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ECM that simply works better through the power of metadata.

  

Metadata-driven versus folder-based

In traditional folder-based systems, users have to define the folder where the document is saved and rely on their memory to find it again. This is difficult because sometimes folder hierarchies are ambiguously named with numerous levels. It's essentially impossible to determine the ideal folder structure ahead of time, so as time goes on, the folder structure becomes chaotic and impossible to manage efficiently.

In folder-based systems, where something is stored defines how it is classified, where it is found and the permissions controlling who can access it. When the folder structure becomes cumbersome and hard to manage, the entire approach breaks down.

M-Files is based on the idea that it is easier and more precise to describe what something is than to guess where it is stored. Everyone knows what they are working on, but they often are not sure where it should be stored, especially since it can often be appropriate to store it in more than one folder.

It's easy, just save and tag

When saving a new document to M-Files, users simply describe the file with a few metadata tags and that's it. M-Files then automatically indexes and organizes the document, ensuring that it shows up in all relevant views and search result listings, so the problem of one unique document existing in multiple locations is efficiently solved.

Assume you have a proposal dated June 1, 2012 that is related to customer ABC Corporation, and the project named Website Renewal. In a traditional file system, you would need to choose whether to store the file in the customer, project or proposals folder. In M-Files, you can access the same file through multiple views such as, Documents by Customer- ABC Corporation, Proposals by Month - June 2012, or Documents by Projects - Website Renewal.

Metadata management and administration

M-Files is fundamentally a metadata-driven system where documents and other data entities are classified with metadata instead of traditional folders. Navigation in M-Files is based on dynamics views that are based on metadata. Object permissions in M-Files can be based on metadata in such way that, for instance, document class and the customer the document is related to together define the visibility of the file. Workflows are strongly metadata-driven, too.

Administrators can easily manage the metadata structure using a centralized console with a simple graphical user interface, no programming or scripting is required. With the system administrator console, it's easy to define new object types, classes, property definitions, workflows, and more. All common data types are supported, such as text, numbers, Boolean, dates, times, lists, and more.

Metadata management and administration

M-Files is fundamentally a metadata-driven system where documents and other data entities are classified with metadata instead of traditional folders. Navigation in M-Files is based on dynamics views that are based on metadata. Object permissions in M-Files can be based on metadata in such way that, for instance, document class and the customer the document is related to together define the visibility of the file. Workflows are strongly metadata-driven, too.

Administrators can easily manage the metadata structure using a centralized console with a simple graphical user interface, no programming or scripting is required. With the system administrator console, it's easy to define new object types, classes, property definitions, workflows, and more. All common data types are supported, such as text, numbers, Boolean, dates, times, lists, and more.

Beyond simple content indexing

M-Files metadata properties can also be filtered and driven based on the other properties: For example, after selecting a country, the list of cities can be automatically filtered, and once a city is picked, the list of ZIP codes can be automatically filtered.

Additionally, metadata properties can have automatic values, from simple auto-numbering to concatenated automatic values. For instance, document naming conventions can be enforced by automatically naming certain document types with a combination of type, date and generated numbers. Automatic validation rules are supported, too (e.g., project number must contain 4 digits).

It's also possible to populate M-Files metadata properties with values directly from your CRM or ERP system. For example, a Customer metadata property can be defined as a pop-down list populated from your CRM; when a new customer is added in the CRM, the list in M-Files automatically updates.

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