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Files go through a life cycle of their own. New, in use, archived, and discarded are the stages of a file. E-File Business File System 2.0 is a tool for finding lost files. To efficiently find documents, they have to be organized properly. E-File Business File System 2.0 's organization is based on several dimensions. The first is that a document goes into either a shared filing cabinet or a private cabinet. A shared cabinet is the collection of files several authorized users can access. The private one is simply a collection of files for one’s own use.
A second kind of organization is by type of content: reference information, issues and problems, projects and on-going issues. [See Figure 1]
A third dimension of organization is the four categories described as: expansion of business, cost reduction, maintenance of business, and mandatory/regulatory issues. [See Figure 2]
With these three dimensional slices it is easy for E-File Business File System 2.0 to narrow down the area and file you are searching for. You then look in at that small slice and find the file, then the piece of document within that file.
Additionally, E-File Business File System 2.0 gives every piece of document a reference number, making it easy to maintain the documents in their physical form too. Just look up the reference number and find the file since it's organized serially by the reference number. This allows document management in a totally paperless office or a mix of paperless and paper-based small business to be carried out with some ease.
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As with most database-based applications, E-File Business File System 2.0 will have a problem initially if a lot of data, documents in this case, already exist and need to be entered into the system. Getting each piece of document catalogued and organized in the system will be quite an effort but it has to be done to get enough value out of the system. Because of the sheer effort required there can be reluctance on the part of users to get all this legacy data into the system, but not doing so means the full benefits will not be realized.
As this is built on an internal database, I’d also be concerned with overall performance speed once the number of stored documents held in the system grows.
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Price to ValueRating At just $100, E-File Business File System 2.0 is good value for the money. Particularly if you are starting fresh. In that case you can add files as you are creating them for your business needs as opposed to converting a lot of existing files or documents into the E-File Business File System.
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Installation & SetupRating Installation and setup is easy. The E-File Business File System 2.0 prompts you with the necessary steps. [See Figure 3] To start you need to enter the ten-digit product code and a six-digit owner's code. [See Figure 4] Initialize the main file cabinets, the shared file cabinet, and the user's private cabinet, then add user names, modify their default passwords (if necessary) and you are in business.
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Product FeaturesRating To be able to find a piece of information, it has to be stored in a well-organized fashion. The E-File Business File System 2.0 does that very well. It organizes folders in a kind of three-dimensional space: by the use status in the file's life cycle, such as in use, archived, or discarded; type of material and subject matter of the document; and more. This efficient organization allows users to narrow down the search area and drill down to the exact item through file lists and document lists.
Additionally, the E-File system gives every document a reference ID. This can be used to organize documents in the physical form, too. They simply need to be arranged in serial order. The search scheme narrows down to the specific ID and then the physical item can be found easily.
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User InterfaceRating E-File Business File System 2.0's user interface is basic, easy to use, and is easily navigated. Most users will be familiar with the overall metaphor deployed in the system.
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For a small business it would make sense for E-File Business File System 2.0 to have some sort of document version control built in, as it would typically be the only document manager in such an organization. Quite often small businesses need software help in managing versions for documents such as user manuals, quality documents, and so on.
A second thing I’d like to see is an interface with a flatbed scanner. Generally speaking things are moving towards the “paperless” office. It’ll be useful to get stuff still in paper converted into electronic form. It’d also help in easing the legacy log jam I talked about earlier in this review.
Finally, a threads based version to take advantage of the current and future multiple core versions of processors would be really useful. This would also be a useful hedge against the possible drop in performance as the number of documents held in the system grows.
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ConclusionIf you start using E-File Business File System 2.0 at the outset of your business, it will organize your documents and continue to do so as the volume of documents grows. If you start using E-File when there's a pile up of documents already, it may take substantial effort to get all that legacy data into the system. It is also unclear if performance could become an issue as the volume of information grows. But until search technology becomes more efficient at finding documents, at least in electronic form, and as long as we continue to work with a mix of paper documents and paperless ones, E-File Business File System 2.0 is a solid solution.