Top 20 Free Documents Management Platforms in 2024

Documents are the spine and lifeblood of any organization, and yours is no exception. From contacts and proposals to internal reports and marketing materials, how you manage your documents has a direct impact on your efficiency and productivity.

With the influx of digital content in our organizations, you need to do better than saving documents in a folder on your PC, Mac, or tablet. This is where the best document management systems (DMS) come in.

They go beyond your ordinary proprietary software to guarantee more flexibility, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Therefore, they are a perfect way to organize your digital documents and reclaim your sanity by streamlining workflows.

This article covers everything you need to know about Document Management Systems (DMS). In addition to explaining the fundamentals of DMS, we’ll delve into some of the leading options available to assist you in organizing your digital content.

What is Document Management Software?

Document Management Software (DMS) is a digital solution designed to manage, organize, store, and retrieve electronic documents and files within an organization.

Unlike their proprietary counterparts, this software does not require you to make any monetary registration or subscription. Besides, their source codes are publicly and freely available for modifications under an open-source license to suit your needs.

These platforms typically offer a range of features aimed at improving document-centric workflows, including document storage and categorization, version control, access control, collaboration tools, search capabilities, and integration with other software systems.

Some of the best document management platforms that you may consider include bitfarm-Archiv, OpenDocMan, and Krystal DMS, among other options that we will discuss here.

Benefits Of the Document Management Software:

  • They are more cost-effective as you do not need a license to access them
  • You have full access to the source code hence you can enjoy the flexibility and customization that comes with that.
  • Open-source software thrives on vibrant community support and collaboration from global users.
  • An open and accessible source code guarantees transparency and security as you can evaluate how the platform handles your data.
  • They are scalable and performance-oriented.

Statistics and Future Trends

  • The global DMS market size was USD 6.23 billion and will hit USD 24.91 billion by 2032.
  • A study reveals that spending around open-source will hit USD 266.4 billion by 2027.
  • A recent study indicates that more organizations are now adopting and implementing DMS solutions to streamline their business processes.
  • Major players in the DMS market include Adobe Inc., Oracle Corporation, and Microsoft Corporation.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to transform document management by automating document classification and indexing, resulting in quicker organization. Additionally, AI enables automated data extraction and analysis, uncovering valuable insights that may otherwise remain hidden

Best Document Management Platforms

Here are some of the most popular options to consider:

1. LogicalDOC CE

LogicalDOC stands as a robust document management system, offering powerful features for streamlined content organization. Tailored for efficiency, LogicalDOC CE provides a user-friendly interface with advanced search capabilities, simplifying document retrieval and collaboration.

This open-source solution ensures cost-effectiveness without compromising on functionality. LogicalDOC CE’s emphasis on logical document management, version control, and workflow automation positions it as a valuable tool for businesses seeking an intuitive, customizable, and secure platform to manage their digital documents

Its features include integration with WordPress and Joomla Explorers, Dropbox, support for HTTPS, CMIS, WebDAV protocols, reporting, events log, users and groups, document password protection, and collaborative options, among others.

LogicalDOC-CE - Document Management System
LogicalDOC-CE – Document Management System

2. Alfresco Community Edition

Alfresco Community Edition stands as an open-source Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system, designed to effectively handle all content within an enterprise while offering essential services and controls for content management.

At its heart, the system features a repository supported by a server, persisting content, metadata, associations, and full-text indexes. Developers benefit from versatile programming interfaces supporting multiple languages, allowing the creation of custom applications.

Out-of-the-box applications cater to standard needs like document and web content management. Being a Java application, it runs on various systems, leveraging the Spring platform for modular functionality.

Alfresco simplifies customization through scripting, known as web scripts, for adding new features. This lightweight architecture ensures easy download, installation, and deployment

Alfresco - Content Management System
Alfresco – Content Management System

3. Bitrix24

Bitrix24 offers users document management solutions both on-premise and in the cloud and you can move your setup to your private server whenever you want to access its source code.

Bitrix24 offers a straightforward and easy-to-use tool, perfect for collaborating on documents and keeping them organized. It provides a secure intranet for your company’s files and online resources.

