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Put to the Test: Xythos Enterprise Document Manager 6.0

Xythos offers a low-cost-yet-scalable approach to document and records management that is refreshing, but it lacks the breadth and depth of the leading enterprise content management suites.

Is it a Viable Alternative?

Xythos marketing emphasizes cost effectiveness. This is key selling point, but it's not enough for everyone. If you need an ECM system that can support holistic management of e-mail, imaging applications, collaborative environments and Web sites, then Xythos EDMS is not the choice for you. Likewise, if you have complex workflows or need of compound document management, this product will fall short.

However, if you need to manage large volumes of conventional electronic documents with wide-ranging access rights in a highly distributed environment, then Xythos could well be the right choice. What's more, the vendor's experience in education, healthcare, research and government agency implementations has yielded document-centric business applications for all of these vertical markets. With prices ranging from $180 per seat in small installations to as little as $19 per seat in large-scale deployments (in the 50,000-seat range), the cost is, indeed, attractive, and there's even a hosted service now available. A hosted deployment serving 50 users costs about $170 per month.

* Xythos EDMS 6.0 supports J2SE and J2EE and runs on Windows, Linux, Solaris, IBM AIX, HP UX and Mac OS X. The system supports DB2, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and PostgreSQL databases. A typical 2,500-seat deployment averages $50 per seat.

Alan Pelz-Sharpe is a principal analyst at CMS Watch and author of "The ECM Report," due for release in April 16, 2007.