3 NetDocuments 18.1 Features We’re Excited About

The NetDocuments 18.1 update is scheduled for release in the U.S. datacenter on April 5 at 10:00 PM US Eastern time.

UPDATE: On March 29th, NetDocuments announced that the release of 18.1 has been pushed back two weeks to April 19, 2018.

Announcements for this update, including some of the highlighted changes, have been posted on the NetDocuments support site. Here are some of the features we are especially excited about.

1. Search for Checked Out Documents—Finally!!

There are several reasons why we are excited about this feature in NetDocuments 18.1, but one of the biggest is that it will simplify the process of identifying and troubleshooting issues with checked out documents.

The Problem:

Opened documents are not automatically checked back into NetDocuments, so a user can be left with a running list of checked out documents that are not being edited. Users often notice a surplus of green check marks in NetDocs, or find that they cannot open documents because they are checked out by someone else. In the worst cases, issues with checked out documents can result in users losing work. It is important that users and administrators recognize these issues when they occur and take the appropriate steps to troubleshoot and resolve.

The Top Causes of Checked Out Document Problems in NetDocuments:

The Existing Solution:

Resolve the underlying issue, then manually check in documents by searching through the user’s Recent Documents list, ndOffice Activity Center, and/or using Advanced search to scan through documents recently edited by the user.

The 18.1 Solution:

Resolve the underlying issue, then run a search for checked out documents by “Me”!

2. Profile Attribute Setting: Dependency

In NetDocuments 18.1, dependent attribute values can be automatically updated and applied based on the source value. Although we hear requests for this feature less often, it will be powerful in cabinet design.

Perhaps this can be seen as a step towards allowing multiple dependent attribute values, which could be even more useful for customizing and streamlining the task of profiling documents. Often, when multiple workspace templates are configured for a cabinet, for example, different pre-defined document type filters are used for each template. What if this design could be enforced by limiting users to that selection of document type filters when profiling a document?

3. Planned Updates Following NetDocuments 18.1 – Default Profile Values

I tend to applaud NetDocuments for not making this option available to users. Too often have we seen default profile values set for every required profile field in other document management systems, making the custom document profile essentially useless because every document a user saves has the same custom profile attribute metadata. This applies to individual profile fields as well – what value does the Author or Operator field have if every user sets the default as themself? Why not leverage the auto-filled Created By field instead? By not offering the option to default a custom profile attribute value, NetDocuments makes you think a bit harder about cabinet profile attributes and their settings.

Regardless, there are scenarios in which default profile values make sense. It is good to know that this option will be available, though hopefully, to avoid a larger problem of cabinet profile attribute design and value, it will not be widely advertised.