With Bitrix24, you can collaborate and communicate in one space while ensuring the safety of your data.

Key Features of Bitrix24:

  • Communicate with team members through built-in chat
  • Collaborate in real-time on documents
  • Integrate with Bitrix24’s CRM module to link documents to customer records
  • Access documents and collaborate with team members on the go using the Bitrix24 mobile app
Bitix24 - Document Management Software with Collaboration Tools
Bitix24 – Document Management Software with Collaboration Tools

4. NAPS2

NAPS2 stands for Not Another PDF Scanner 2 is a user-friendly software for Windows, Mac, and Linux that offers scanning documents and creating PDFs. Its and ideal choose for individuals and businesses, that simplifies the scanning process with its intuitive interface.

It supports various file formats such as TIFF, JPG, PDF, or PNG offering users flexibility in document management. Users can easily adjust settings, such as resolution and color, for optimal scanning results.

It features an optional CLI for scripting and automation, text identification using OCR, and compatibility with both TWAIN and WIA.

NAPS2 - Scan Documents to PDF
NAPS2 – Scan Documents to PDF

5. OpenKM

OpenKM is a Document Management System (DMS) that manages documents in businesses, It’s like a digital filing system, organizing electronic documents for easy storage and retrieval.

This Software simplifies document handling, ensuring efficient storage and management without unnecessary complexity. It empowers businesses to regulate document creation, storage, and distribution, enhancing efficiency and promoting information reuse.

With features like role definition, access control, security parameters, detailed activity logs, and automation, OpenKM builds a valuable repository for corporate information.

This results in improved knowledge sharing, informed decision-making, and heightened productivity across workgroups and enterprises

OpenKM - Document Management System
OpenKM – Document Management System

6. Mayan EDMS

Mayan EDMS is an actively developed document management system that revolutionizes how organizations handle their documents. It offers a user-friendly interface that simplifies document storage, retrieval, and collaboration.

With advanced version control, it ensures the integrity and accessibility of critical documents. Designed for scalability, Mayan EDMS caters to the needs of both small businesses and large enterprises.

Mayan EDMS stands as a testament to the power of open-source solutions in optimizing document management workflows with efficiency and flexibility.

Key Features of Mayan EDMS:

  • Scan paper documents and import digital files into the system
  • Assign metadata to documents for easy categorization, tagging, and retrieval
  • Track document versions and revisions
  • Design custom workflows for document review, approval, and routing
  • Track user actions to maintain accountability
Mayan EDMS - Document Management System
Mayan EDMS – Document Management System

7. Sentrifugo

Sentrifugo is a holistic Human Resource Management System designed to streamline HR operations and boost organizational efficiency. Sentrifugo eases tasks such as employee onboarding, leave management, performance evaluation, time management, interview schedules, service requests, talent acquisition, etc.

Its modular architecture supports customization, ensuring flexibility to meet varied organizational requirements. The system promotes enhanced employee engagement with features such as self-service portals and seamless communication tools.

Sentrifugo - Human Resource Management System
Sentrifugo – Human Resource Management System

8. Maarch

Maarch is a completely modular CMS written in PHP with the aim of legally archiving large static documents. This system offers a comprehensive set of tools to organize, secure, and streamline document workflows.

With Maarch, users can benefit from features such as version control, access restrictions, seamless collaboration, multiple file type management, validation workflow, physical archives management, hierarchy-based authorization and clearance, and business apps like HR document management, etc.

Maarch software ensures cost-effectiveness providing an attractive choice for organizations who seek customization and budget-friendly document management solutions.

Maarch - Content Management System
Maarch – Content Management System

9. SeedDMS

SeedDMS is an easy-to-use cross-platform web-based document management system written in PHP and MySQL/sqlite3.

It is excellent at archiving documents irrespective of their age, external authentication, workflow for document review, access control lists, users and group management, etc, and it is 100% compatible with LetoDMS, its predecessor.

