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The Ultimate Guide to Document Management within Salesforce

Be it financial results, contracts and agreements, risk evaluation studies, client databases, or any other sort- each business uses its own specific documentation in performing everyday activities. For this very reason many business processes run on multiple IT systems. Whether or not they have access to the source IT system,  everyone involved needs to have access to all related documents for these processes to run smoothly. This may be supported with ease by an effective document management system, which can significantly boost your company’s efficiency and support your success. 

What is Document Management?

An electronic document management system (DMS) is a system for storing and tracking documents.  It was first used to turn paper documents into digital files. As a result, a DMS is sometimes called an electronic filing cabinet. This is because businesses may use it as a base to arrange both paper and digital documents. Any hard copies of documents can be easily scanned and uploaded with a scanner into the document management system.

A document management system is a way to automate manual processes. And that makes it a key part of a digital transformation for any organization.

What is Document Management in Salesforce?

 Salesforce is a cloud-based platform that runs as a subscription-based service, and is renowned for providing a variety of third-party CRM integration tools that let you integrate your existing document products, including but not limited to Google Docs, Microsoft Sharepoint, and others. Due to the uniqueness of this system, you can use Salesforce to manage your business process along with the document system.

Why do you need Document Management within Salesforce?

When it comes to Salesforce, its file and document management system takes utmost care to reduce a Salesforce admin’s complexities by enhancing the presentation skills, simplifying file management , catering to all sorts of files, and managing them efficiently.  But it’s so much more than that today. It also enables user-enterable metadata and tags that can be used to categorise all stored files in document management systems.

    1. Retrieving documents: There are several restrictions on document retrieval and search that can be overcome through document management for Salesforce solutions.The file naming and retrieval process becomes less random, for example, thanks to predefined document names and automated document routing. Salesforce also manages documents in the absence of metadata, which is simply “data about data.” This is only one of the numerous advantages document management has when Salesforce is linked. Automated form fills can relieve you of the need to manually enter data, which can reduce your workload as a records manager.
    2. Clear Folder Structures: Different users in Salesforce may often access and save specific documents. Duplicates can frequently be produced if a specific document is required by numerous data sets. This causes disproportionately high storage needs and may also cause confusion and misunderstandings. In a DMS, documents are stored in predefined folder structures (for example, an e-folder) that cannot be changed easily by employees. This ensures that every employee knows where to find relevant information.
  • Powerful Search Functions: This feature helps you search by attributes, combined searches, and full-text search.This is standard in any good-quality DMS, along with the ability to save searches so you can repeat them later.
  • Safeguarding Against Unauthorised Data Manipulation: What the business community occasionally refers to as audit-proof or compliant archiving is the fundamental purpose of a contemporary DMS. a DMS needs to be able to prevent any unpermitted (accidental or intentional) manipulation of data during the legally or voluntarily applied retention period.  And this should be done in a fashion that allows a qualified third party to confirm the security’s efficacy. This is accomplished through the use of versioning, which prevents the previous version from being permanently erased whenever modifications are made to the document.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of using Document Management within Salesforce, let’s explore the different options of managing documents within Salesforce:

  1. Native Salesforce File Management    Salesforce Files allow users to share and collaborate on files, store files privately, manage version updates, and follow files that are important to them. They enable users to connect to external file systems right from Salesforce using File Connect.

Salesforce has five modules designed for document management. As it was already mentioned, there is no need to look for external solutions for handling documents since the functionality of the native Salesforce modules covers the needs of your company. Let’s have a quick overview of the Native Document Features in Salesforce:

