An organisation produces and collects numerous important documents throughout its lifetime, be they internal memos, contracts, e-mails, press releases and even slideshows. It is important that all this data is catalogued and managed accurately so that it can be retrieved quickly when the need arises.
Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) are particularly suited for this task because they provide all the features that a user needs to tag data in a logical manner and then search through that data quickly. Modern EDMS solutions will even help their users tag their documents automatically by using optical character recognition.
Mayan EDMS: an open-source document management system
In this case, our client was the Malta Statistics Authority, a governmental organisation, funded by public funds which regulates and provides statistical data to the Government of Malta. Given the nature of our client, Phalanx Software recognized that for this project to be successful, the principles of cost-efficiency, transparency and quality were paramount. It was only natural therefore that, after considering all options, we proposed the use of Mayan EDMS for our client.
Mayan EDMS is a fully-featured document management system with an open-source license that can be used for commercial purposes. Mayan provides features related to the manual and automatic categorization of data and will even index the content of any scanned documents using optical character recognition (OCR). Since the system is open-source, there is no vendor lock-in and the client can rest assured that there is no chance that they will ever lose control of their data.
Automated Deployments for Microsoft Azure
To ensure the longevity and health of the system, Phalanx Software developed a fully automated process for deploying Mayan EDMS on Microsoft Azure using Terraform. All of our systems are deployed automatically through a process known as continuous delivery (CD). This ensures that maintenance periods are kept to a minimum and updates/deployments are easy to perform even for people who might not be extremely familiar with the project.
Microsoft Azure is the Government of Malta's preferred cloud provider. However, once again, by ensuring that all code is available for the client, they can opt to change their cloud provider if and when necessary. Phalanx Software is able to vary the automated Terraform deployment modules for any of the popular cloud platforms including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) or DigitalOcean.
Indexing and Searching
The ability for Mayan to automatically index and search through all stored data is key for any document management system. In this case, the requirements needed for indexing all documents is handled by another open-source project called Elasticsearch. Mayan will parse documents, either by reading the uploaded file contents or by performing an OCR scan, and forward all keywords to Elasticsearch for indexing.
When the user then searches through the data, Elasticsearch is able to look through its indexes near instantly and return a list of documents that match the given criteria. For example, by typing in "Health and Safety" in Mayan EDMS, it will show all documents (even scanned ones!) that are related to Health and Safety or where such a topic was mentioned.
At Phalanx Software, we can help you host your own installation of Mayan EDMS or any other open-source software system. We offer the ability to host the software on a cloud platform of your choice or, if you wish, we can take care of hosting the system on our infrastructure so that you need not worry about setting up your cloud infrastructure.
In any case, we always make sure to keep the hosting costs commensurate with the size of your organisation. For more information about this service, contact us for a free consultation.
Amazing software such as Mayan EDMS, is only possible through the hard-work of developers like Roberto Rosario who make this software available for use with open licenses. We encourage you to check out Mayan's own project page and code to learn more about it.