wonder how much time the submitter actually invested in throwing away SharePoi
    • "I've used Microsoft's SharePoint, which the higher-ups like simply because it's Microsoft, but thankfully they trust their Tech Department to find the cream of the crop. It sounds like you don't like SharePoint "simply because it's Microsoft". I've seen SharePoint used for this exact business requirement many times and it is actually quite simple to implement. Some 3rd party tools might be needed for more advanced functionality (i.e. storing content external from the SharePoint database), but even then, the solutions are relatively simple.

      I've used SharePoint, as well as LiveLink. They're both utter pieces of crap; especially when compared to real version control systems like Subversion, CVS, Perforce, etc; some of which you can even use native Windows interfaces for via tools like TortoiseCVS, TortoiseSVN, TortoiseHg, etc; or even WebDAV (at least Subversion).

      Even my grandma could use Subversion - especially through TSVN or WebDAV. But SharePoint? LiveLink? Not likely.

    • by barzok (26681)

      No, it sounds like management likes the idea of SharePoint only because of who sells it, not based on any technical merits (remember "nobody every got fired for buying IBM"?), but they have entrusted the tech guys to do the due diligence and investigate what options exist because management doesn't understand the technology. Maybe SharePoint will be the recommendation, maybe it won't.

      Which is a hell of a lot better than management coming down from on high and saying "IT, implement SharePoint. You have one m

  • MediaWiki (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nairb774 (728193)
    Or basically any other wiki product could be used to fill this need. We use MediaWiki among a lot of other products in document control and it works fairly well.
    • by Smallpond (221300)

      MediaWiki meets the requirements because it has login, tracks changes, keeps history, and supports auxiliary notes. It also has the advantage over Word docs that all documents can be cross-linked, categorized and instantly available to anyone with a browser. We've been moving our process documents onto a wiki but I'm not sure how that will fly with the new PM. We'll see.

    • by tthomas48 (180798)

      I recommend this also. The learning curve seems high until the third time the graphical editor to your fancy content management system completely garbles someone's document. Then Mediawiki seems like a blessing.

      We have Jive at work that I use as little as possible after losing several documents. It has discouraged me from writing documentation completely, and I know there are many other people at my company who feel the same.

      On the other hand I've gotten 5 playwright's writing plays in Mediawiki with a few

  • For commercial offerings you might look into Documentum or FileNet. Both are quite good with maintaining document revision history and I believe both integrate with Explorer.

    • by medcalf (68293)
      We use Documentum. It's excellent but expensive. And no matter what tool you use, proper organization and process are key, to ensure that things do get added, and in a findable place. (Search is useful, but not good enough for all needs.)
    • If you do choose FileNet, opt for the Unix/Oracle implementation. They offer the environment on Windows/MS-SQL but in the implementation I supported (inherited), it was very (I mean very) unstable and tended to crash at the slightest hiccup, and left a very poor impression. There was always a fear that a particular MS patch would kill it which was a security and stability issue that would (likely) be avoided on a mature UNIX platform running only the necessary services. (Disclaimer: Most of my work is in th
    • by jd2112 (1535857)
      Filenet is just plain Evil. It will make you wake up in the middle of the night screaming and begging for it to be replaced by a Microsoft product.

      Please don't mod this post 'Funny', It's based on my own personal experience with this abomination.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by zero_out (1705074)

      In our 8-man Document Management department, we use Documentum. Yes, that's 8 people just to support Documentum, and our users. It's been very effective for years, but there are a number of problems with it.

      First, it is expensive. In fact, it is so expensive that we are seriously looking at Alfresco as an alternative due to how much ECM wants to charge us for extra seats.

      Second, the official ECM support techs and consultants don't know the product very well. We have paid ECM twice to have them send a te

    • Highly recommend Documentum. I just finished writing a white paper on the ROI for our company's implementation between SharePoint and Documentum. Documentum comes out so far ahead in three and five year ROI figures it's not funny.

      I always hear that Documentum is expensive, and at first glance it appears to be. However, considering that you get a true *and* complete enterprise content managment platform, you end up paying up front for what you need. SharePoint is a full-featured collaboration platform an

  • You may want to check with your legal folks before going too far - my experience is that these days it is more important to destroy drafts (so they are not discoverable in court) than to protect against users having to redo something they screwed up.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by mjwalshe (1680392)
      just make sure your QMS says this other wise you will fail your Audit
    • by amplt1337 (707922)

      Yeah, somebody ought to do something about that. Discovery exists for a reason, and establishing a policy of "we destroy drafts" is fundamentally equivalent to a policy of "we do not comply with legitimate discovery requests," which is obviously a non-starter...

