An electronic document management system (EDMS) manages the creation, use, and storage of documents in most, if not all formats. While electronic document management systems share similarities with enterprise content management (ECM) systems, it can be important to differentiate them, especially when shopping for solutions. Most ECM systems can be considered EDMS platforms, but not the other way around. EDMS platforms lack some of the functionality of ECM systems, including intelligent content capture, business process automation and records management features.
However, even on its own, an electronic document management system offers a comprehensive solution to help knowledge workers efficiently organize and distribute documents across their organizations.
EDMS platforms contain tools for:
- Scalable and centralized document storage
- Versioning, markup and collaborative editing
- Access control and tagging
- Metadata management and full-text search
- Federated searches across multiple resources and platforms
- Managing document and record lifecycles
- Internal and external file sharing
- Tracking document history and system activity
By centralizing information use and access, electronic document management serves as a hub from which broader information management strategies like ECM, records management and business process automation can be connected and deployed.