With M-Files, you can control access permissions for entire classes of documents, individual documents, or even different versions of the same document. Admins can set access permissions using roles, Access Control Lists, or simple User Groups. Access Control can also be regulated as a Workflow state or Metadata values function. M-Files ensures that information is available to the people who need it and inaccessible and invisible to those who do not or are not authorized to access it.
M-Files also supports the concept of “faceted permissions.” In other words, multiple metadata properties together can define the effective permissions of a document or data object. For instance, in the project-based scenario above, if permissions are based on project group members, it’s possible to make certain document types, such as an agreement or contract, visible only to project managers of the related project. Further, permissions can be version-specific; different versions of a document can be displayed to different audiences based on its metadata, such as workflow state. Draft documents, or earlier versions, are typically available to a smaller audience before publishing to a larger group or the general public.
Compliance and Privacy
In regulated and quality-intensive industries where audits by customers, vendors, and regulating bodies are the norm, in addition to consistently establishing and enforcing access control policies, M-Files enables businesses to quickly prove they are following required procedures and comply with regulations and industry standards.
USE CASE: Project Management
A project-based scenario could use project objects that have project team members defined with metadata. Admins can then set permissions of documents and other objects by tagging them with the project to which they are associated such that they are visible only to members of the project team. This approach simplifies onboarding new team members and makes it easy to allow external users such as partners and customers to securely access project-related documentation and participate in related processes and workflows.
USE CASE: Human Resources
For example, employment agreements can be tagged to selected employees, making the agreement visible to that user, their supervisor, and the HR department, but no one else. In the case of a management or organization change, change the supervisor property of the employee, and all related documents become visible to the new supervisor.
M-Files will always display the latest version of a document, and duplicates are automatically detected! All document and object versions are instantaneously accessible, together with a record of every change and who made the change. Without M-Files, reading through multiple versions of the same file and comparing changes is laborious; it's a breeze with M-Files.
Automatic Check-in and Check-out functionality: keep track of when a file is being edited and who is making changes.
Preservation of old versions and the ability to revert to previous versions.
The changelog includes usernames, time-stamps, and comments for an at-a-glance view of document evolution.
Support for co-authoring to allow simultaneous editing by multiple users.
Offline features that enable controlled editing even with no Internet connection.
Workflows and OCR
Streamline your organization’s essential business processes and workflows, from simple document requests to advanced approval processes. The M-Files workflow engine makes it easy to implement business processes with multiple steps, including pre-and post-conditions. Participants in the process can be notified via email of required actions, and documents and other objects can be added to their electronic to-do list. It’s easy to see the status of documents or other objects, and processes can be advanced to the next step with a single click. All workflow steps are tracked in the version history. In addition, the Reporting system provides a visual monitor of progress which immediately pinpoints blocks or problems.
Controlling the permissions of allowed state transitions can be easily configured for individual users, user groups, or metadata-based “pseudo users,” such as employees or supervisors. For instance, permissions for a contract approval process can be configured such that it is only possible for the agreement to be “approved” by the agreement owner. In addition, for full compliance with FDA 21 CFR Part 11 or GMP EU Annex 11, workflow state transitions can be set to require digital signatures.
Mobile and Offline Access
M-Files lets you access your documents anytime – even when you are on the go and cannot get online. Need to access critical documents on your smartphone or tablet – even when you don’t have Internet access? With M-Files mobile apps, you can access M-Files repositories from iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone devices. Install the apps on your mobile device from the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Windows Store. If you do not have Internet access, no problem – access M-Files using offline mode, and you will enjoy the full capabilities of M-Files, even offline. M-Files allows you to collect a local copy of the document you want to work on when wireless access is unavailable. Then, when your Internet connection returns, M-Files reconciles all your versions to the master copy in the vault, avoiding inconsistencies.
File Sharing and Workgroups
If you are spending time attaching files to emails and sending multiple versions flying across your organization, there is a better way. Your colleagues can see the same documents you have, and you can create groups and projects using flexible metadata fields. You can also create hyperlinks directly to records in your document vault for sharing with people outside the organization.
M-Files offers advanced features for file sharing such as:
Workflow support to keep documents moving through review and approval processes.
Check-in/check-out and automatic version control to prevent data loss and confusion associated with multiple versions
Role-based and metadata-based security for restricted access to documents.
Shareable links allow you to send files to external parties, such as clients or customers.
Co-authoring support enables multiple users to edit the same file simultaneously in a controlled manner.
In addition to other M-Files users, document editors can even be external users who do not directly access M-Files.
Total multi-language support
M-Files is available in over 17 languages, with multi-language enabled metadata (or properties). For example, one person may be looking for all documents sorted by “Industry Type”, another may be looking for the german equivalent; “Wirtschaftszweig”. Both will see the same results in their language of choice. Switching from one language to another is easy and happens at the client level, meaning that two users in the same room can be working on two different language editions.
It’s easy, just save and tag
Assume you have a proposal dated June 1, 2020, related to a customer of the "Corporation B" and "Website Renewal" project. In a traditional file system, you must choose whether to store the file in the customer, project, or proposals folder. However, in M-Files, you can access the same file through multiple Dynamic Views such as Documents by Customer- Corporation B, Proposals by Month – June 2020, or Documents by Projects – Website Renewal.
M-Files is fundamentally a metadata-driven system where documents and other data entities are classified with metadata instead of traditional folders. Navigation in M-Files is based on dynamics views that are based on metadata. Object permissions in M-Files can be based on metadata so that, for instance, document class and the customer the document is related to define the visibility of the file together. Workflows are strongly metadata-driven, too.
Administrators can easily manage the metadata structure using a centralized console with a simple graphical user interface. No programming or scripting is required. With the system administrator console, it's easy to define new object types, classes, property definitions, workflows, and more. In addition, all common data types are supported, such as text, numbers, Boolean, dates, times, lists, and more.
Beyond simple content indexing
M-Files metadata properties can also be filtered and driven based on the other properties: For example, after selecting a country, the list of cities can be automatically filtered, and once a city is picked, the list of ZIP codes can be automatically filtered. Additionally, metadata properties can have automatic values, from simple auto-numbering to concatenated automatic values. For instance, document naming conventions can be enforced by automatically naming certain document types with a combination of type, date, and generated numbers. Automated validation rules are supported, too (e.g., project number must contain four digits). It's also possible to populate M-Files metadata properties with values directly from your CRM or ERP system. For example, a Customer metadata property can be defined as a pop-down list populated from your CRM; when a new customer is added in the CRM, the list in M-Files automatically updates.