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Object- versus location-based document management

A comparison between two methods

Object- versus location-based document management

A comparison between two methods

In the world of document management, technologies are constantly evolving to help organisations manage their document flows more efficiently and effectively. Two prominent methods at a document management system are:

  • Object-based
  • Location-based

These approaches, although aimed at the same end goal - optimising document management - tackle the process in fundamentally different ways. In this article, we dive into the core of both systems, compare their functionalities and explain which method is best and why.

The core of location-based document management

Location-based document management, a traditional approach, organises documents in a physical or digital space. It is similar to a physical filing system where documents are stored in folders and file cabinets, with a clear emphasis on the location of storage. In the digital world, this translates to the use of folders and subfolders within a file system. Its effectiveness relies heavily on a logical and structured hierarchy that is easy to navigate. However, as organisations grow, this structure can become complex and difficult to manage.

The concept of object-based document management

Unlike the location-based method, object-based document management takes a more sophisticated approach. Each document or file is treated as an 'object' that contains not only content, but also rich metadata. These metadata - such as author, dates, project, workflow status and access rights - provide extensive context and enable advanced search, categorisation and management. And that independent of the physical storage location of the document.

Comparison between object-based and location-based document management

Search functionality

  • Location-based: Requires users to know the exact location of a document, which can take time and effort, especially in large, complex structures.
  • Object-based: Uses metadata for searching, allowing documents to be found quickly and intuitively based on their content, broad keywords or features.

Scalability

  • Location-based: Can become unwieldy and difficult to manage as the organisation and its document needs grow.
  • Object-based: Provides flexibility and scalability, as changes to the organisational structure or document categories can easily be made without changing the physical storage and structure.

Access, permissions and security

  • Location-based: Often restricted to folder level, which can result in either too wide or too limited access.
  • Object-based: Offers granular access control at document level, improves security and regulatory compliance.

Why choose object-based document management?

Object-based document management comes out on top for its ability to provide efficient, scalable, and secure solutions that grow with the organisation. Its strength lies in the flexibility of metadata, which not only enables dynamic organisation of documents but also provides an intuitive search experience that does not rely on users' knowledge of document locations.

Moreover, in an age where data is growing rapidly and the need for instant access to information is essential, object-based document management offers a clear advantage. It enables organisations to find, share and secure information faster.

Want to know what this difference looks like in practice? Have a virtual seat at The next generation of document management and find out how to help your organisation move forward.
Read also

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Knowledge files

In the world of document management, technologies are constantly evolving to help organisations manage their document flows more efficiently and effectively. Two prominent methods at a document management system are:

  • Object-based
  • Location-based

These approaches, although aimed at the same end goal - optimising document management - tackle the process in fundamentally different ways. In this article, we dive into the core of both systems, compare their functionalities and explain which method is best and why.

The core of location-based document management

Location-based document management, a traditional approach, organises documents in a physical or digital space. It is similar to a physical filing system where documents are stored in folders and file cabinets, with a clear emphasis on the location of storage. In the digital world, this translates to the use of folders and subfolders within a file system. Its effectiveness relies heavily on a logical and structured hierarchy that is easy to navigate. However, as organisations grow, this structure can become complex and difficult to manage.

The concept of object-based document management

Unlike the location-based method, object-based document management takes a more sophisticated approach. Each document or file is treated as an 'object' that contains not only content, but also rich metadata. These metadata - such as author, dates, project, workflow status and access rights - provide extensive context and enable advanced search, categorisation and management. And that independent of the physical storage location of the document.

Comparison between object-based and location-based document management

Search functionality

  • Location-based: Requires users to know the exact location of a document, which can take time and effort, especially in large, complex structures.
  • Object-based: Uses metadata for searching, allowing documents to be found quickly and intuitively based on their content, broad keywords or features.

Scalability

  • Location-based: Can become unwieldy and difficult to manage as the organisation and its document needs grow.
  • Object-based: Provides flexibility and scalability, as changes to the organisational structure or document categories can easily be made without changing the physical storage and structure.

Access, permissions and security

  • Location-based: Often restricted to folder level, which can result in either too wide or too limited access.
  • Object-based: Offers granular access control at document level, improves security and regulatory compliance.

Why choose object-based document management?

Object-based document management comes out on top for its ability to provide efficient, scalable, and secure solutions that grow with the organisation. Its strength lies in the flexibility of metadata, which not only enables dynamic organisation of documents but also provides an intuitive search experience that does not rely on users' knowledge of document locations.

Moreover, in an age where data is growing rapidly and the need for instant access to information is essential, object-based document management offers a clear advantage. It enables organisations to find, share and secure information faster.

Want to know what this difference looks like in practice? Have a virtual seat at The next generation of document management and find out how to help your organisation move forward.
Knowledge files
Read also

Back to all items.

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