Key Features of SeedDMS:

  • Maintains a history of document versions for easy access and reversion
  • Supports integration with existing user management systems
  • Alerts users about document changes to keep them informed of updates
  • Facilitates document review, approval, and revision processes
  • Enables quick and efficient document retrieval
SeedDMS - Document Management System
SeedDMS – Document Management System

10. OpenDocMan

OpenDocMan is another DMS that makes it to our list. This platform is written in PHP and stands out as a free document management solution designed to comply with the demands of ISO 17025 and OIE standards.

It offers reliable centralized document storage and change tracking capabilities and allows you to integrate your existing business rules and policies into the system.

Key Features of OpenDocMan:

  • Manage all your digital documents in one secure location
  • Define user permissions to control access to specific documents or folders
  • You can delegate document management to various users
  • Streamlines your departmental workflows
  • Available in up to 8 languages

11. Google Drive

For many professionals, there can never be a discussion about the best document management platforms without mentioning Google Drive. With over 1 billion users globally, it is certainly the most popular document management system.

While it is important to clarify that Google Drive is not an open-source platform, we still found it ideal to include it in this review for its popularity and versatility.

This proprietary cloud-based document management system is your perfect option if you are looking for a platform that seamlessly integrates with all Google solutions.

Key Features of Google Drive:

  • Store documents, files, and folders securely in the cloud
  • Collaborate with colleagues in real-time
  • Access and edit documents on the go with the Google Drive mobile app
  • Enable offline access to documents
  • Suitable for businesses of all sizes
Google Drive - Document Management Platform
Google Drive – Document Management Platform

12. Kimios

Kimios stands out as a powerful and adaptable open-source document management system (DMS).

Developed using Java technologies, Kimios provides a robust platform for securely storing, managing, and sharing documents and content across teams and departments.

With its user-friendly interface and advanced capabilities, Kimios empowers you to streamline document workflows, enhance collaboration, and boost productivity.

You will certainly fall in love with its modular architecture and focus on innovation.

Key Features of Kimios:

  • Store documents securely in a centralized repository
  • Integrate with other systems and applications
  • Track changes made to documents for accountability
  • Implement granular access controls to ensure document confidentiality
  • Streamline document capture from various sources
Kimios - Opensource Document Management
Kimios – Opensource Document Management

13. Papermerge

Unlike some complex and feature-heavy document management solutions, Papermerge offers a streamlined experience with essential functionalities. Notably, it is perfectly accessible to anyone irrespective of your technical ability.

Besides, its open-source nature allows for flexibility and customization.

Key Features of Papermerge:

  • Ideal for those who like importing documents to centralized systems
  • An OCR capability allows you to extract documents
  • Perform full-text search across documents
  • Access Papermerge through a web browser from any device
  • Integrate Papermerge with other systems and applications
Papermerge - DMS with OCR
Papermerge – DMS with OCR

14. Teedy

Teedy is a lightweight document management system designed to organize and manage various types of files, including images, PDFs, TXT, and emails.

It offers users the ability to read and search the contents of these files efficiently, making document organization and retrieval seamless.

Teedy prioritizes data protection with features like 256-bit AES encryption, user permissions, and 2-factor authentication, ensuring your documents remain confidential.

Key Features of Teedy:

  • Securely store all your digital documents in a central location
  • Track changes made to documents
  • Locate documents quickly and effortlessly with powerful search functionalities
  • Facilitate teamwork with features like commenting, annotations, and shared workspaces
Teedy - Document Management System
Teedy – Document Management System

15. Nuxeo

Built on a modern, cloud-native architecture, Nuxeo offers a comprehensive suite of features for managing digital assets, documents, and content throughout their lifecycle.

It provides organizations with the flexibility to tailor the platform to their specific requirements and integrate seamlessly with existing systems and workflows.

Notably, it caters to the needs of mid-size and large organizations seeking a feature-rich solution for managing a wide range of digital assets.

