The introduction of electronic document management systems provides organizations with many advantages, namely:
Reduced time costs Often, working with paper documents takes less time than finding them in classic archives. In turn, the creation of a single electronic database with file backup eliminates the risks of losing documents and also minimizes the time to search for the necessary information.
Optimum space using Data management through electronic workflow contributes to freeing up the workspace, which in the "paper era" was filled with folders with the necessary documentation. After the expiration of the relevance of the documentation, there is no need for its disposal, since removal from the database will take no more than 30 seconds.
Transparency increasing EDMS can provide the ability to track the document status, which is important for the documentation with which various departments of the company or public sector departments work. Moreover, using this approach, when introducing special functionality, it can be traceable when and who had access to the document or made changes to it.
No dependence on a specific location Electronic access to the necessary files allows users to work with documents remotely, without being tied to their workplace.
Minimizing the risk of losing documents The physical form of documentation is always at risk of loss or damage. In turn, electronic versions, if they are regularly copied, are much safer, because they cannot be forgotten somewhere or intentionally damaged.
Cost savings With electronic document management systems, there is no longer any need to allocate funds for paper and mail forwarding, as files can be moved quickly and reliably, regardless of the distance between the sender and the recipient.
What it does
The user is registered in the system with a unique name (identifier). This user is assigned a personal root folder, where he can create other folders or upload files to it.
The user receives ownership of his created folders and uploaded files by him. The user can upload files to any folders to which he has ownership or update rights.
For each object, the user can see his rights to the data file or folder. The user can create or change the right (access) to read or write to files or folders if he has the right to own them. Also, the user can transfer the ownership of the file or folder to another user while retaining the right to view and update this object until the new owner changes the data rights.
Database - the database is used to manage users (storing login-password pairs) and private keys for Ethereum and IPNS. This is done for the convenience of using the system through the API and eliminating the need for the user to install additional software for working with Ethereum and IPFS.
A smart contract for managing access rights to files and directories runs on the Ethereum private blockchain. This smart contract has the following functionality:
The user can provide rights to view and update directories and files to other users.
The user can view file permissions.
The user can get a list of directories and files available to him indicating their owners.
Important note: all directories and files must be pre-registered in the smart contract.
IPFS provides distributed storage of user files and directories.
IPNS is a distributed registry for files and directories. The principle of IPNS is that users publish a fixed resource address, which is stored in IPFS, signed with a key from a public-private key pair. Updating a record in IPNS can only be done with the key used to create the record. This system allows providing a permanent address to a resource when it is updated, which is a necessity since resources in IPFS are addressed by their hash sums (content ID, CID) and when the file is updated, its CID changes.
How I built it
At the R&D stage, a platform based on Blockchain and IPFS technologies was developed for internal document exchange of companies and organizations with high requirements for information confidentiality. To implement Blockchain technology, Parity Ethereum is used.
Blockchain technology guarantees the immutability and authenticity of data and also makes impossible their hidden change. Since the data is immutable, we can always establish a true file owner and get the history of its changes. With the help of Parity Ethereum, which is used as a system of access rights management based on a smart contract, access is restricted to persons who don’t have the necessary access rights.
The IPFS technology was used to create a file system (directory structure and tools for working with files).
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Existing document management systems, although they have undergone significant changes in recent years, and also contributed to the optimization of many processes, are still not perfected and have many vulnerabilities.
In turn, blockchain technology in conjunction with IPFS provides a safe and functional solution that allows establishing smooth operation with important documents within companies and government agencies. At the same time, the proposed system has undeniable advantages, since users of such a solution are provided with a trusted and secure working environment where no one can affect the reliability of the data, as well as deliberately capture them.
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