Review and Comment on Draft Report on Open Source Tools for Records Management

We are requesting comments on a draft of an upcoming report on open source tools for records management. This report was produced in response to item A3.2 in the Managing Government Records Directive (M-12-18).  This item actively encourages us to work with agencies to review and identify open source tools for records management tasks. To kickstart this discussion, we’ve compiled a selection of open source tools that could be used for various records management functions. The list will be a “snapshot” of available tools as of October 2014. We haven’t tested the tools, nor do we endorse them.

The draft is available (as a .pdf) here.

We would like your feedback by January 30, 2015. Have you used any of these tools? Do you know of other agencies that have used any of these tools? Do you have any additional recommendations?

Note that this project only focuses on currently available open source tools. NARA will not be developing any new records management solutions in the scope of this project. However, NARA will be exploring how to build relationships with the open source community to identify gaps in tools and identify opportunities for external involvement to develop new solutions. The intended audience for this document is not only records management and IT staff in Federal agencies, but also developers in the open source community and any other interested parties.

Please contact Beth Cron ( or Lisa Haralampus ( with any feedback.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts!

2 thoughts on “Review and Comment on Draft Report on Open Source Tools for Records Management

  1. My observation is that this is potentially a watershed moment for federal electronic RIM. I would call for vigorous involvement by the vendor community, not only software providers, but also implementation service providers.
    NARA is offering a venue for collaboration to federal RIM practitioners and the vendor community. Open source products are a crucial part of finding compliance solutions for the MGRD but must be viewed in context of the whole system. We must not let the concept of Open source become a silo.
    The MGRD goal: “obtain external involvement for the development of open source records management solutions.” In my case I could not find anyone in my close work group who had any experience with the products in the draft. I know that some federal agencies are using Alfresco, but have not had any feedback from those colleagues. I’m sure there are many fine products. The federal RIM community needs information on the uses and values of these products and a better understanding of what “open source” means for implementation and in terms of highly regulated federal IT purchasing processes.
    I hope that the vendor community realizes that this is a unique opportunity to become involved in federal RIM. This NARA effort (along with other related projects are basically unprecedented) and should be applauded.

  2. Did you examine:
    “Knowledge Tree is a cloud-based document management system using the Amazon EC2 platform. It offers both a paid enterprise and free, open-source community edition. The community edition is licensed under a GNU-GPL (see Appendix 1 for an explanation of free software and open source software licenses).” – INTERPARES 3 project. General Study 08 – Open-Source Records Management Software: Final Report 2011?

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