The quick way to update a SeedDMS installation

SeedDMS comes with rather detailed instructions on how to install and update the software. It’s all described in the file doc/README.Install.md which is part of the quickstart archive. This article focuses on a very special but quite regular case, when SeedDMS is updated without changing the major and minor version number. Hence, all updates within the SeedDMS 5.1.x or 6.0.x series, e.g. from 6.0.22 to 6.0.28. SeedDMS’ folder structure on disk is designed to be secure and easily updateable.

Using SeedDMS as an OAI-PMH repository

The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) is a mechanism to expose meta data by a data provider. SeedDMS may act as such a data provider delivering meta data of those documents stored in SeedDMS. OAI-PMH is widely used by libraries, repositories and publishers to provide meta data e.g. for discovery systems like vufind. It does not prefer a particular meta data standard, but uses Dublin Core (dc) as its bare minimum.

Using SeedDMS like a printer

Assume you have just received by email your booking confirmation for the next vacation and would like to keep a copy of it in your SeedDMS. Or you have found this wonderful recipe on how to make german schnitzel and would like to save a PDF of it in your SeedDMS. Well, you could save it to your local disk and then upload it into SeedDMS. But, how would it be if you just print it right into SeedDMS, no matter if you are using your mobile phone or your desktop PC.

LDAP Authentication

LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is a widely used open directory services protocol, which allows computer systems to access user directory information over a network. LDAP provides a way to organize information (often user authentication information) in a hierarchical manner. It’s been around for decades and is implemented by OpenLDAP and Active Directory. SeedDMS has support for LDAP from it’s very beginning, but quite to often it is difficult to set up.

All about check in and out

One of the fundamental differences between SeedDMS and a regular file system is its foremost purpose to store documents and all its versions for a long time and prohibiting any manipulation by unprivileged users. There is little focus on changing the content of the documents. Actually, the DMS itself doesn’t even support editing documents. Besides that, there are way too many different file formats to be supported, which is of course not achievable.

Running scheduled tasks in SeedDMS

Whenever lots of data is managed like SeedDMS does it, there is sooner or later a need for running certain task, e.g. to do clean ups or update operations, or simply to check for data changes occurred over the past. One of the rather obvious operations in SeedDMS is checking for expired documents. But there are others, like informing users about reviews or approvals to be due or updating the full text index.

Using Paperless-ngx Apps to access SeedDMS

Unfortunately, there is no native Android App to access SeedDMS. If somebody has some spare time and thinks this has to be changed, then please contact me at info@seeddms.org. I’ll support wherever I can. Well, in the mean time there is another way, which covers at least the basic access on documents stored in SeedDMS. A brand new extension makes SeedDMS behave like a Paperless-ngx server by adding its REST API endpoints.

Ways to upload documents into and download from SeedDMS

Running a document management system has many advantages compared to a local file storage on your computer’s disc, but many of them don’t help if documents cannot be easily uploaded, downloaded, or generally accessed. The fact, that a web based DMS can be made available from all over the world, requires to cover many more scenarios when you need to add a document to the DMS or retrieve one from the DMS.

Explaining the folder structure of a SeedDMS installation

SeedDMS uses a simple folder structure on disc which eases updates and even allows to switch between different versions as long as you stay in the 5.1.x or 6.0.x branch. It makes use of soft links which makes it somewhat harder to install it on systems which do not support them. After unpacking the quickstart archive of SeedDMS 6.0.19, you will see a folder hierarchy like the following (it shows only those directories which are relevant to understand the concept).

History association VEKD uses SeedDMS

The history association VEKD uses SeedDMS to manage a digital archive of the local history museum. The association has set itself the goal of digitizing photos and documents from and about its home town and thus preserving it for posterity. The SeedDMS management system is ideally suited for this. With the help of a structured index tree, photos can be assigned to historical buildings, clubs or even families and private individuals.