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Specific Use Case Question

Question asked by boden on Jan 23, 2009
Latest reply on Jan 30, 2009 by cheffilet
I have a specific idea of what I'd like Alfresco to do, and I'm looking for some suggestions on how to accomplish it, or even other ways of thinking about the problem.

Currently our document management process is something like this:

1) A person completes Change Request paperwork which lists all of the changes.  They might make handwritten changes on a copy or request an electronic copy (word) and make changes to it, then print and attach to change request.  At this time they are required to send out a global email indicating they intend to make revisions to the document.
2) Change request goes to QA clerk.  Clerk makes a copy of the original word document and applies the person's changes…gets it all formatted properly and such.
3) QA clerk prints the new draft and attaches it to the change request which goes back to author.  If author approves changes the paperwork is routed up the appropriate chain.
4) At the end of the approval chain the paperwork goes to QA for final approval and then the QA clerk updates the original Word file, prints and stamps copies for all the books, and updates history records, etc.

Yes, this is for all intents and purposes a paper process all the way.  Ugh.

So I'd like to use Alfresco to simplify and automate this process as much as possible.

#1: I'd like a folder (space) with original documents in Word format that is to be maintained by QA, but that everyone has access to.  It would be really great if nobody but QA could make changes to the documents, but they could in some way check a document out or kick off the change process using the system itself.  In this way, documents would be marked as in change without requiring someone to manage it all.

#2: I'd like to automate the approval process, but this would require that approval steps in workflows were maintained with documents.  I'm not seeing where Alfresco stores who approved what and when…if this information is not available then I don't see how any of this is going to work.  We can't just infer that a document went through the approval process correctly just because it ended up in a particular folder.

How are people actually doing these kinds of things?

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