OpenText revamps eDocs DM architecture

Open Text Corp. has officially upgraded itseDocs Document Management product line, making the product easier to administerfor IT staff and enabling Microsoft Office 2010 integration for end-users.

The Waterloo,Ont.-based firm said OpenText eDocs DM 5.3, which is part of OpenText’s largereDocs suite, will significantly change the product from a program architecture perspective.This includes tighter integration with other eDocs products as well as thecompany’s entire ECM Suite.

“We really changed the communication portal of how all the eDocs componentstalk to each other,” said Todd Patridge, a vice-president for eDOCS and legalsolutions with OpenText.

The upgraded platform will use Microsoft’s Windows Communication Foundation APIfor administering eDocs apps, which will make it “infinitely easier” to deployapps at law firms with offices across a variety of geographies. The change to aWindows Installer will also allow the program to hook into Windows Server andActiveDirectoty.

“It’s faster (to deploy) and it doesn’t require the end-user work stations tobe rebooted,” Patridge said. These remote deployment tools, he added, willsignificantly reduce the amount of support and maintenance visits for IT staff.

OpenText said the extensive structural changes in eDocs DM will be helpful forits next major release slated in 2012.

On the end-user side, OpenText’s biggest update will be for shops that aremoving or have planned to move to Office 2010. With such a dependency on theOffice suite, eDocs users will now be able to pick and choose which eDocsbuttons they want to put into the Office Ribbon or quick access toolbar.

Patridge said the ability for users to create their own eDocs ribbons will boostproductivity because staff will spend less time learning how to use thedocument and records management system.
The company also integrated eDocs DM with Office 2010 Backstage, which will letusers get more detailed metadata about their documents.

Jim McKenna, senior manager of infrastructure operations at San Francisco-basedlegal firm Morrison & Foerster LLP, said his organization is in the processof upgrading to Windows 7 and Office 2010. The firm currently uses eDocs DM 5.1and is looking to supplement its Microsoft upgrade with a move to the latestversion of eDocs DM.

“We’d like to have the ability to access the document management systemdirectly within Office applications,” he said.

“We heard loud and clear from our attorneys that they spend a lot of their timein outlook and want integration there,” McKenna added.

In addition to being able to securely capture, organize and share documents,e-mails, graphics and forms, OpenText also plans to hook up eDocs DM with itsSocial Workplace tool next year.

OpenText’s social collaboration platform basically works as a SharePointalternative for firms looking to roll out instant messaging and micro-bloggingfunctionality.

“Legal customers are very interested in the Social Workplace product because itprovides the ability to build knowledge centres internally for differentpractice areas,” he said. The product is well suited for legal teams that wantto collaboration on a specific case or client, Patridge added.

OpenText’s Social Workplace platform will be integrated into the eDocs DMproduct in early 2011.

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