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Over the course of its release history document management software developer KnowledgeTree (news, site) has had a habit of mirroring upgrades in the on premise version of its products with corresponding upgrades to its SaaS version.

The SaaS version is  full versioned document management systems for users who want an alternative to on premise software, providing a secure service with hosting on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and data stored on Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).

KnowledgeTree Document Management

Like other SaaS products it requires no installation, upgrades or server infrastructure and offers users a production-ready, web-based, document management system.

It comes with dozens of 'commercial-only' features, such as the KnowledgeTree client tools, and additional document management functionality. Current features include:

  • Simple and intuitive web-interface
  • Thumbnail and Instant View document preview functionality that allows you to see what’s in a document before downloading it from the repository
  • Customizable dashboard (displaying subscriptions, pending documents, checked-out documents)
  • Unlimited documents, folders, workflows, document properties, document types, roles, groups and users provide space for ample storage and collaboration
  • Create users, groups and roles that map to your organization’s structure & processes

It also comes with Zoho integration -- allowing users create, view and edit documents online, and on the fly.

Microsoft Office Add-In

One of the features that makes it accessible to novice users is the Microsoft Office Add-In, which was introduced earlier this year and upgraded recently to v1.1.

KnowledgeTree Office Add-in 1.1 provides an alternative, client-side interface to KnowledgeTree from within Microsoft Office 2007 applications.

This client tool displays as a side panel within the Microsoft Office 2007 interface, providing a view of an organization's Microsoft Office 2007 content stored and managed through KnowledgeTree's web-based document management system.

The result is that users can access Office 2007 documents stored in the KnowledgeTree repository through an integrated panel that is built into the KnowledgeTree server stack.

Features that come with Microsoft Office Add-in include:

  • An interface that enables users to navigate KnowledgeTree’s repository from Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Check-in and check-out of documents from within Add-in
  • Entire repository search for documents
  • Copy and reuse of templates already being used
  • Audit history and version control of all documents
  • Email documents to internal or external recipients
  • Multilingual Interfaces available in French, Italian and German as well as English

In addition, the ability to integrate with Zoho Writer makes it possible for users to access and edit documents remotely without high-cost desktop software.

Compliance Requirement Features

There are a number of other features that come with the SaaS version, but two further features that will probably be of interest to companies with compliance issues are:

  • Document Type Alerts which alert users to groups of documents based on their type
  • Electronic signatures that require a user to enter their username and password for all write actions on documents and folders

Getting Started with KnowledgeTree

KnowledgeTree Community Edition v3.7

However, if you don’t want to go down this route, KnowledeTree recently announced the Release Candidate of its Community Edition 3.7 with the strict caveat that it is intended for testing purposes only. It is too early to say how this will go with a number of issues already identified by the company itself.

No doubt when the final release has been given the green light everyone will hear about it, but worth noting is that this is first release built on Zend Server,

This version also provides a new Setup Wizard that guides users through the configuration of KnowledgeTree, for installs and upgrades, so that your system is set up and ready to use as easily as possible.

New features and enhancements include:

  • Document thumbnail preview
  • Support for Microsoft Windows 2008 Server, along with IIS 6 and 7
  • New types of document properties
  • Support for the CMIS and OpenSearch standards
  • Setup wizards for installation, configuration and upgrading
  • Spanish, Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese translations

Next year will be KnowledgeTree’s first complete year doing business in the US. Worth watching to see how they get on with these products, and what they come up with next.