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Alfresco: Suitability for our project?

Question asked by jdmckay on Apr 24, 2015
Latest reply on Apr 24, 2015 by rjohnson

First time poster.

I'm a "jack of all trades" for an environmental 501c in Albuquerque.  Maintain our website, do scientific research, organize community meetings and more.  We don't get paid. 

I have programming background in the Windows world (for about 15 years) ending about 10 yrs. ago.  Gradually getting up to speed on Linux/Open Source/PHP etc. since I've been involved with our 501c.

I've never done or worked with a DMS.

We have an immediate need, which is why I'm posting inquiring here.  We (Citizen Action New Mexico) have been fighting Sandia Labs and EPA to get them to excavate the contents of a toxic dump used by Sandia going back to WW II's Manhattan project. They dumped toxic waste in unlined open pits right up until the mid-80's.  They have both claimed the waste was entirely low level radiation.

This toxic stuff is migrating downward towards our water table… Albuquerque's primary source of drinking water.

After years of legal battles, we just received +/- 5000 pages of Freedom of Information (FOIA) documents from DOE listing massive amounts of very high level waste.  This is, essentially a smoking gun: we've been in court for over 7 years but never been able to prove presence of high level waste.

Getting these documents available online in about 3 weeks (our next court date) is the task at hand. 

We received all of this on paper (no digital). 

Information on FOIA documents: they are mostly DOE "forms" containing security level information, dates of material received and date put in the pits, and description of specific materials.  Many checkboxes, and most of the material descriptions written by hand.  These are non-OCR when scanned.

I want to be able to build meta-data fields describing contents, volume (and/or weight) of materials described, dates received/put in pits, the pit ID, and (for reasons legal) security clearance at the time.  We want to be able to search by this criteria though meta data, and return both the meta data AND scanned document. 

I want to be able to expand the meta data fields as needed over time. 

I need a web interface (preferably browser) capable of producing reliable results for searches by any combination of above criteria.  Printing would be nice.  Searching must not require SQL in the interface as it will be used mostly by non-techies (our lawyers).  If there's a plugin for Joomla that would be a home run!!! 

We don't have a budget for this, so I'll be using the community edition. 

Really appreciate any detailed feed back on this… we've got a tight window to get this up and running and I'm going to choose a platform in next couple days. 

If anyone would like to see some of the forms I described, I can post them for viewing.