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Certainly, the document management solutions we examined aren't the only three available products. There are a number of other choices — both software- and hardware-based.

In the software category, other document management solutions you might consider include FileNet Corp.'s Content Manager (www.filenet.com) — with prices starting in the low $100,000 range. Another choice is Information Management Research Inc.'s Web Alchemy (www.imrgold.com), which is designed for use in agencies whose infrastructure is based on Microsoft Corp.'s .NET technology.

The Worksite solution from iManage Inc. (www.imanage.com) provides document management capabilities for Windows-only sites and for sites using a multiplatform strategy through Java. Users can access and work with documents from the convenience of a Web browser.

Of particular interest to agencies may be Open Text Corp.'s LiveLink (www.opentext.com), which includes support for compliance management of documents. This solution has Defense Department's 5015.2 and Section 508 certifications.

Windows-based agencies may also wish to add Microsoft's SharePoint Portal Server (www.microsoft.com) to the evaluation list. The Microsoft solution provides core document management facilities, such as document check in and check out. In addition, the Microsoft solution integrates with the rest of Microsoft's Windows-based stack.

Hardware-based document management solutions are also available. Ricoh Corp.'s eCabinet and Canon Inc.'s ImageWare are examples of these. You might consider a hardware-based solution if you regularly have photocopied or scanned documents you want to include in a repository. Some software solutions also offer this type of support.

No single document management solution is a fit for all agencies. A comprehensive evaluation that incorporates the requirements of the infrastructure, end-users, administrators and developers is a must-have before picking the best solution.

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