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Best Open Source Documentation Software

Marketing management is a complex process, and it’s one that needs to be carried out by someone who understands technology. Are you looking for best open source documentation software? Or maybe you’re curious about best open source documentation tools? Maybe you’re wondering if there’s some way to get the best of both worlds in open source documentation software. Read this article on “Best Open Source Documentation Software” to know about all such things!

With the rapid growth of software development, there is a corresponding increase in the need for effective documentation. Open source is a great alternative to expensive and proprietary solutions. The best open source documentation software not only gives you the ability to create high-quality documentation quickly and easily but also makes it easy to share your work with others.

Are you looking for a way to streamline your business’s organization methods? Using a document management system (DMS) is a common practice when it comes to keeping your documents organized electronically. A DMS allows you to quickly and effectively organize and manage documentation to ensure that your day runs smoothly but buying and maintaining a DMS can be expensive – enter open-source document management systems. We’re going to go over what open-source DMS is as well as the top five open-source document management systems out there.

Once again, it was time to do some research. So we looked into the different companies that offer open source DMS for our needs. Here is a good overview of the top six. Hopefully, this review may find you one that can help with your individual or company’s workflow.

What are Open Source Document Management Systems?

A DMS acts as an electronic filing cabinet – except a lot more advanced and better organized. A DMS goes far beyond sorting documents alphabetically as a typical filing cabinet would. It tracks, stores, manages, and accesses documents at the click of a button. It not only stores digital documents but also converts paper documents into digital docs so they can be stored electronically forever. DMS can be expensive and often unnecessarily – especially since there are so many open-source document management systems available either for free or for a small fee.

The definition of “open source” in this context means that the original source code is freely available and can be used openly by anyone. You can use it as-is or modify it to fit your needs.

Top Open Source Document Management Systems

Have we convinced you that an open-source document management system may be the way to go? Here are some of the best worth considering, no matter the size of your business.

1. OpenDocMan


OpenDocMan is known for being one of the best open-source document management systems around. Not only is it free but it’s also web-based so it can be accessed from anywhere rather than just your work computer. It’s written in PHP, which is designed to comply with ISO 17025 and OIE standards for document management and used by large and small businesses as well as government agencies, educators, and individuals.

Further benefits of OpenDocMan include:

  • Supports multiple operating systems, including Linux, Unix, Mac Os X, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista and Windows 7
  • Supports multiple file types
  • Created for both the individual user and departmental workflow
  • Automated document review process
  • Optional email notifications put in place before or after a review
  • Controllable access control for each individual file
  • Businesses can set email notifications before and after a review to keep the workflow effective
  • Quick browsing option by category, department, user or by scanning the entire document
  • Locating files is quick and easy

2. Kimios


Kimios is optimized to help companies with a large document flow stay organized. This is especially useful for busy departments like human resources and accounts with an abundance of documentation flowing in and out daily.

Further benefits of Kimios include:

  • Fully accessible from any browser making remote access easy
  • Designed to fit any web standards, providing a complete user experience
  • Create and edit documents
  • Upload and systemize documents
  • Content and metadata are indexed for each document
  • Combines multiple search criteria, creating a powerful document search engine
  • Supports text, images, video, 3D objects and more
  • Plenty of collaborative features, including check-in and check-out options, version control, and customizable workflows

3. Alfresco Community Edition

Alfresco Community Edition

Alfresco Community Edition is an open-sourced version of Alfresco Content Services for those who have the capability to self-support. It is written in Java, uses PostgreSQL to store its database, and is both free and widely available.

Further benefits of Alfresco Community Edition include:

  • Ideal for developers who want to work with the latest Alfresco features in non-critical environments
  • Compatible with Windows and Unix operating systems, but not restricted to them
  • Offline and mobile app features make remote access easy
  • Collaboration with tools such as task lists, version tracking, and team sites
  • Easy to modify and extend the Alfresco software according to your company’s needs
  • Keep track of employee performance

4. LogicalDOC Community Edition

LogicalDOC Community Edition

Similar to Alfresco Community Edition, LogicalDOC Community Edition is the open-source document management version of LogicalDOC. Although this version does not come with the same features as the paid LogicalDOC version does, it is free of charge and offers its own range of benefits.

Further benefits of LogicalDOC Community Edition include:

  • Web-based system making remote access easy
  • Integrated address book contacts to keep track of new and existing clients
  • Compatible with mobile apps on both iOS and Android
  • Tag documents with TagCloud
  • Document version control
  • Internal messaging system allows for easy communication with collaborators
  • Files can be checked in and out with an option to email or download review tickets
  • Multilingual full-text indexing
  • Dropbox integration
  • WordPress explorer component

5. OpenKM Community Edition

OpenKM Community Edition

OpenKM Community addition is another free version of OpenKM. It is accessible via the web making remote access easy and is a great option for businesses with few users and non-critical data.

Further benefits of OpenKM Community Edition include:

  • Available for use across a wide variety of operating systems, including Windows Server, Linux Mint, Red Hat, Fedora and CentOS
  • Upload/download documents via zip files
  • Runs on a Java platform
  • Share documents via web and email
  • Exposed API functionality for CMIS, SOAP and Rest
  • Can be accessed via mobile devices
  • Can be integrated with any TWAIN scanner
  • Messaging/chat within the software
  • Extract metadata from files

While there is a range of open-source DMS out there, we included some of the best available, regardless of the size or complexity of your business. It is not necessary to spend an arm and a leg on a DMS. There are plenty of options available that are not only highly effective and efficient at keeping your documents organized but also free of charge.

