Re: Document Management?

Subject: Re: Document Management?
From: "Decker F. Wong-Godfrey" <dfgodfrey -at- milmanco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 17:00:57 -0700

I'd suggest checking out either Microsoft Visual Source Safe (VSS) or Revision Control System (RCS). Both provide similar functionality--a repository of documents that keeps track of all versions, and provides locking functionality.

I'd also take a look at CVS ( . If you're running in a cross-platform environment and you've got a good IT department, CVS is probably the way to go.

Here's some quick reasons why CVS might be right:

CVS is built on open standards--this will make your sysadmin happy--especially if you work in a cross-platform environment!

CVS has a GUI client for Microsoft Windows machines.

OS X has an integrated CVS client in the Developer Tools.

Solaris, Linux, FreeBSD all have clients for CVS.

The CVS server and clients all come with source code, so you can customize it to better suit your needs.

The price is just right: FREE.

The support can't be matched by Microsoft (unless you've got an enterprise account with them). You can talk with the developers, you can ask questions of other people who have implemented the same system before. Nowhere is information and help so freely distributed and openly available as in the open source community.

For small operations, Visual SourceSafe is great. If you want to have your document repository to be accessible on a WAN, or to be able to give telecommuters a way in to your repository via the Internet, I don't think there's any choice. CVS provides a secure, reliable service on a secure, reliable server. It allows you to check in and check out files from your web-browser. It allows you to encrypt transmissions to and from the server over SSH. It is everything SourceSafe is without the security headache and the cost.

The upside: CVS is robust, fulfills all your requirements and is free.

The downside: CVS will require you to have some capable IT hands ready to get things underway. Getting it running will be hard, but once it's up, it's bulletproof.

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