This article, the second part of the series, is dedicated to discussing the functional requirements to build a DMS. It provides a background for the distinctive classifications of the business requirements of a document management system into ‘functional’ and ‘non-functional’. Also, we explain why the DMS functional requirements are important, identify the types and examples, and offer our own experience building DMS solutions at ProCoders. \n\n\nPreviously, we’ve published other articles on the document management system: \n\n\n\nAdvantages of Electronic Document Management System \nHow to Create a Document Management System \nDocument Management System (DMS) Guide \n\n\n\n\n\n\nAs we have consistently posited, if enterprises must move beyond paper to digital records, they need a storage system that enables them to manage, track, and easily retrieve those records as needed. Therefore, possessing a DMS is key to workflow automation and business operations optimisation. All these have been covered in the previous article in this series.\n\n\nTypes of the DMS System Requirements \n\n\nIt is impossible to understand the types of DMS system requirements without understanding the BABOK classification schema that underpins much of system engineering in the enterprise development space. \n\n\nWhen it comes to business analysis, many organisations defer to the BABOK classification schema. BABOK is an acronym for the book titled ‘A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge,’ which was published as a framework of best practices and industry standards in project management. \n\n\nUnder product specifications, BABOK specifies 4 different types of requirements: \n\n\n\nBusiness Requirements \nStakeholders Requirements \nSolution Requirements \nTransition Requirements \n\n\n\nFor the purposes of this article, we are only concerned with the solution requirements, which are divided into functional and non-functional requirements. According to BABOK, solution requirements “Describe the capabilities and qualities of a solution that meets the stakeholder requirements.” The document continues to explain that those requirements “provide the appropriate level of detail to allow for the development and implementation of the solution.”\n\n\nThe Difference Between the Functional and Nonfunctional DMS System Requirement \n\n\nDMS System Functional Requirements \n\n\nDocument management system functional requirements specify the most important features of a system, without which the system would fail to accomplish its set purpose. In short, these document management system business requirements are obligatory; without a functional requirement, the system will not work.\n\n\nThey define the scope of development\/implementation and serve as the ultimate guide for team members to follow as they build the product. The features identified under this category, considering that they are essential to the normal working of the system, are usually informed by user requirements. \n\n\n\nFunctional requirements include authorisation, data validation, API integrations, security, legal and regulatory requirements, and so on.\n\n\nDMS System Nonfunctional Requirements \n\n\nThat these requirements are referred to as non-functional does not mean they are not important. While functional requirements define the system features, non-functional ones define the behaviour of these features. \n\n\nA system can still work normally without non-functional requirements; however, the usability will suffer terribly in that case. If the functional side is informed by user requirements, the non-functional side is informed by user experience or user expectations. That is, those properties are not required, but they are expected if you want to ensure a delightful experience for users of the product. \n\n\n\nNon-functional requirements include system capacity, scalability, speed, customization, etc.\n\n\nDocument Management System Functional Requirements: Types and Specifications \n\n\nStorage \n\n\nOf course, a DMS is a digital archive of endless files and records related to the company. These records are stored within the system. Therefore, the most obvious document management system requirements specification is a storage device\/component. Secure storage ensures easy retrieval whenever a document is required. The size and type of the storage device may vary according to an organisation’s needs.\n\n\nSearchability \n\n\nFor a system that’s basically a repository of all a company’s documents, you need a very powerful searchability feature that allows you to sift through all the documents stored in the repository. Preferably, the search feature in a DMS should have various filters and categories by which you can organise documents in order to find the files you want quickly and easily. \n\n\n\n\n\nScanner \n\n\nEven though the world is largely digital now, paper documents have not gone out of vogue yet. Therefore, if you have a DMS, there must be a feature that allows you to transform paper files into digital records for proper archiving. Now, the scanner itself may operate in all manner of ways, that’s about the non-functional requirements. However, there must be a scanner to ensure the proper functioning of the system. \n\n\nRecord Organisation \n\n\nThis is another core requirement for a DMS. Basically, this is about the classification and structuring of records stored in the system. For instance, a DMS has to be able to track changes to every document. Why? Document management is closely associated with business workflow optimisation. Therefore, without a way to track the historical records of stored files, the business workflow will probably suffer too. \n\n\n\nSecurity \n\n\nData protection is a top-priority functional requirement for every document management system. Data on the system must be properly secured and encrypted to avoid intentional and unintentional data loss. It is also crucial from a regulatory standpoint because the loss of an important record may affect the organisation’s legal standing and probably ultimately threaten the survival of the business.\n\n\nExamples of the Document Management System Functional Requirements \n\n\n\nE-signature: the world is growing increasingly paperless and virtual. Nowadays, it’s the norm for people and enterprises to enter into deals and binding agreements after an exchange of emails. Features such as electronic signatures make this possible, and your DMS software cannot be complete without one.\nDocument history: being able to track the change history of documents is a non-negotiable feature for DMS software. It helps users to monitor changes to documents and retrieve previous versions when necessary. This contributes to workflow optimisation. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nPermission management: to protect system data by organising permission, granting varying levels of access to users and employees who need to interact with documents. For instance, not everyone who can view a document should be able to edit it, and so on. This depends on the strength and robustness of the permission management feature. \nBackup: today, we live in a world where cyberattacks are to be expected. It’s only a matter of preparedness. One of the most highly recommended security features for a DMS is an encrypted backup option. This is not only useful in cases of attacks but also when there are crashes or other unexpected system failures.\n\n\n\nProCoders Advice about the Document Management System Requirements \n\n\nAt ProCoders, we bank on our ability to build software products that enable companies to optimize their workflows, supercharge growth, and facilitate sustainable development. A robust DMS would help any organisation to achieve these and more. However, building DMS software requires the skill of talented developers and other professionals. \n\n\nProCoders is a staff augmentation company providing offshore software development services to companies across the globe. At ProCoders, we have a well-curated pool of developers who have been seriously evaluated and proven themselves capable of building efficient software products. \n\n\n\nThis article has done justice to explaining the importance of various document management system technical requirements for building DMS software. When you partner with ProCoders, we walk with you right from the discovery phase to ensure that the software is built according to your needs and expectations.\n\n\nHere is what we always ask companies: what are the most important features that would raise the quality of your business operations? When building software that is highly integrated with the business workflow such as a DMS, the pertinence of this question becomes even more apparent. \n\n\n\n\n\nIn our experience, we worked with RLM Jobs to build an e-signature feature for RLM Jobs, a logistics company faced with the challenge of finding contract-to-hire employees. The e-signature platform enabled drivers to sign contracts in record time, and that significantly reduced order delays. ProCoders developers had the full site running within six weeks and in no time, over 50 companies were already posting jobs on the platform. \n\n\nLike RLM Jobs, your business operations can also receive a boost when you partner with ProCoders to build a DMS solution for you from scratch or even if you want to migrate your existing solution to a better platform.\n\n\n\nConclusion \n\n\nIt needs repeating that having a solid DMS is one of the most rewarding steps to take to optimise your business processes. You need an efficient solution that is able to capture all your needs. However, the first real stage is establishing the functional DMS system requirements that should go into the system. \n\n\nAs a software development company of repute, ProCoders boasts of wide-ranging experiences in building DMS software as well as other solutions for clients far and wide. Before embarking on this project, give us a call to let us know how we can partner with you to build an efficient DMS solution.