Simplifying processes in GDCh e.V.’s membership management activities

With around 31,000 members from science, industry and the liberal professions, GDCh represents a large, professionally and socially relevant community. It promotes chemistry in teaching, research and application, and is committed to the public’s understanding and knowledge of chemistry and chemical relationships.

Providing support for its members and any services (like organising conferences and further training courses, providing a careers service, electronic communication and online services) in particular form part of the everyday business undertaken by the GDCh branch office in Frankfurt am Main. The central address management system ZAM® from Dr. Lauer & Karrenbauer GmbH in Saarbrücken was introduced years ago to simplify the work. Management of all the accessible documents was organised using a folder archive and file storage on workstations and servers. As a result, correspondence had to be assigned to address data and research had to be conducted manually, both of which were very laborious and time-consuming. The paper filing system required more and more storage space too. It became necessary to implement a system that could create far more efficient workflows in conjunction with address management.

The following requirements had to be met:

  • Electronic archiving of all documents created in the context of membership administration
  • Quick access to the data from the workplace
  • Quick and easy search mechanisms in the document stock
  • Linking the data with the maintained address database, so that it is always possible to trace who has received or sent which documents
  • Access from address management directly into the document archive, and vice versa

Simplifying member management processes Following a lead time and planning phase of a few months, installation of the document management system META-DOK was carried out in a very short space of time. In a first step, the complete folder archive was scanned and taken over. The software has an interface to the ZAM® address management system, which grants a person, a company or a distribution list access to the associated documents, as well as a document access to the linked address objects. The options that META-DOK offers for structuring and searching – in full text too – lead to very quick and easy content searches. The staff of the GDCh branch office who work with the data are also automatically kept up-to-date on changes in the database by means of a subscription mechanism.

META-DOK has been in use since March 2008.


  • Electronic archiving of all documents
  • Quick document access
  • Quick and easy search
  • Interface to the ZAM® central address management system
  • Subscription mechanism

Expertise and technologies

  • Java
  • C# / .NET
  • AJAX
  • Lucene, Apache, Tomcat
  • Eclipse
  • XML
  • JAX/WS
  • Windows Server
  • MS SQL Server
  • Interface to the ZAM® central address management system