Document Management Software Numbering and Versioning

FileHold document management software provides customers with many options for document numbering and version control. The most common numbering requirements are based on historical work methodologies, specific industry requirements and compliance standards.

The software has a very flexible and user configurable design to accommodate different industries that have different requirements for numbering schemes. The purpose of this white paper is to help describe all the ways the document management software can help solve the business problem of uniquely numbering and Versioning documents.

In addition to the formal numbering / Versioning solutions the software provides there is near infinite numbering / Versioning possibilities using metadata fields. Metadata fields are flexible, controllable and searchable to allow users to create numbering schemes they may require. One possible use of metadata field numbering would be to store unique document numbers that might have been inherited from a legacy document management or even paper based filing system. By replicating these numbers in the document management software metadata fields, users can continue to search and find their documents based on the numbering scheme from a previous system.

Using the software's configurable search views or the integrated SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) all metadata fields are reportable so there is unlimited flexibility to generate reports based on any custom numbering systems a customer may wish to develop.

The following is a brief description of each of the document number or version control schemes the software provides as standard “out of the box” features.

Document Numbering - Document ID - Unique System Generated Number for Every Document

The document management software automatically assigns a unique document ID number to every single document that is added to FileHold. It can not be edited by users, is never duplicated in the system and is guarenteed to be available for every document. The document ID number is assigned sequentially starting at 1. Two versions of the same document have the same document ID, but they have a different version numbers. When the document ID and version number are combined with a decimal point (period) separating them, that is called the FileHold ID. Every document version in FileHold has a unique FileHold ID.

Document Version Control - System Generated Document Version Number

Version control is one of the most critical elements of a document management system because it ensure users always have access to the most current version of a company document. This feature alone can cost justify the implementation of a document management system as it eliminates duplication of work and allows users to share the most current information on matters such as company policies or contracts.

Every time a document is checked out from FileHold using a standard web browser, Microsoft Office applications or using the FileHold Desktop application it becomes a candidate for automatic version control. Version control allows managers to track the history of a document as it evolves, it records the date when the version was changed and by whom. The system generated version number system starts at 1 and increases sequentially by 1 when a new version is checked in. An option is avialable to start the version number at 0 (zero) for cases where a document control team will start a new document with a placeholder rather than an actual document.

Document version control prevents documents from being overwritten or deleted as documents are updated by more than one party. All versions of the file are maintained by the system until deleted and can be restored as the current version at any time.

Document Numbering - Document Control Numbering

Some customers (especially engineering companies) work with large and complex documents that are tightly controlled. These customers like to assign a specific number to a document and use it throughout its lifecycle, this is what FileHold calls a document control number.

Document control number (DCN) Fields are created and modified in the Library Administration section of FileHold therefore the creators must have at least Library administration rights. Once a document control number schema is created users can create new document and a new and unique document control number will be automatically allocated. Once a document number field is assigned to a schema and documents are created using this schema parameters cannot be modified.

There are two ways to generate document control numbers:

  1. They can be auto-generated by the FileHold System.
  2. Entered manually by the user

In either case, the software will ensure that the control number is unique to the document. When assigned to a document schema, the DCN is mandatory for every document assigned that schema. A DCN will be assigned to a document when it is added to the software and cannot ever be changed.

If the document control field is auto-generated, the value is not displayed when adding the document. To avoid the possibility that two users might be creating a new document control number at the same time the number is only created and viewed after the document has been added to the library.

Each document control field has a prefix which must be different from all other prefixes. This ensures that each document control number is unique across the entire library. Auto-generated document control numbers use consecutive numeric values starting from a given initial value and a given number of digits. Manually edited numbers can be any alphanumeric strings with a given maximum length.

Once a document control has been added, FileHold will check through the entire library to ensure this number is not duplicated on any other document.

Document Version Control - Manual Document Version Control Numbers

In addition to the system genearted document version control the software has a feature to allow users to manually generate and control more sophisticated version schemes that reflect the real world of major and minor releases in document Versioning (i.e. A more complex version Control number would be 6.02.001 or REVB).

The version control capability is turned on by the library administrator when creating schemas for documents that might require manual Versioning.

Versions control numbers are not mandatory. They can be assigned when adding a document or checking in a document and can be modified, separately for each document version, at any time. By default the version number is carried over from the last version when document is checked in. Version numbers do not have to be unique. A version control field has a mandatory prefix, but it does not have to be unique.