EDMS: what is a documentary record ?

Discover the principles of electronic data management and the importance of organising documentary materials


Principles of electronic data management: document, file or documentary information

Documentary record is one of the central elements to fully understand what an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) is. One of the goals of an EDMS is to organise documentary material. Thus, being able to file information in “smart” trees adapted to the company is essential.

However, depending on the type of EDMS there will be different options and ways to manage files. In a couple of lines, I will give you an idea of how should documentary material be managed. We will stick to basis and will not talk about bills of materials software and configuration management.


EDMS and documentary materials

A structured access to documents through business information, which are not necessary on the identity card of the documents stored in documentary object families, is permitted thanks to documentary materials. Therefore, documentary materials could be compared to binder, folder, and envelope, etc. used to gather documents

Moreover, we can also draw the parallel with a Windows tree. Nonetheless, the main difference is that in our case we can integrate the same document in different folders without copying it. In fact, folders use links to document and do not really contain them. This “multi-positioning” feature is significant and does not exist in paper format.

It is useful to be able to find all files in which a document is classified. Among other things, it facilitates impact analysis linked with document modification. Every EDMS should have a feature “job case” that allows this type of search. Also, note that the folder itself may contain other ranking folders that are then subfolders themselves classified

Consequently, the documentary file can go from a simple “folder” grouping different documents to a real multi-level document tree composed of sub-folders (which can be, like documents, integrated into different folders).

This is a good basis to start to bring clear benefits by:

–          Analysing documents use in several files

–          Following the progress of a file by comparing the documents that compose it with the theoretical tree

–          Integrating easily documents in several folders without duplicating them