      • by joebok (457904)

        That is absurd - there is a perfectly valid range of options between keeping every incremental change, whether released to a client or not, and obstruction of justice.

  • What ISO 9001 is (Score:4, Informative)

    by autophile (640621) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:03PM (#31790482)
    Say what you do, and do what you say. I don't think you need software for that. What my company did was have a central document repository and a documentation standard, and everything boiled down to saying what we did, and doing what we said.
    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      yes do you realy need to use software to do this? - in BT we used pysical hardcopy or word documents with a specalised macros. I even got a special stamp made to stamp the Obselete versions and team members took it turns to look after the QMS docs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bryan3000000 (1356999)
      He was specifically tasked with "sourcing Document Control software to meet ISO 9001 standards". The only reasonable way that this task can be interpreted is as an assignment to actually source software which will ENFORCE ISO 9001 standards.
      • by wrook (134116) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:37PM (#31790974) Homepage

        But the ISO 9001 standards aren't fixed. Basically you document what you are going to do, show that you've trained your staff to follow the process and show that the staff are following that process. You can easily do 9001 document control standards with a pen and a filing cabinet. Yes, there are some specific requirements: you must define a way to show that the currently accessible document is the most current one, etc. But 9001 doesn't require you do it any specific way.

        In fact, if you simply buy a piece of software and say, "The software enforces the process" a good auditor (hah!) will fail you. The whole point of 9001 is to document a process, train your staff to follow it, and show that you are following it. You can buy a canned process, train your staff in that process, have tools to help you, show that your are following that process. You will pass 9001. But you will have a fucked up process because it almost certainly won't follow your company's natural workflow.

        I suspect this is why the parent suggests that maybe looking for a tool rather than working on the process is a bad idea.

        * About the "hah!" comment: I don't believe there exist good 9001 auditors. Or rather, if they exist, they don't work much. It is in a company's best interest to hire incompetent auditors. That way they pass the audit. I say that having done the job myself once a long time ago :-P

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dubbreak (623656)
      Exactly. ISO 9001 is about having a documented procedure and following it. Software itself won't be compliant, it's how you use the software and how you've documented how to control documents using the software that matters. You can be iso 9001 compliant with physical copies, you can use visual source safe to manage documents (please don't).. what really matters is that you have a procedure for managing documents and that you follow it.
      • by JBMcB (73720)

        > Software itself won't be compliant, it's how you use the software and how you've documented how to control documents using the software that matters.

        Passing ISO on paper and passing an ISO inspection audit are two different things. Just because you have a process and everyone follows it doesn't necessarily mean the auditor will pass you. Your process has to be clear, make sense, and have controls and methods to handle failures in the process, and achieve some goal as far as improving or maintaining qua

    • Say what you do, and do what you say. I don't think you need software for that.

      That depends entirely on what you are doing. I've done IS09000 audits and for pretty much any businesses of any sophistication or size, some sort of software document management is more or less "required". Not in the sense that it is mandated but in the sense that you'll find your life impossibly hard without it. Too much paperwork to shuffle and too many parties needing it to make it reasonable to not computerize. Strictly speaking it isn't required, but you can do drafting with a pencil too and there

    • by mrsmiggs (1013037)
      Absolutely you need to define the policy before you go out and purchase a product. The majority of the policy iso9001 policy doucments for my company were held on a plain old file server until someone thought sharepoint was a good idea. In both Sharepoint and file server the permissions are restricted to editing by 'gatekeepers' only, the advantage of Sharepoint is simply that it fronts out onto the web and therefore much more convenient to access externally.
  • by Cassini2 (956052) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:05PM (#31790520)

    Some of the ISO-9001 knowledge becomes very long-lived. Stick to things that will work for a very long time. It is not uncommon to see ISO, software, CAD, and project documentation files from 25 years ago. Having to support DOS PCs for legacy projects sucks.

    Think about whatever software you use, and make sure it is formed around standards that will persist. For instance, does SharePoint depend on Microsoft Internet Explorer? Is Microsoft Internet Explorer V9 compatible with Internet Explorer V6? Take a look at all the other legacy software inside your organization dependent on Microsoft IE V6. Don't do it again.

    In the end, there is a strong argument for keeping PDF, DOC, and XLS files around, and placing a version control system on them. Some systems, try to integrate the entire quality control system into a document management system, and the results cannot be maintained long-term. One expensive system that I deployed, didn't survive the 24-month rollout process. You need to stick to standards, and keep your options open, both short and long term.

    • by dr2chase (653338)
      Are you sure that DOC and XLS files are a good format? I've certainly run into compatibility problems over the years. Compare that to (say) HTML written in 1995 -- it still renders fine (except for the BLINK tag, bummer), or documents written in LaTeX back in the mid-80s -- they still render fine, too.

