Effective committee work at the Steel Institute VDEh with the META-DOK document management system

The Steel Institute VDEh is made up of many committees whose participants are employees of the companies and organisations that are members of the association. These committees only meet a few times a year, but work year-round on technical, scientific or even other topics. As a result, a large number of documents have to be exchanged. This was usually done by email. But the main disadvantage of email-based exchange was that the documents weren’t stored and made available centrally. Email exchange made clean version management difficult. What’s more, each member of a working group had to ensure for themselves that they had their working material available.

So the committees ended up looking for a platform that met the following requirements to simplify their work:

  • Easy access for all users by means of secured internet access from their own workstation
  • No restrictions with regard to technical hurdles (e.g. firewall restrictions)
  • Provision of virtual workspaces where the working groups can centrally store and exchange documents
  • Simple, multilingual user interface so the system could be used internationally
  • Central administrability
  • Affordable costs despite the large number of users

The META-DOK document management system When Meta-Level introduced META-DOK, the document management and knowledge management system, in early 2006, what the members had (and still have now) at their disposal is a multilingual platform that acts as a central repository on the one hand and a distribution system for sending information to members on the other. The web portal allows access to the system via a web browser; there’s no need for local installation. Since the platform is very simple and intuitive to use, no explicit user training is necessary. Communication within the working groups has also been made a great deal easier by means of a subscription service that automatically informs members of news and changes concerning relevant topics. Version management allows tracing of documents’ history. The documents are available centrally and are backed up by the Institute.


  • Central document management
  • Simple exchange of information
  • Shared access to / editing of documents
  • Audit management
  • Secured access over the internet
  • Automatic information service
  • Multilingual user interface
  • Intuitive operability

Expertise and technologies

  • Java
  • C# / .NET
  • AJAX
  • Lucene, Apache, Tomcat
  • Eclipse
  • XML
  • Windows Server
  • MS SQL Server
  • Multilingual user interface