Community Forum – What document management tool do you use?

Resource Type
Survey (Community Forum)
Publish Date
Innovation Research Interchange
Tools & Techniques
Associated Event

Arkema is in the market for a document management tool that the R&D community can use to store, search and retrieve in-house technical know-how. There seems to be a lot of products on the market that have such capabilities. We are interested in learning how your organization has tackled this challenge.

Questions 1a – 3:

1a. If outside vendor, please share the company name. 

2. What do you like about the system your organization uses?

3. What do you dislike about the system your organization uses?

  • Wikipedia – I believe it was free
    • Likes: If you use a true Wiki it is free form and very searchable.
    • Dislikes: Our corporate IT moved our Wiki to a Sharepoint version, and put several layers of security around it that makes it a bit cumbersome.  As I recall the original Wiki we installed, the editor was very basic, but that was > 8 years ago.
  • PTC (Windchill 10)
    • Likes: Global configuration
    • Dislikes: Not intuitive
  • PTC Windchill for engineering/scientific/product data, and SharePoint / Onedrive for project documentation, articles, etc…
    • Likes: Robust and flexible
    • Dislikes: Windchill interface is a bit clunky with a decent learning curve 
  • Microsoft Sharepoint
    • Likes: Easy accessibility and customizability
    • Dislikes: Hard to organize and search, significant effort to properly tag, limited controls for IP
  • Oracle database that we maintain internally, Intralinks is used to encrypt the information
    • Likes: Easily searchable, information security (approvals required to view docs)
    • Dislikes: None
  • IHS Goldfire
    • Likes: Can search our internal sharepoints for contextual language
    • Dislikes: Still kind of clunky and we have issues with the way we have set up 
  • Unknown system
    • Likes: Not much – we’re also actively looking for a new document storage solution
    • Dislikes: Cumbersome; limited/poor search functionality
  • Microsoft Sharepoint
    • Likes: Security via Info Rights Management; easy to use
    • Dislikes: None
  • We have a commercial document management system – we use this for internal purposes.
    • Likes: It is searchable by keyword and image analysis
    • Dislikes: Tagging requirements, administration time required
  • Unknown system
    • Likes: Addresses Confidentiality and Export Control concerns; Tracks documents accessed and users
    • Dislikes: Too complex; Too many fields required to upload documents; Not user friendly; Not intuitive on how to search for documents.
  • OpenText
    • Likes: Global, one source for reports and history of efforts, easy to learn how to use and retrieve documents
    • Dislikes: A little cumbersome
  • SharePoint, Yammer, Clarity
    • Likes: Can be kept as archive for future reference
    • Dislikes: Not easy to search
  • Google Search Appliance to search Livelink
    • Likes: Works fantastic, easily searchable
    • Dislikes: Unfortunately the GSA we use is being discontinued.
  • Confluence from Atlassian is our primary sharing/development tool.  Long term archive and sign-off is through SAP.
    • Likes: Atlassian is great.  Easy to edit, search, and share.
    • Dislikes: We need separate systems for authoring and easy sharing, then a different system for regulatory signoff and archive.
    • Likes: It meets Legal’s needs regarding document retention.
    • Dislikes: Difficult to locate older files.
  • ETQ Reliance, SharePoint
    • Likes: They are both customizable.
    • Dislikes: The current product was not meant to be a document management solution, specifically to log and track customer correspondence/direction and contract required deliverables. The product was customized and re-engineered to meet some document needs. There is limited connectivity within the organization and unable to allow customer access (e.g., license seats cost $).  The SharePoint solution is a Microsoft solution which tends to not be well liked, or work well on the Macintosh platform. There are other solutions that are more cross-platform, more user friendly, and more modern.
  • Lotus Notes from IBM
    • Likes: Reflects our processes
    • Dislikes: Needs a lot of improvements
  • OpenText
    • Likes: Familiar environment; user-friendly; enterprise-level support
    • Dislikes: None
  • Microsoft Sharepoint
    • Likes: Security features
    • Dislikes: Not a very intuitive product.  Requires hand-holding by IT to get the most out of the system.  If I could chose, I would like a product that didn’t require IT time.
  • We have evolved several different document management tools over the years, which are used to support different organizational units and functions within the larger organization. Sharepoint is being used ubiquitously, due to its ease of early initial entry and integration with Microsoft Office applications, for everyday and administrative functions. To date, it has not been ideal for “heavyweight” document management, including search and retrieval functions. OpenText is being used to store documentation related to FDA regulatory submissions, and it has been configured to meet 21 CFR 11 requirements.   Oracle WebCenter is used as a document storage function for research projects, including unstructured data, due to its integration with our Oracle ERP system used for Project Management.   From my experience, each have their pros/cons and it depends on the Use Case.   Most Users want something that is easy and intuitive to use, but there are trade-offs between capabilities and ease of use.   If the User will only access the system infrequently, some of the more sophisticated systems are less intuitive to learn. Training and good support are essential to success.


 Back to Community Forum