      If you're concerned about data longevity, there's an awful lot to be said for 80% solutions that will still be 80% solutions 20 years from now.
      • Are you sure that DOC and XLS files are a good format? I've certainly run into compatibility problems over the years.

        Anyone who has run document management for a significant time has probably run into this. "Sure sure, we have all those files archived and backed up, legal can have them to prove our ownership." This is then followed by the sickening discovery that half the archived .doc files won't open in any halfway recent version of Word. If you find yourself here, try OpenOffice, it works for another chunk of them. Then comes the fun of going on Ebay to buy an old copy of Windows 3.1 and an old copy of Word and and a f

      • by Cassini2 (956052)

        My personal preference would be to use both PDF (or HTML) and an editable the DOC, XLS, or DWG format. I can read some really old file formats with current software, and DOC and XLS formats are so popular this will likely continue. However, something like PDF will always render exactly the same, and I think the PDF file format will be with us for a long time. For instance, the postscript PS and EPS formats can still be processed, decades after they were originally invented.

        My primary hesitation with HTM

        • by dr2chase (653338)
          Careful -- PDF does lock you into the paper size on which it was originally printed :-) (though it does scale).
          PDF is also crap for diffs.
          • by jonbryce (703250)

            There is an option in the print dialogue to shrink Letter to fit on A4, and shrink A4 to fit on Letter. Legal types seem to like pdf files because they think they can't be altered.

          • PDF does lock you into the paper size on which it was originally printed :-)
            The size of standard office is unlikely to change hugely any time soon and slight changes like A4 vs letter vs legal can be handled acceptably by the scaling functionality built into acrobat reader.

            More generally though pdf locks the document into a particular presentation form (page layout, page size, font choices and so on) and makes it difficult to edit. Sometimes this is exactly what you want (e.g. when you need to look up exact

  • by dbc (135354) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:14PM (#31790638)

    "what should I avoid?" You should avoid taking on politically dangerous and thankless tasks that make no contribution to the bottom line as your first assignment at a new company. Seriously, the tech issues here are secondary. First, figure out the politics. Next, make sure your second assignment contributes to the company's bottom line. Sorry to sound like a grumpy old fart here, but hey, I'm a grumpy gray-beard that has seen this movie before and I don't like the ending.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "what should I avoid?" You should avoid taking on politically dangerous and thankless tasks that make no contribution to the bottom line as your first assignment at a new company. Seriously, the tech issues here are secondary. First, figure out the politics. Next, make sure your second assignment contributes to the company's bottom line. Sorry to sound like a grumpy old fart here, but hey, I'm a grumpy gray-beard that has seen this movie before and I don't like the ending.

      +1 on this.

      My wife started in a new job a year ago and was handed the responsibility for a project that was to build a QA system and was named after the database software that had been randomly purchased by the previous project manager (now fired). Not surprisingly, a year later the politics are now apparent, and my wife hates her job. I can only say: Take dbc's advice.

    • Dear Grumpy Graybeard,

      Of all the lessons I have learned the hard or the easy way, I wish I had had someone like you to tell me this when I first started working in the software industry.

      Signed,

      A Little Grey With Many Welts

  • Pretty cheap too. Easy to administrate and the users like it.
  • by dekemoose (699264) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:32PM (#31790906)

    Since 9001 doesn't really define anything in terms of requirements you'll probably want to spend some time putting together what it is your organization wants to do with this content. Does your organization need/want a content management system? You're referencing revisioning on documents, so I'm guessing yes. Is this going to be a one off for the engineering/manufacturing folks? You could so something like this in subversion and have reasonably simple versioning of your documents. A wiki model works if you're just trying to do knowledge capture but I'm guessing you've got structured documents you need to manage. If you've got people who are fairly technical and can handle the caveats that come with something like that it's cheap and easy. However, these types of implementations frequently turn into folks in marketing or somewhere else saying "well we have FOO over in engineering we can probably use it too", next thing you know you've got the whole company using something that was kind of cobbled together for one group. Sounds like you've already got SharePoint, it's usable but I'm not a big fan of it as a content management system. Works decently as a collaboration platform. I haven't seen their latest stuff and I know they're trying to make moves in that direction so it might be better, but at last view I was underwhelmed. It's very platform specific, the search functionality was poor, it was difficult or impossible to get a good metadata model together and security was goofy.

    Try and look towards the future and see if your organization is going to need to take it up a notch in their content management needs. How complex is your security model going to be? How much content are you expecting to manage? Are you going to want a full text search capable system or would a metadata search be good enough? Think about a metadata model for your organization, then research the topic and rethink it. A good or bad metadata model can completely change the fate of a content management system implementation.

