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Permission management

Permission management allows you to centrally control the access and editing rights of documents based on metadata.

Why is permissions management of documents important?

Permission management is about managing access to and rights over a document. Rights can vary from reading only to the ability to edit the document.

This can be important within the organisation because the desired permissions depend on a number of factors. For example, the role of the employee, status of the document, a certain step in a process or to which file the document belongs.

A lot of software controls the permissions of a document based on the location of that document. In short, this is for example regulated by managing access to a certain location (folder, disk). However, this location-based way of managing permissions has considerable limitations.

Because if the location of a document determines the access, a document needs to change location continuously, for example when changing the status of a document.

In addition, it is important for organizations to have easy insight into who is allowed to do what, at what time and why. This plays a major role in, for example, compliance with laws and regulations, such as the AVG. Location-based permissions make this virtually impossible.

What is permissions management of documents?

Via permissions, the following rights are determined for one or more documents:

  • Reading document
  • Reading metadata
  • Editing document
  • Editing metadata
  • Modify permissions

M-Files therefore determines the permissions on the basis of metadata and not on the basis of the location of a document. This gives the organisation unprecedented flexibility.

Possibilities with permission management of documents

Permission management in M-Files is not based on the location of a document, but on the metadata of that document. Metadata such as file, status, version and client then determine the rules of the permissions.

The big advantage of this is that metadata are unlimited and therefore every property or step in a process determines the permissions, if desired automatically. This creates permissions management on an individual level and, for example, an employee can see one document in a file, while another document remains closed.

A number of examples of permission management based on metadata:

Document X has the following metadata:

  • Type: Contract
  • Customer: Jansen BV
  • Status: Waiting for review

Manager A can open and edit this document because he is responsible for this file and the assessment (based on the status of the document). Clerk B can read this document, but cannot edit it (thanks to the status ‘Waiting for review’).

Metadata create the possibility to set up permissions in a process. Think for example of a product development document. During development, the Research & Development department can also make this document available from the quality management department of the organisation.

Because the rights are based on metadata, it is very easy to create an overview of who is allowed to do what, when and why.

The benefits of permission management

The permission management of M-Files has great advantages for organizations.

Permissions based on metadata

Because the permissions are based on metadata, unlimited possibilities arise in what determines who is allowed to do what and when.

Complying with laws & regulations

Metadata allows guidelines to be directly incorporated into permission management.

Multidisciplinary work

Access to information can easily be made dependent on the discipline, team and departments within the organization.


Permissions can be arranged based on the step in a process. When the step in the process is changed, the permissions automatically change as predetermined.

Central management permissions

With M-Files a central place is created where changes to permissions (or metadata) can easily be made.

Overview permissions

From the M-Files platform you can quickly create permission overviews.

Video on permissions management of documents

See how to take full control of document access with M-Files advanced permissions management.

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