Mayan EDMS

I might have mentioned liking the Django web application framework for good documentation and a strong community (there are even books you can buy!). I spent the first two weeks of 2012 learning some Python and working through The Definitive Guide to Django. Developing and testing locally was easy, but I abandoned the effort after another two weeks trying to configure a Python web stack on my FreeBSD server and returned to the pervasive AMP stack because of its simplicity.

However, yesterday I became aware of the Mayan EDMS project after being featured in a recent FLOSS Weekly podcast (hosted by Randal Schwartz of Perl book fame). It’s a really cool EDMS written using the Django framework, and might be suitable as the DMS component in Maestro.

It seems Django/Python documentation has matured since my aborted effort last year, so a new attempt may be more successful (I’ve also approached some local Meetup groups for some help this time). If I can deploy Mayan to my production server I might be switching frameworks (and languages) again. I don’t have much to lose though because I haven’t really deployed any significant Maestro code yet – most recent work has involved sorting out data structures and synchronizing data from external systems, with some re-usable shell/cron scripts for import data and throw-away ATK and Yii code (I didn’t even write the Yii code, it was generated CRUD code).

What makes Mayan EDMS great? Here are the features as listed on the Mayan EDMS project website, plus a couple additions of my own:

  • Electronic signature verification
  • Unlimited document versioning with revert
  • Unlimited user defined metadata
  • Automatic OCR of documents (with distributed OCR processing)
  • GPL3 license (although I’d prefer a BSD-type license)
  • No commercial “premium” version (the open source version isn’t a limited-feature teaser!)
  • Django/Python
  • and many more….
    • Dynamic default values for metadata
    • Filesystem integration
    • User defined document unique identifier and checksum algorithms
    • Local file or server side file uploads
    • Batch upload many documents with the same meta-data
    • Previews for a great deal of image formats, including PDF
    • Full text searching
    • Configurable document grouping
    • Permissions and roles support
    • Multi-page document support
    • Multilingual user interface: English, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal) Russian, Italian, Polish, German, French, Bulgarian and Dutch.
    • Duplicated document search
    • Plugable storage backends
    • Color coded tagging

I’ll post detailed installation instructions on FreeBSD as soon as I’ve got it working.

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