Unlike SpringCM, which exists solely as a hosted offering, Xythos on Demand has a sibling internal application in the form of the Xythos Enterprise Document Management Suite. The nonhosted version sports the same user interface as does Xythos on Demand, but offers additional features and capabilities, such as workflows and corporate directory integration.
At first glance, Xythos on Demand doesnt look like much—the products sparse, gray user interface can be described only as dull. However, once we started using the product, we found it to be fairly intuitive and easy to use, though with a few notable exceptions.
One thing we didnt like was that too many of the products core features, such as versioning, permission settings, commenting and custom properties, were buried in a Manage interface, which at first glance didnt appear to be editable. However, once we figured out where everything was, using Xythos on Demand became much easier.
Helping with this process was the fact that, unlike SpringCM, the help system in Xythos on Demand is in context, so we received relevant help tips related to the windows in which we were working.
One of the strongest feature sets within Xythos on Demand are those regarding subscription and notification options. Users can subscribe to any documents or folders to receive notifications whenever content changes, when comments are added or when someone reads content.
Even better, all folders and content within Xythos on Demand can be subscribed to through an RSS feed. We found this to be a great addition to the document management system, giving users notification of changes to document repositories using the same feed reading tools that they use to get updates from blogs and news sites.
Rather than a traditional check-in/check-out mechanism, Xythos on Demand simply makes it possible to lock and unlock documents from changes. The product doesnt include any form of workflow, instead relying on simple sharing and permissions options.
The tickets feature makes it possible to share documents with external users and partners with some control over usage. To create a ticket, we would simply define whether recipients would just have read or also write options, define an expiration date, and add an option password. Once this was completed we were provided with a link that we could e-mail to other users.
When it comes to loading content onto the system, Xythos on Demand offers standard options such as browser fields and a multiupload plugin. The Xythos Drive is a Windows application that we could load onto systems to provide mapped drive access to Xythos repositories and good integration with Windows desktops.
Xythos on Demand also does a good job with its WebDAV implementation, providing a Web Folders button on all content that lets users open an Explorer folder of any content area with a single click.
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