Webix File Manager vs Document Manager
Recently Webix has introduced a new complex widget, which is the Document Manager, and many Webix users and customers have immediately noticed its similarity to the File Manager widget. In this article we will focus on the reasons for such external similarities, as well as emphasize the fundamental differences, so that the reader can determine which widget suits them the best. Also in this article you will learn about the changes in the Webix product policy, thanks to which you can get one of these widgets for free.
File Manager is one of the most popular complex Webix widgets. It is successfully used in numerous business applications. Simplicity, functionality and minimalist design are the reasons why developers love this product. In early 2020, Webix released an updated version of this widget, which benefits greatly from a new design and enhanced features.
A couple of months later the Document Manager widget was released, which looked suspiciously similar to the File Manager.
We will analyze the differences and similarities between the two widgets, and understand the reasons why these two products are developing simultaneously.
Pic.1 Webix File Manager
Pic.2 Webix Document Manager
Part 1. Similarities.
Both widgets work directly with the file system or database where files are uploaded.
Both of these widgets follow the same UX scheme, so they have similar basic functionality:
- Navigation panel
- Tile view
- Table view
- Dual panel mode
- Features and preview panel
The features panel in both widgets allows you to:
- view the properties of the file
- get a preview of image and text files
- play media files
Standard file manager operations are supported:
- Uploading / Downloading
Pic.3 UX scheme of the Document Manager and the File Manager
If while working on an application, you do not need to go beyond the list above, the best choice for you will be the Webix File Manager.
Part 2. Differences.
We continue with the innovations in the Document Manager widget.
- A group of documents: Favorites, Resent, Shared
This is the basic difference of the Document Manager from the File Manager. To use this feature, you need to connect the database. Document categories are common to Document Management systems. And this, as it may seem, small difference, moves the viewed widget to a new class of solutions.
2. Trash with deleted documents
You can view the deleted documents, restore them from the trash, or delete them permanently.
3. The opportunity to comment files and folders
A kind of germs for sharing work on documents. For example, you can use this functionality both for its direct purpose (for exchanging comments between users) and as a document change history, where you can see who, when and what was done with the specified document or folder. A well-documented API makes it easy to implement this functionality.
4. An opportunity to create tags and assign them to folders and documents
Tags organize an additional layer of grouping the documents distributed in different folders. Thus, users can tag resources that are related to the same project but distributed in different folders. Or set the authorship of the document by assigning it the appropriate tag.
These small but important innovations have moved the new widget to the Document Management solutions class, since they declare a departure from the file system to the database, and work with documents instead of disk space. In this rudimentary state Document Manager can’t claim to be a full-fledged Document Management system yet. But it lays down the basic principles of working with documents that can be developed on its base.
Webix product policy
Feedback from the Webix users has shown that both widgets enjoy well-deserved interest. But formal resemblance is forcing developers to think, which of the two widgets they need exactly.
To facilitate this choice, Webix is changing its product policy.
From now on, after purchasing any of the widgets, the Webix customers get a second one for free.
If you have any questions or you want to get one of the described widgets for free, please contact the Webix client service.