A named collection of related documents.

The concept of organizing documents into folders dates back way before computers and digital documents. The folder metaphor still thrives with filesystems and even with an enterprise document management solution like Next®. Despite the fact that most people under the age of 30 have never seen a physical folder, and that the characteristics of a Smart Folder in Next® are quite different from those of a physical or a fileserver folder.

In your physical filing cabinet (or a fileserver) any given document can only reside in one folder. If you need it in other folders you copy it. If you want to protect the document, you protect the folder.

In an enterprise archive like Next®, this is different. A Folder in Next is a dynamic view into the huge collection of documents that make up your shared enterprise archive. The same document may very well appear in several Folders - a Customer folder, a Project folder, and an Employee folder.

Who can access these document depends on the classification of the document, not the fact that it resides in a Folder or not.

Of course, the same classification that makes the document appear in any given Folder may also determine the document's access permissions. This way, and this way only, can we be sure that no one gains unauthorized access to your documents. No matter if they find it in a Folder, using a Google-like full-text search, or with the REST API from Excel or Power BI.

Replicating best practices from a file server in an enterprise archive is a fatal mistake.
This way you will never reap the benefits of an enterprise archive. And secondly, as a file server, a DMS will always come in second place.