Los Angeles - August 4, 2000. STAR/RIMS-E, the new client-server software for managing both electronic and non-electronic documents, was certified in July by the Department of Defense as compliant with DoD 5015.21-STD. This is the records management application standard developed for DoD organizations and endorsed by the National Archives and Records Administration for use by other federal agencies.
The new product, developed by Los Angeles-based Cuadra Associates, Inc., supports the full range of records management-from active to retired and archived documents. Both incoming and outgoing documents can be flagged for storage in the organization's "corporate memory," for easy information and electronic-document retrieval.
STAR/RIMS-E goes beyond the more than 100 mandatory DoD specifications, to provide the capabilities needed in the commercial marketplace. Those capabilities include handling both electronic and non-electronic documents in "virtual file folders"-a major challenge for most organizations-and supporting a wide range of institutional and departmental policies regarding how long documents are to be kept. The product also allows for multiple levels of "need-to-know" security.
According to Judith Wanger, Executive Vice President of Cuadra Associates and the lead developer of the new product, top management will need to actively promote and fully support the development and use of records management programs.
"Having engineers, scientists, programmers, analysts, and managers file electronic and other documents to a department or enterprise-wide repository may represent a significant cultural change in most organizations, but there are very good reasons to do so. Not only can a well-managed 'corporate memory' repository provide legal protections but, more important, it can improve productivity by reducing the time it takes to locate existing information and facilitating the sharing of information."
According to Wanger, the STAR/RIMS-E product supports the widest range of hardware platforms and operating systems of any DoD-certified product, running under Digital Equipment Corporation Digital Unix, Hewlett Packard HP-UX, IBM AIX, Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows 2000, SCO OpenServer, and Sun Microsystems Solaris.
The client portion of the STAR/RIMS-E software also runs on a number of operating systems and interfaces with a wide variety of e-mail and other desktop office productivity tools, including one or more versions of Corel WordPerfect; Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Outlook Express; Lotus Notes; and Netscape Messenger.
Wanger credits the DoD with helping to make clear how appropriate records management systems can contribute to managing what is now a "virtual paper trail" in information-intensive organizations.
"Enlightened top management knows that doing nothing is not an option, but they may not recognize that simply having individuals maintain their own e-mail and electronic documents folders-even on central servers-is not a good way to manage the knowledge base of an organization. One needs a thoughtful information management solution based on records management principles. The DoD has helped, not only by establishing software standards but also by identifying software that meets those standards. "
Like the library automation, collections management, and other software that Cuadra Associates offers, STAR/RIMS-E is usable "out of the box", but is also customizable: it allows organizations to configure their copy of the software to suit their data, their organizational structure, and their preferences. Flexibility and reliability have been STAR's hallmarks since the company's first product release, in 1982.
Cuadra Associates software is available on the Government Services Administration (GSA) schedule for direct ordering by any government agency.