By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2005-03-07 Print this article Print

Workshare Professional 4.0 performed three tasks very well in eWEEK Labs tests: tracking documents, managing revisions and auditing document revisions.

Workshare captures document metadata in an audit file that travels with the document. It can also capture information from e-mail to include as part of this metadata. This capability allowed us to view comments made within an e-mail rather than in a particular document.

Because of the way Workshare captures document metadata, we found the tool much easier to use for comparing documents than Words native revision tracking. (However, authors and reviewers can also use the Track Changes features in Word to track document changes.) Workshares DeltaView feature uses the same metadata technology and allows authors to perform a side-by-side review of revisions and who made them through an efficient approve-or-discard interface.

An added benefit to the way Workshare captures metadata is that it can all be viewed through the softwares reporting tool. While accepting changes in Word removes all relevant change and comment data, such as who introduced the change and when it was committed to the document, Workshare retains the information so that companies can audit the process of creating regulated documents.

This metadata can be stored in the document within a document management system or a Microsoft SharePoint portal, but wed like to see some kind of central management system for the information.

Click here to read Labs review of NextPage 1.5. Workshare does report on and clean embedded metadata in a document so that hidden text and document author information isnt included in the documents final version. We could also generate a PDF version of a document from directly within Workshare.

Workshare officials said support for IBMs Lotus Notes, Novell Inc.s GroupWise and document management systems such as EMC Corp.s Documentum is planned for this spring.

Technical Analyst Michael Caton can be reached at michael_caton@ziffdavis.com.

Check out eWEEK.coms for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.


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