  • Files Home: In the Files Home area, (personal) documents can be uploaded by a user and then shared with team members for communal use. The uploaded files can be viewed and customized from all end devices. It also has a plethora of exquisite features such as file filtering, drag-and-drop, files syncing, and files-specific search tools. Salesforce Files ideally suits co-working on unique documents, like client proposals.
  • Salesforce CRM Content: – It is the most widely used content management tool that lets users create, duplicate, work, and modify official corporate documents, in such a manner that only the creator can work on it. Once they are ready, it also allows the user to make this content accessible for their coworkers as well as to external users in the form of content packets. 
  • Salesforce Knowledge: It is a corporate knowledge sharing platform, commonly used for creating a base for information sharing among employees. Salesforce Knowledge can also be used to create, edit, search, organize, and share knowledge articles in libraries among the organization’s employees. The articles can then be shared with colleagues or external users via an online platform.
  • Documents Tab: Visualforce files can be stored in this area (e.g., logos). When it comes to the difference in Salesforce documents vs. files, it is worth noting that the Document tab does not relate to the text files but to the web components such as logos, mockups, dotfiles, and other Visualforce elements. In order to use them, there is no need to separately attach them to any records, but you can manage the files directly from the Salesforce document storage.
  • Attachments: Being one of the first things that Salesforce introduced, this feature enables users to create Attachment lists and attach different types of files to particular Salesforce records (like, a contract, offer, or proposal). When a file is connected directly to the Attachment list in this scenario, the size restriction is 25 MB; nevertheless, even when numerous files are attached to the same email, the size limit is still 25 MB, with a maximum file size of 5 MB.

The limitations of data management in Salesforce 

Although Salesforce is arguably the best CRM out there, it has its limits: 

  • Working with documents and files in Salesforce involves lots of tedious manual labour.
  • Salesforce’s functionality is limited to subscription plans.
  • Standard Salesforce tools offer limited visualisation and sharing options.
  • Salesforce file storage is expensive once you exceed your allocated quota.
  1. On Premise File server

On-premise file sharing entails hosting files on a company’s IT infrastructure. Apps and data are transferred between machines via the local area network via on-premise file sharing (LAN). Due to the sensitive nature of the information they deal with, such financial firms, some businesses opt for this option. Infact, many firms need on-premise software to meet various demands related to their operations. Thus, the Salesforce application needs to be linked with current systems, including both on-premises and cloud-based options, in order to reap the greatest benefits. For simplified business processes, higher employee productivity, and ultimately increased business value, on-premise integration gives users access to apps that may contain business data and information that is often inaccessible to cloud applications.

But On-premise File servers come with its own challenges. Some of them include:

1) These servers are not integrated with Saleforce. Users need to view two different systems to access information. This also has a negative impact on employee productivity.

2)  If you run all or most of your operations on-premises, scaling typically requires buying and deploying new servers, which is costly and time-consuming.  

3) On-premise servers also include high storage and exorbitant maintenance costs.

4) These servers aren’t easy to access with regards to location and devices used.


  1. Third-party Salesforce Document Solutions Organizing your document storage or arranging access for external parties is often difficult. That’s why there are a number of third-party plugins that make it much easier to manage documents than in the standard edition of Salesforce.
  2. Box for Salesforce It provides integration with cloud storage provided by Box, Inc., an American company with almost 100,000 customers. Box for Salesforce can bring all of your content across the enterprise inside of Salesforce so that it can be used in any Cloud and in any standard or custom object.  Other benefits include:
  • With Box embedded inside Salesforce, users can quickly create, access, manage, and store content without leaving Salesforce.
  • They can share files and collaborate with team members, customers, and partners with Box for Slack.
  •  It also prevents data leaks and keeps content in Salesforce secure with data classifications and threat detection policies.
  •  Integrate with 1500+ apps (Office 365, Zoom, Slack, etc) to improve team collaboration
  1. Dropbox for Salesforce 

The Dropbox for Salesforce integration allows teams to access and share their Dropbox files within Salesforce. Creating one central workspace so teams have access to the most recent version of work, even when mobile, Dropbox for Salesforce enables seamless collaboration across internal and external teams. Other benefits include:

  • Security & control with extensive administration capabilities that scale as your team grows                                                                               
  • Do account planning the simplest way. Edit docs in real time, easily review work, and manage approvals from within Salesforce.
  •  Eliminate unnecessary email exchanges. Dropbox syncs your changes as soon as you make them, so all of your Salesforce users will have real-time access to the most recent version of your content.
  • Simplify your workflows. Stay in the flow by easily loading, storing, and pulling files directly into Dropbox from a Salesforce record.
  •  Bring the simplicity and power of Dropbox to your marketing campaigns. By combining the drag-and-drop interface of Marketing Cloud with Dropbox’s intuitive interface and easy-to-use solution, you can work effortlessly on all types of content across all devices. 