    What I've seen of Alfresco I like, it's free software so if you're budget constrained or just value that type of thing you've got that going for you. Someone else mentioned Knowledge Tree for a FOSS product, I haven't touched that so I can't comment. If you're going to go commercial I really think Oracle has a great product with their UCM platform (used to work there), but it's gotten god awful expensive and they suck as a company to deal with. Documentum seems like a massive resource hog and maintenance intensive from what I've discussed with people who've done work with it. I had an install of TRIM under my care at a previous gig, HP owns them now, and that had some quirks but was generally good. If you're focusing on records management capabilities this probably deserves a closer look as that's what they kinda specialize in. OpenText is pretty highly regarded, but I haven't touched it or known anyone directly who has.

  • In a company I worked with we considered all source code files to be engineering drawings and they were treated accordingly. This way they fit into any QA tracking system.
  • Sharepoint is not an approved document repository at my company (granted we are CMMI Level 5, not ISO9001). We use ClearCase because it is a certifiable repository. We'd LIKE to use Sharepoint, since it is easier to use for the non-developers and would cut down on mistakes and time lost in managing documents, but we are slaves to the process.

  • by JSG (82708)

    I set up Subversion. My design goals were: Keep it available from nearly anywhere (http/s), usable on nearly any OS and nearly transparent to most end users.

    I then checked in our main documentation data area (held on a NetWare file server shared out via NCP and CIFS). Tortoise SVN is the client of choice on Windows and I use KDE integrations on Linux desktops. Finally, Trac gives access if needed from locked down systems. Non SVN aware users just have to be told to be careful with files in the shared c

  • Using Apache, PHP, Postgres, Maintains revisions and signoff lists. document owners, authors. It ain't pretty but it has gotten us through 2 audits with high marks. Still needs some security brush ups.
    And there are some aspects that are still not user friendly.
    But we have had some other companies ask for copies. Never have given it out though.
    If you want a version and can wait a few weeks I can send it to you. Along with notes on what needs to be fixed.
  • The best software will be useless without QA and/or RM/DC personnel that can enforce its use. This is because 9001 is a matter of quality processes, and the software can only implement those processes and policies that are already in place. An auditor wants to see that you can do what you say you'll do, whether that's one person with a key to a filing cabinet of contracts, or electronic file access tracking (knowing who has even looked at a document). There are businesses that can do that without software

  • I think subversion works great for this. If they are Windows users, give them TortoiseSVN. They just edit files that look like they are on a network share. The only extra work is that they must check-in documents when they are done with them. And click an option to get the latest before they start working.

  • I do tech support and bug troubleshooting for a company docuware (www.docuware.com) which does all you want it to do. We integrate with sharepoint, all the major MFPs, have version control and a simple interface. We have customers with 2 users all the way up to a few hundred users
  • I'm watching this discussion with interest, because it's about something I have been wondering about, myself.

    The two questions I've come up against are, broadly:

    1. Are there tools that make Microsoft Office files play nice with standard version control systems? I like to use Git or Subversion, and have all their standard features available. Particularly diff. Can I put MS Office files in a Git repository and get version control and human-readable diffs?

    2. If I were setting things up for a new organization w

  • Why not just go basic with some sort of source control like VSS or CVS?

    Cheap and easy.

  • I've wondered about what document management system to use in an ISO context the other day, and was recommended Agorum (www.agorum.com).
    Does anyone have experiences with that? Good / no good?

      - Hubert

  • ISO-9001 is not about specific steps, methods, techniques or policies, it is about that you have a plan/procedure, that you follow the plan, and that the following of that plan is documented (and includes a feedback loop for process improvement?).

    I remember when I worked at a large telco equipment supplier that was going for ISO-9001 certification, we were told about a restaurant that was ISO-9001 certified - the owners did it as a lark, and it was quite simple. Your plans procedures can be quite thin, you

  • by JBMcB (73720)

    A self serving recommendation, to be sure, but a company called CEBOS makes an ISO 9000 compliance suite called MQ1 that has a fully compliant documents module. Windows-only, fat .NET client, SQL server based. It supports controlled/uncontrolled documents, electronic signatures based approval process, conversion to PDF, embedding control/version info in Word and Excel docs, and a ton more. The professional services guys know ISO inside and out and will really help you get compliant.

    You don't have to buy the

  • The USA .Com/.Gov/.Mil dominions are solution-centric from top down... the solution is the answer.

    For me Data has Implicit value to the scientist, engineer, mathematician... for almost one-of-a-kind specific purposes.
    For me Content has an Explicit value to the public (citizens, managers, politicians...) for general entertaining, history, leaning... application.
    For me Documents have a duplicit value to groups (Law, Medicine, Accounting...) for common purposes of tracking, transactions, commerce.

    For the .Com/

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