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In-Place Records Management

With Simflofy and Alfresco

An organization’s documents are not stored in one place. Instead these documents are spread across Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platforms, Document Management Systems (DMS), enterprise applications, and network share. But an organization’s business processes must cross these silos of documents, especially Records Management. An organization needs a single source for its documents and its users need to be able to use these applications in the best-of-breed applications. Simflofy answers this challenge by allowing access from Alfresco to documents located in over twenty sources in organizations as if the content were stored in Alfresco. The user is unaware that it is accessing documents stored in another repository.

How it Works

Simflofy sits under your Alfresco platform. Alfresco supports multiple storage devices for handling documents. Simflofy works like one of those storage devices. To the Alfresco platform it does not matter where content is stored, be it a network file system, Content Addressable Storage, or Simflofy. To the end user, there is no difference to content stored in Alfresco and content store in other Enterprise Content Management (ECM) or Document Management Systems (DMS).

In order to access the documents in other systems, keywords (sometimes called properties, attributes or metadata) about those documents are stored in Alfresco. Along with the keywords, a pointer is stored that is used to retrieve the document from Simflofy. To Alfresco, these documents are just like any other document in the system. Users can retrieve these documents, edit these documents or their keywords, use the documents in workflow, or manage them as records directly from within Alfresco. Any changes made to the document or its keywords in Alfresco are automatically propagated into the source ECM or DMS.

The Keywords stored in Alfresco can be used to manage those documents as records. The keywords can then be used to associate a retention policy to these documents. Those records are then locked down in the source system and can be marked as a record. Once retention policy is met, the action taken in Alfresco to destroy the records is performed against the document in the source system. It the document has been placed on legal hold, it’s also placed on hold in the source system. The fact that these actions are being performed on documents in another source is completely invisible to the end user.

Security

Simflofy respects the security of the source system. The solution works with published and supported APIs to ensure that the appropriate handling of documents occurs. Access to documents can be either through user credentials or a system account and the platform supports single sign-on.

Growth and Scalability

Simflofy works as a connection bus. The integration from Alfresco is to the Simflofy content services layer. This layer manages all of the connections that Simflofy supports, today or tomorrow. This means that as new connectors are developed those can be used in existing integrations without the need for additional code. Organizations can also create their own connectors to home grown systems.

Simflofy interacts with source systems at the document level. Simflofy transactions have been tuned to be very efficient, but they do rely upon the performance of the source system. This means that as usage grows, you can add a new Simflofy server to take on the extra workload.

More than Records Management

Because Simflofy sits under Alfresco, all of the documents linked to sources outside the platform are just like any other document in Alfresco. This means that any of Alfresco’s functionality is available to these documents. These documents can be edited, shared, and participate in workflows. Anything you can do to a document in Alfresco, you can do to these documents too.