Document Assembly vs. Document Management

   Pathagoras contains both Document Assembly and Document Management modules. As used by Pathagoras, these two modules are distinct, but integrally related. The access to the two functions is controlled by different screens, but the underlying programming code frequently overlap. It is important to understand, and distinguish between, these two concepts.

The two modules are not mutually exclusive. They are not polar opposites. Rather, they are distinct components of the same system, and are designed complement and support each other quite nicely.

Typically, a user will create and personalize a new document by using the Document Assembly module. After the initial editing is done, the user will store the new document, and recall it for later editing or printing, using PathSmart/SaveSmart (document management) tools.

A folder mapped to a PathSmart 'profile' (collection of SmartPaths) can be the same folder as a book mapped in the Document Assembly 'library' (collection of Books). For example, the path to ‘Office Forms’ might be both a Book in a library and a SmartPath in profile.  But they are used for different purposes.

However, a folder containing personalized client documents (mailed letters, completed contracts) would never be part of a Document Assembly library. Why? Because personal documents would never be directly used to create future documents. (At least we hope that you never directly use a form created for one person as the source of one you intend to create for another. Doing so can lead to embarrassing, if not disastrous, consequences. 'Pathagorize' it and save it to a forms book.)

A document retrieved from a SmartPath will typically be the original document. When you use the document management tools, Pathagoras presumes you want to edit the original text (modify content, correct errors, etc.).

A document retrieved from a Book will typically be a copy of the original. When you use the document assembly module, Pathagoras presumes you are creating new content using original sources, and protect you from accidentally overwriting the original.

Folders containing personal client letters, contracts awaiting execution, pleadings for a specific case and other personalized documents are precisely the kind that would be mapped within a PathSmart profile. Folders containing form documents, clauses, templates, glossaries, etc., that you view as 'source' text for creating new content are what would be mapped to a Book.

There are other differences among the modules, some subtle, some more blatant. Only actual use of the program will bring into sharp focus the differences between them. Just take comfort in knowing that both systems work seamlessly together.

The following further illustrates the differences between document assembly and document management. We will stick with the libraries and books metaphor described in previous sections.

Let’s assume that you have been assigned to research and prepare a report on flying buttresses for an architecture project. To accomplish your task, you would go to the appropriate architecture library to find the information you need. You would look in the various books there. You would extract text and copy other source materials for the final project. And you would assemble your research into what ultimately becomes the first draft of your final report.

After you have completed the report, you would not return to the library to store your composition. Rather, you would store your work in a location appropriate to a specific 'personal' project. You would also (mentally) use a methodology for storing client/customer projects that is distinctly different from the methodology used by the library from which you gathered the source material.
Likely, you would place your final research product inside the customer’s folder or a client’s file, organized by customer/client name. (If it is a general office project, you might place it in a general-purpose filing cabinet.)
But one place you don’t store it is back in the library.

   The same concepts pertain to the primary systems that make up Pathagoras. The document assembly system provides the tools needed to create documents from source clauses. But once created, the document management system provides the tools by which you can store and easily retrieve the completed documents from personalized storage containers.

   'Nuff said?