Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cloud Document Management Software: Comparing the Top Solutions

Document-management-workflow (Click on image/P...
Document-management-workflow (Click on image/Press L for a full view) (Photo credit: Saad Faruque)
Companies in this comparison have been chosen not only because of its popularity, in the case of vendors like Alfresco, Knowledgetree and Nuxeo, but also because of the relevance shown by Google as Cloud Document Management providers.

The first part of this comparison is intended to introduce the products evaluated, while the second analysis is performed in three areas:
Basic functionality, advanced functionality and other features such as support and prices.


Alfresco Beta Cloud

Simple and fast buying process, which is a non insignificant feature when one wants to have a document management solution running as soon as possible. Another of the strengths of Alfresco is its interface, very easy to use and clean. However, now we just have Alfresco Beta, which leaves out advanced document management features. We have to wait a few months for Alfresco Team and Enterprise versions to become available in the cloud. Right now, users can enjoy up to 10GB storage for free, but this is very little real work for a company, of course. Prices are expected for Alfresco Team to be around 70 dollars per month, but we have to wait a few months to see it.

Athento Cloud

The main strength is that Athento offers advanced functionality for reasonable prices. All products have OCR functionality integrated into Athento cloud as its core functionality. Furthermore, it takes 5 minutes to enjoy Athento. But above all, in addition to existing features, Athento Cloud is a bet on the future. With a large and comprehensive roadmap, Athento will soon have new features such as integration with leading social networks, new interface and a MarketPlace in which users can scale their custom applications.


Knowledgetree is an asy to configure and maintain open source DMS, with very good documentation and well covered basics. It also has a strong community, and has been developed using PHP programming language.

The main concerns with Knowledgetree are its scalability, a not so friendly UI or the fact that most interesting features are under the commercial version.


A fairly complete solution for document management core functionality, but advanced features which are quite expensive. Around 1800 euros per year. On the other hand, a growth in the number of users will make this product escape many pockets.

With servers in the Netherlands, LogicalDoc is one of the solutions to be considered, although its implementation is one its weakest points, since it misses one of the advantages of the cloud, the reduced time to acquire and enjoy the service.

Nuxeo Cloud

Nuxeo is king in basic functionality, a document management solution that does not take control of documentation lightly. However, many of the advanced functionality gets achieved with integrations with third parties and in the cloud version these integrations are not available. For example, an essential functionality such as OCR is not available in the cloud version. The marketplace, on the other hand, is something to be noted because it will bring many opportunities to its users. Once Nuxeo has an increased number of plugins in its marketplace, users can grow their cloud applications as desired.

However, prices are quite high for Nuxeo, making it one of the most expensive solutions out there.

Basic Feature Analysis

In this section we consider features that should be in any Document Management System, whether SaaS or OnPremise.

Advanced Features Analysis

This section is intended to consider the added value that these document management and ECM offer.

Pricing and Support

One of the most important aspects to consider is support, as Document Management in the Cloud is a service and a service must deal with situations where the client does not get their needs met on the platform. Meanwhile, prices will play an important role, since these systems tend to operate through subscriptions and monthly payments. The continued payment for the service must be viable for the company. Similarly, before hiring such services we should analyze what price system is best for the company: number of users, capacity, number of documents or combinations of these.

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  1. I recommend you to take a look at this file management software. You can set up your own file server for managing and sharing files through web browser. It's like DropBox but self-hosted so that you can keep all your confidential files on your own server. The web based UI looks and feels like Windows 7 Explorer. It offers features that are not possible with a FTP server such as zipping files, downloading multiple files and folders in single download etc. It's also easier to set up and administrate than a FTP server.

    1. Thank you Simone for your comment and your software suggestion. We only considered a summary of cloud doc management solutions, but we agree that there are more than we showed in this post. So, thanks.

      Anyway, we have had a look to your link and it seems more a software to share files but, does it also manage the docs? Like autotags, OCR, workflows, etc...


  2. Interesting article, I will link to this post.
    I think Web based cloud document management is the upcoming trend, but how easy it is to scan fast and directly to cloud document management applications ? Check out eDocScan at www.edocplus.com

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thank you Nikos for sharing your opinion with us. I have checked eDocScan and it is an interesting solution.

    In addition and answering your question, I have to mention that Athento cloud, the solution I know best, allows us not only that scanned documents are automatically classified, edited, etc...(by means of OCR) but also easily shared in the cloud.


  4. This article is actually factually incorrect. For a few reasons:

    - Alfresco in the Cloud isn't in BETA.
    - Different Document Types, Alfresco can accept any document type, all of which can be previewed from within the web browser or mobile apps.
    - Precision search is coming soon.
    - Dashboard, the system has a dashboard by default showing sites, activity and more.
    - iOS is the only mobile applications at the moment. Android is due in Fall, so Coming Soon.
    - Customization will be Coming Soon also with Public APIs being released.
    - Google Docs integration is Coming Soon also.
    - Support, is 9-5 for Standard Networks, or 24x7 for Enterprise Networks. Phone and Online.
    - Pricing is Storage and Users also.
    - Storage is per network not user.
    - Pricing is $49/month for 5 users (which is $9.80/user/month)

  5. Thanks James for the clarification and extra-data about Alfresco.

    We gathered all the information available at the moment of writting this post and we didn´t know about the coming features. It is nice to hear about integration with Google Docs and a new version for Android, for instance.

    Best regards