Key Features of Hyland’s Nuxeo Platform:

  • Securely store and manage all your digital assets
  • Implement granular access controls to ensure content security
  • Automate content lifecycles with customizable workflows
  • Nuxeo offers features like image tagging, categorization, and version control
  • Allows you to customize functionalities and create new content types
  • You can watermark your documents
Hyland's Nuxeo Platform
Hyland’s Nuxeo Platform

16. OnlyOffice

OnlyOffice goes beyond your ordinary document management system. It is a comprehensive platform that offers document management functionalities as a key component and can help you sort out your project management and collaboration woes.

It’s free and open-source, making it a compelling option for organizations and individuals seeking a collaborative alternative to Microsoft Office with built-in document management capabilities.

Key Features of OnlyOffice:

  • Create, edit, and format documents
  • Organize and manage documents in a centralized repository
  • OnlyOffice integrates seamlessly with various server solutions
  • Enjoy the cost benefits and customization potential

17. Seafile

Seamless collaboration comes in handy for teams. And if you need a DMS that focuses on collaboration, Seafile is your kind of platform. This platform prioritizes on collaboration and ease of use. Therefore, you will find it handy for teams with varying technical abilities.

Other aspects of Seafile that you will like include its focus on security, privacy, and performance. Unlike some cloud storage solutions, Seafile prioritizes data privacy by offering end-to-end encryption for files in transit and at rest.

Key Features of Seafile:

  • Sync files and folders across devices in real-time
  • Set permissions and access rights for your documents
  • Prevent accidental edits and ensure data integrity with file-locking functionalities
  • This desktop client allows offline access to documents
  • Integrate Seafile with existing applications for seamless data exchange
Seafile - Cloud Storage
Seafile – Cloud Storage

18. Krystal DMS

Another DMS that you will find worth considering is Krystal DMS platform which is designed for businesses and organizations looking for efficient document management solutions.

You will like it for its robust search, indexing, and version control functionalities. Besides, it features a modern interface that minimizes the need for training if you are new to document management solutions.

Key Features of Krystal DMS:

  • Use the search platform to find your documents easily
  • Securely share documents with colleagues and clients
  • Supports different languages
  • You can effortlessly integrate it with other third-party apps
  • Use the mobile apps when working on the go
Krystal DMS
Krystal DMS

19. bitfarm-Archiv

If you’re looking for a feature-rich and robust open-source document management system (DMS), bitfarm-Archiv deserves a serious look. Designed for businesses, institutions, and public administrations, it guarantees everything that you may need in a DMS.

Notably, this platform prioritizes legal compliance above anything else. Therefore, you can rest assured that using bitfarm-Archiv is a definite way to ensure that your documents meet all the required regulations.

Key Features of bitfarm-Archiv:

  • You can import documents via scanners or capture any electronic emails or files
  • Set granular permissions to ensure document confidentiality
  • Integrate with existing applications and ERP systems
  • Securely archive documents according to retention policies

20. SharePoint

Another platform that makes it to our list despite not being an open-source DMS is SharePoint.

Developed by Microsoft, SharePoint stands out for its adaptability. You can finetune it to meet the needs of your organization in detail.

While it is not an entirely business solution, its cost-effectiveness, integration capabilities with other programs, and comprehensive document management functionalities make it a preferred choice for businesses seeking efficient document-handling solutions.

Key Features of SharePoint:

  • Allows document sharing and collaboration
  • Design custom workflows for your documents
  • Seamlessly integrate with Microsoft Office applications
  • Utilize powerful search capabilities to quickly locate documents and files
Microsoft Sharepoint
Microsoft Sharepoint

Document management systems offer various options to meet the needs of individuals, businesses, and enterprises alike. From lightweight platforms focused on simplicity and efficiency to comprehensive suites equipped with enterprise-grade capabilities, organizations have a plethora of options to choose from based on their specific requirements and preferences.

These systems stand out for their unique features such as secure document sharing, collaboration tools, version control, and integration capabilities with popular business applications. We have reviewed the top 15 best open-source document management systems.

We wish you the best of luck and top productivity with your choice.

Divine Okoi is a cybersecurity postgrad with a passion for the open-source community. With 700+ articles covering different topics in IT, you can always trust him to inform you about the coolest tech.

Each tutorial at GeeksMint is created by a team of experienced writers so that it meets our high-quality writing standards.

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