Although each of these platforms integrates with Salesforce, they also have their own shortcomings. There are other obstacles one may encounter, including network problems and storage restrictions. To solve these, we have the ultimate solution for you!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

  1. DocuVault

DocuVault is a secure file storage and document management App that lets users upload and access large files from within Salesforce. Files are stored in Amazon S3 (cloud storage platform) and can be accessed securely from anywhere and on any device. It’s the integration between Salesforce and Amazon (S3) that enables Salesforce users to easily upload, access, and share large files from within Salesforce. The reason why DocuVault is the ultimate Document Management Solution for Salesforce is because it enables users to access unlimited file storage and enables dynamic document management, minus the bulky storage bills to the CRM provider! But there’s more to where that came from.                                                                                 

Here are 12 reasons why DocuVault might be the most powerful document management app available for Salesforce:

  1. Say hello to customer portals and communities

 Businesses need to buy separate Box, or Dropbox accounts for the integration to work. This makes it very difficult to expose document management functionality in customer/partner portals. Any attachments or files become difficult to share, and problems with security can occur. Hence, buying a separate box or dropbox account is not practical for all your salesforce portal user logins.

  1. Say goodbye to cost and storage limits

 Box and Dropbox Business Accounts start at a cost of $15 per month per user with limited storage. DocuVault is much cheaper than that! Additionally, DocuVault offers unlimited storage and offers bulk uploads, while other storage management solutions have restrictions on both. Hence DocuVault is ideal for long-term usage as business needs grow and more file storage might be required. 

  1. Made for Salesforce
    Being a native Salesforce app, all the standard functionalities like chatter, reporting, workflows and approvals, roles, and profiles for file access can be used for DocuVault. The same does not apply to Box, Dropbox, or Google Drive and make it difficult to sync and share files.
  2. It’s easier to do your own thing

Since it’s a native Salesforce app, DocuVault can be easily customized to suit your business needs. For example, you can have users upload an attachment to a Web2Case form or automatically create a Quote PDF and attach the file to the Quote record with a click of a button.

  1. It’s safer now

For file access permissions, DocuVault uses the Salesforce security paradigm (CRUD—Create, Read, Update, and Delete). Using roles, profiles, and sharing rules, a Salesforce administrator can manage each user’s file permissions. Dropbox and Box have different security models and are less robust than Salesforce. Additionally, users of Box or Dropbox have the ability to alter a file’s folder or provide access to other users without informing the original user, which raises the possibility of information loss or security issues.

Additionally, DocuVault comes packed with a lot more benefits:

  1. You can now add files to any Salesforce record   

With DocuVault users can upload multiple files with the click of a button or simply drag and drop multiple files into the salesforce record and files get uploaded automatically. DocuVault works with both standard and custom salesforce objects.

  1. Organize your files in folders  Salesforce does not allow you to organize files into folders under any record. Especially if you have a lot of documents related to a record then finding the attachments is a problem. With DocuVault you can organise files into folders which can be easily accessed later.
  2. Enabled file sharing

Individual files and folders can be shared with non Salesforce users as public and password protected links. Salesforce users can share confidential documents as password-protected links or set expiration dates

  1. Create file requests

Salesforce users can create unique file request links which can be shared to customers who do not have Salesforce access. This is revolutionary in the sense that it can completely eliminate the use of Email or other systems for Document Collection. Customers will be able to attach files using the File Request link. Once the upload is complete all the files get attached to the relevant Salesforce record with an option of the record owner getting notified. 

  1. Customer And Partner Communities

Customers and partners can view and upload documents using Salesforce

  1. The Utility Tool

DocuVault’s utility tool enables the bulk upload and migration of files as a one-time option. It also works with popular Salesforce Apps like TaskRay, CongaMerge, FinancialForce, etc., and helps upload files seamlessly while retaining their properties. 

  1. Introducing the Office 365 Edit​

Editing microsoft office documents requires downloading to edit, and uploading again to salesforce. DOCUVAULT, on the other hand, allows you to edit documents seamlessly with minimal effort. This doesn’t require downloading or uploading the document as editing can be done directly within Salesforce due to our integration with Office 365. It doesn’t get easier than this!

  1. You can now share Thumbnails

Recognize and organize images without downloading from a desktop, tablet or a mobile device. Users can organize image files into folders and share them as an image album with customers/partners.​

So, are you looking to transform your Salesforce Document Management with DocuVault? Click here to request a demo!