6. SeedDMS

SeedDMS is a simple to use and intuitive document management solution with a wide range of sophisticated and functional features. The software is free to use, and the open source version offers betterment with every update.


                                                              (Image Courtesy: SeedDMS)

Key Features:

  • Fully web based UI
  • Facility to preserve all former document versions
  • Multiple user management
  • Group management
  • External authentication
  • Fine-grained notification upon changes
  • Workflow for document review and approval
  • Access control lists
  • Full-text search
  • Web access
  • Multi-language support

7. Google Docs

Google Docs is probably the most popular free document management system available in the market today. This cloud-based software allows you to keep all your important documents on its cloud interface. Plus, it can be accessed from any browser regardless of the platform as long as you have a Gmail account. It allows you to achieve control over all your documents and manage them with the utmost efficiency. Plus, you will be able to add as many users as you want while using Google Docs.

Google Docs

Key Features

  • Compatible with the desktop as well as smartphones
  • Provides you with access control features
  • Allows you to store, track and manage documents easily
  • Comes with an intuitive dashboard
  • USP: Google Docs offers you multilingual support and makes it easy to convert your documents. Plus, it also keeps your documents completely secure.


  • Very easy-to-use and easy-to-learn solution
  • Higher accessibility due to the cloud-based model followed by Google Docs
  • Import-export wide range of files for enhanced compatibility


  • Limited customizability
  • Self-hosting is not available with Google Docs

8. Bitrix24

Available on the cloud as well as on-premise, Bitrix24 is undoubtedly one of the best document management free systems out there. With its data centers located in the USA and Ireland, the software allows you to store and manage your files without any hassle. Equipped to support a handful of intranet services, it allows management of different types of files including calendars, galleries, wikis, and so on. It also comes with WebDAV support for better functioning.


Key Features

  • Works easily on both Android and iOS
  • Offers you both cloud and on-premise server storage
  • Allows you to collaborate better with your colleagues
  • Offers daily free backups

USP: With Bitrix24, you will have a flexible permission system, complete control over your documents, and you will be able to collaborate easily with others on projects.


  • Availability of advanced team related features and CRM features along with collaboration tools
  • Cloud, private cloud, or self-hosted modes available
  • Online and local document editing support


  • Mobile support needs to be improved to make the system better accessible from anywhere

9. Nuexo

An open source document management system, Nuexo can be easily downloaded for free use. Available on multiple platforms, you will not have to worry about the platform that you are using. The software comes with great support and advanced features which make it very easy to use.


Key Features

  • Comes with rich metadata
  • Has a native workflow
  • Supports all types of documents
  • Offers you a chance to create storyboards

USP: One of the most interesting things about the Nuexo app is that it offers you the chance to integrate it with several other productivity apps like Office 365 and Google Docs.


  • Useful as product and digital asset management solution
  • Availability of a diverse range of features like native file viewers, document authoring, audit, and digital signature adds a lot of value to businesses
  • Support for process automation to improve efficiency


  • Support for bulk upload of documents and customization options is limited

10. Krystal DMS

Krystal DMS is another highly innovative document management software that you can opt for. The software offers advanced features like indexing, detailed audit, and multilingual support which help you to manage your documents without any trouble.

Krystal DMS

Key Features

  • Offers proper email management.
  • It allows you to control access.
  • Provides you with the OCR feature.
  • Comes with a proper workflow management feature.

USP: The Krystal DMS offers an advanced auditing feature that helps you to keep track of all your documents.


  • Document scanning and indexing services available along with document management solutions to make the offering comprehensive
  • Advanced search, indexing, version control, OCR capabilities available
  • Private cloud, cloud, and on-premise setup modes available.


  • Unavailability of document collaboration tools
  • Lack of mobile support

11. LogicalDoc

Available in both professional and community editions, the LogicalDoc is another great free document management software that you can use. The community edition is distributed with the GNU license and it is completely free to download. The software offers you several features and makes it easy to manage your documents as well as files easily.


Key Features

  • It offers a multilingual desktop and web interface
  • Allows you to import from ZIP archives
  • Has an internal messaging system
  • Comes with excellent security policies

USP: The software supports WebDAV and CMIS. Plus, it also offers Dropbox integration.


  • Availability of features like integrated HTML editor and digital watermarking
  • Multilingual full-text indexing capabilities
  • Conversion to multiple file-formats possible
  • Customizable branding to suit business needs


  • Sluggish performance when indexing a relatively larger set of documents
  • Browser compatibility issues

Shortcomings of Open Source File Management System

The list above outlines some of the best open source document management systems on the market. Some shortcomings of open source DMS that we wanted to note are:

  • Fewer features – it is only logical that free software should come with fewer features than paid versions. While some of the open source DMS provide paid versions, they are still of poorer quality than the paid versions of regular open source document management tools.
  • Lack of technical support – since these are open source tools, you usually have to ask the community if you have an issue with the software.
  • These programs rarely meet the compliance standards of government agencies or business industries.


Now that we have reviewed six of the top open source document management platforms, we have a better idea of what services they can provide. Some come with several bells and whistles while some are just very streamlined and perform one main service.

In the world of technology, documentation made using open source tools is increasingly being utilized. Open source documentation software makes use of markdown files. These markdown files can be transformed into anything like PDF, DOCX and HTML files.

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