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DocMoto for Mac review: Network-based document management tool tracks it all

Jeffery Battersby | Jan. 8, 2015
Doctor, office manager, lawyer, project manager, engineer, real estate mogul, PR shop. If you're in business--any business--the bigger you get, the more likely it is that tracking and managing documents is one of the biggest challenges you face. Enter CHL Software's DocMoto, a server-based application designed to manage every document your organization touches, from email messages to Office documents. It tracks changes, controls access, maintains revision histories, locks documents for editing, and guarantees that everything you do is centralized, organized, and easy to access.

Doctor, office manager, lawyer, project manager, engineer, real estate mogul, PR shop. If you're in business — any business — the bigger you get, the more likely it is that tracking and managing documents is one of the biggest challenges you face. Enter CHL Software's DocMoto, a server-based application designed to manage every document your organization touches, from email messages to Office documents. It tracks changes, controls access, maintains revision histories, locks documents for editing, and guarantees that everything you do is centralized, organized, and easy to access. 

DocMoto is a client-server application that you purchase either as a cloud-based, hosted service or that you can install and host on your own servers. The cloud-based version is hosted by CHL Software and is backed up on their servers. (Side note: For the purposes of this review I only tested the cloud-based version, but, other than configuring, managing, and backing up your own servers, there is no practical difference in how the versions work.) 

The DocMoto user environment consists of a Finder-like interface that you use instead of your Mac's Finder for storing and managing your documents. In order to use the application you first have to have access to a DocMoto server and a user account set up for log in.

DocMoto user accounts are a powerful tool you use to manage access to files and folders stored on your DocMoto server. There are several options for creating users, including DocMoto's built-in user database and integration with LDAP and Open/Active Directory servers. While user information comes from these databases, you manage user access using DocMoto's Users and Groups tool, which works in a similar fashion to most server-based file security tools.

You access files stored in DocMoto the same way you work on any file in the Finder, with one notable difference: Double click a file in DocMoto and you will be asked whether you're opening the file for viewing or editing. Choosing view opens the file as a read-only document, choosing edit checks the document out to you and locks it for editing by anyone else. Other users can view the document, but no one can make changes until you check the document back in.

There is really no limit to the types of files you can store using DocMoto. CHL Software states that they are yet to come across a file format they can't support. The only possible limitation is on the client side, where editing is dependent on having an application on your Mac that supports a particular file type. Double-clicking a document for editing opens that document in the appropriate application. When you're done with the document, you save it, close it, and check it back in. If you don't have an app capable of editing the document, Apple's Launch Services feature will attempt to guide you to an appropriate app on the App Store.

 

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