This article explains the concept behind the Xtendis system, including its components and the terminologies used.
It is aimed at everyone who is new to working with Xtendis: end users, system administrators, developers, or anyone else who is interested in the working of Xtendis.
The following topics are described:
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Xtendis is a Document Management System, also known as a digital archive.
Its basic function is to store documents in a digital format in a reliable and secure way and to make these documents easily available for consultation.
All documents are stored in a logical order in an archive, sometimes in a dossier. Multiple archives can exist, each with multiple documents, optionally stored in dossiers.
Each archive can be set up individually, ranging from controlling who can access (parts of) the archive, to the language the archive is shown in.
To communicate with other users, notes can be added to documents and dossiers.
Colors are used for visualizing what you are searching for or working with:
- Blue for documents
- Green for dossiers
- Yellow for notes
When using the search page for example, the color changes based on what is selected in the Find field:
Note: Folders can also be given a color to make them stand out, for example on the Dashboard.
Search results can also group documents and notes in tabs. These tabs also contain the relevant color to indicate if the search results are for documents, dossiers, or notes.
Figure: The search results for documents (top) and dossiers (bottom).
An archive is the highest level in which dossiers and documents are stored.
An archive needs to exist before a dossier can be created or a document can be added. At least one archive therefore needs to exist in Xtendis.
Typically, an archive represents a segment to which a group of documents belong, such as:
- Client dossiers
Which archives exist is determined during the setup of your Xtendis environment.
Controlling which users have access to which archives, and which users can perform certain actions on the documents is done through permissions.
Active versus temporary archives
Dossiers and documents are indexed: a process in which property values are assigned such as the date the document was added to Xtendis, the name of the owner of the document, the name of the archive it is in, and so on. These values can then be used to easily find dossiers and documents in the system.
Indexing a document is typically done when uploading it to the system. However, it is also possible to upload the document without indexing it and running the index process later.
As long as a document is not indexed, it cannot be part of the main archive (also referred to as the 'functional archive' or 'active archive') and will therefore be part of what is referred to as the 'temporary archive'. Documents that have been uploaded by you and which have not yet been indexed can be accessed through the 'personal indexing folder', which shows your documents in the temporary archive.
Documents form the heart of the system; they are stored for reference because of the information they contain. Users access them whenever they need the information.
They are typically of the following type:
Note: Invoices can be automatically imported using a separate application called WoodWing DataEntry. During this process, the invoice is scanned and automatically indexed and archived in Xtendis. It is also booked in the financial system at the same time.
- Employee related documents such as employment contracts, one-on-one meetings, and performance appraisals
- E-mails to and from relations (such as customers and suppliers)
- Customer or employee related documents such as correspondence, passports and drivers licenses
- Quality controls
- Marketing brochures and case studies
- Real estate documents
Documents are indexed, a process in which property values are added which describe its type, content, owner, the archive it belongs to, and so on.
These properties are also used by the search function to find documents; it is therefore mandatory to index each document that is added to the system.
As long as a document is not indexed, it cannot be part of the main archive (also referred to as the 'functional archive' or 'active archive') and will therefore be kept in what is referred to as the 'temporary archive'.
For more information, see Working with properties in Xtendis 7.
Documents that contain editable text such as Word or Excel documents are during the upload converted to a format in which these documents cannot be edited any more.
This maintains the integrity of the document.
Typically, such documents are converted to PDF format, but setups in which a conversion to TIF format is done is also possible.
During this process, the original document is also stored. When needed, it can be downloaded, edited and uploaded as a new version of the document. For more information about this, see Working with document versions in Xtendis 7 (document check out and check in).
When searching for a document or dossier, it is sometimes necessary to enter a specific value to make sure that the correct value is used and correctly spelled.
Instead of manually typing the value, the value then has to be chosen from a list. Such values are known as 'fixed values'. Fixed values are typically set up in the system by the system administrator.
For more information, see Working with properties in Xtendis 7.
Original documents and document versions
Typically, a document in Xtendis is stored in Adobe PDF format or image format (TIF, PNG, or JPG) and cannot be changed. This makes sure that the integrity of the content stays intact and that you can be sure that the document is in the exact state it was in when it was added.
In certain setups though, Microsoft Word and Excel documents can have their original version of the document stored. When this is the case, the original document can be downloaded, edited it in some way, and uploaded as a new version of the original document (see Working with document versions in Xtendis 7 (document check out and check in)).
Documents can be shared with other Xtendis users, or even with external users.
Keeping track of the documents that have been shared externally can be done via the Shared documents page.
The page is accessed by clicking the Shared documents icon on the Dashboard.
Multiple individual documents are often related to the same person (employee, customer, student) or category (orders, insurances, projects).
When this is the case, these documents could be bundled in a dossier. All documents are then immediately available when accessing the dossier and do not have to be looked up individually. This way of bundling documents is especially handy when the documents are related through multiple properties.
Furthermore, the property values that all documents within a dossier need to share can be assigned to the dossier only. Each document that is added to the dossier then automatically 'inherits' these same values.
For more information, see Working with dossiers in Xtendis 7.
Not all users within the system are eligible to verify all information that is stored in the system: while it would be okay for all users to see an order that a customer has placed, personal employee information such as a passport or bank account details should only be accessible to departments such as human resources.
Controlling access to documents within a dossier is done by setting up security zones. For dossiers, these are referred to as 'dossier zones'.
External dossiers work and behave the same way as regular dossiers, but their properties are pulled from a system that is outside of Xtendis.
Creating, editing, or removing these properties can only be done in the external system.
Working in Xtendis revolves around working with the documents that are available in the system.
On a typical working day, you might want to focus on a specific set of documents, such as documents that need some kind of action from you, documents that have been added recently that you want to be aware of, documents that other users have shared with you, and so on.
Such documents are typically accessed by opening a folder which automatically searches for the documents based on a search query that is set up for that folder. Information about working with folders this way can be found in Working with folders in Xtendis 7.
Power users can use advanced features of folders for performing specific tasks such as indexing documents or splitting documents.
Information about working with folders this way can be found in Advanced ways of working with folders in Xtendis 7.
Not all users within the system are allowed to see all information that is stored in the system: while it would be fine for all users to see an order that a customer has placed, personal information of an employee such as a passport or bank account details should only be accessible to departments such as human resources.
Similarly, access to actions that can be performed in Xtendis is also controlled: only system administrators can manage user accounts for example.
Controlling access to view documents is done through security zones. These have a hierarchical structure similar to folders on a disk. As with folders, users and user groups can be given rights within a security zone.
Similar zones can be set up for dossiers; these are referred to as dossier zones.
Action rights control access to actions that can be performed. These could be closely related to an archive such as managing fixed values, the viewing or creation of file data, managing the archive itself, or they could be general actions such as managing users and user groups, archives and folders.
In short: depending on the rights that you have been given, you may or may not see specific documents or dossiers in specific locations in the system, and you may or may not be able to perform certain actions.
Access rights are set up and managed by the system administrator.
The user who uploads a file or creates a folder is automatically the owner of that file or folder. The name of that user is stored in the properties of the file or folder.