Why DOCman?

Occasionally we receive questions from people asking why they should use DOCman instead of another document management or download extension for Joomla. We haven’t done any feature-by-feature comparisons — we’ll leave that to other bloggers — but below is a re-post of what I answered to a customers question.

Picking extensions

On the Joomla Extensions Directory, every category has 5 or 10 alternatives you can choose from. That’s a benefit, but it can also make things more difficult. How to pick the right one? For me, it’s always about flexibility, security, and support.


Long before I started Joomlatools with Johan, I was building websites for customers. Remository and DOCman were the only choices back then. My customers asked for features that neither provided. But I looked at the code, and even though I was a pretty inexperienced developer back then, DOCman’s code made sense. It wasn’t long before I started making addons for DOCman to satisfy my customer’s requirements. Some of those addons are still around: Autopopulate, AutoThumb… When I later became lead developer, adding even more ways to extend DOCman has always been my priority over adding features. Adding a feature is like giving someone a fish, adding flexibility is giving them a fishing pole.


When open source software is used by many people, bugs and vulnerabilities get discovered more rapidly (Linus’ Law). Despite the fact that DOCman is one of the most popular extensions for Joomla (and has been for years), it’s been a very long time since any noteworthy vulnerability was discovered. Building a Joomla extension is easy. Building one that can resist hacking attempts is something that requires your full attention.

Lunch and Coffee

Finally, yes we started charging for DOCman recently. We realize that even though the price is only that of a lunch and a coffee, it might cause many people to switch to other solutions. But you get a lot for this money: We can now focus on DOCman, instead of always pushing it to the bottom of the todo list. You can see it in the speed and quality of replies to support questions in the forum: in fact we hired Krisstoffer, who used to be a voluntarily moderator on our forum, so we are now paying him to help people. You can also see it in the development: we released the 1.5.1 update only a week after releasing 1.5.0, whereas before, releases took us 6 months or more.

(Update: We just added a brand new support portal to serve DOCman users even better!)

In the end you have to decide for yourself what suits you. With it’s ACL’s, nested categories, theming etc, DOCman is very feature-rich choice, for a very competitive price. But be aware that features and price are not the only things that can make software great.

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DOCman Secret: Link documents in articles

Did you know that you can easily insert documents into articles using DOCman 1.5? It’s an awesome feature that few people know about.

Here is how you do it:

  1. When writing an article, click the “DOClink” button below the editor
  2. You will get a popup to navigate through your documents
  3. Select a document, and click ‘OK’
  4. Done! Your article now has a direct link to your document
  5. You can also link to categories, or add some fancy extra’s like an icon or the filesize.

Can’t find the button? Go to the Joomla’s Plugin Manager and enable the DOClink plugin.

Watch our video or discover DOClink yourself!

Watch the DOClink video.

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DOCman 1.5 FAQ

We’ve had some great feedback in our first 24 hours of releasing DOCman 1.5, and also some confusion. We’ve tried to answer all your questions in the FAQ below.

Where can I ask pre-sales questions?

Get in touch.

Why do I have to pay to download DOCman?

DOCman has been free of charge since it’s conception in 2003 until December 2009. With one million downloads a year, many sites depend on DOCman to keep their data secure. This is a big responsibility for Joomlatools. By charging for DOCman, we can assign more resources to make sure DOCman remains the most stable, preformant and safe document manager for Joomla.

What if I don’t want to pay for DOCman?

DOCman 1.4 will
always be available free of charge. DOCman 1.4 runs on both Joomla
1.0.x and 1.5.x. However, no new features will be added to 1.4, and
only security issues and high level bugs will be fixed.

What is the license for DOCman?

DOCman 1.5 is released as Free Software under the GNU GPLv2.

How can DOCman be Free Software / GPL if I have to pay for it?

Software” is about freedom, not about price. Free Software gives you a
number of rights, most importantly to use the software as you wish.

When I purchase DOCman, can I use it on multiple domains?

Yes. DOCman is released under the GPL license, which means you can install it on as many sites or servers as you wish.

Do I have to pay again when a new version is released?

you purchase DOCman 1.5.x, you will automatically get all maintenance
releases (1.5.y, 1.5.z…) free of charge. You will be notified by email, including a link to download the update. However, feature releases
(1.6, 1.7…) are not included in the deal and have to be bought separately.


Can I try DOCman before I buy it?</strong>

Yes, there is a demo site. There’s no trial version. However, as DOCman 1.4 is free of charge, you can download and install it, and buy DOCman 1.5 if you decide it suits your needs.

How long is a download link valid?
Links to a dedicated download location will be sent immediately after your purchase. Download link expire 1 month after purchase and can be downloaded 3 times.

I can not use paypal, are there other options?
At the moment paypal is the only option, we are looking into adding more possibilities.

Where can I get support for DOCman 1.5 ?

You can get free community support in the official forum.

**Can I upgrade from DOCman 1.4 or 1.3? **

Yes, check our Upgrading documentation.

What are the requirements for DOCman 1.5?

You need the latest Joomla 1.5.x and PHP 5.2 or higher. Please make sure you have these before installing DOCman 1.5.


I am using Joomla 1.0.x, can I use DOCman?**

You can use DOCman 1.4 with Joomla 1.0.x. DOCman 1.5 is not compatible with Joomla 1.0.x.

Will DOCman run on Joomla 1.6?

At the moment Joomla 1.6 is still in development. When Joomla 1.6 reaches beta stage, we will start working on a compatible version of DOCman. Our goal is to release this at the same time as Joomla 1.6 stable.

Where can I submit feature requests?

In our Member Center.

Where can I submit bugs?

In our Member Center. **

Where are DOClink, the modules and the search plugin?**

These addons are now installed automatically when you install DOCman 1.5.


How about AutoPopulate, AutoThumb, Blogtheme?**

Updated versions of these addons will be released in the near future.


Will my 3PD or custom themes and extensions work with DOCman 1.5**?

Some existing themes and addons will need the legacy plugin to be enabled. It should be fairly easy to migrate them to native 1.5. There is a guide to migrate themes.


Why is the Joomla extensions directory not updated? **

We have contacted the JED team. They are usually very busy, so please allow some time.


What is DOCman’s versioning scheme?**

1.4, 1.5, 1.6… are feature releases. They add new things, and they are mostly backwards compatible. This means that upgrading from one feature release to the next will be fairly easy, and 3PD addons such as themes, translations, utilities, … will work with little to no modifications.

1.5.0, 1.5.1, 1.5.2… are maintenance releases. They consist only of bug fixes and security fixes, are 100% backwards compatible.

What is included in the package?

When installing DOCman 1.5, the following extensions are installed automatically as well:

  • DOClink: plugin to insert documents in articles)
  • DOCman search: integrate searching for documents with Joomla’s core search
  • Standard Buttons: plugin with the default buttons for the DOCman frontend (download, view, details, checkin/out, publish, approve, update)
  • Latest downloads module
  • Most downloaded module
  • Category documents module: shows docs from one category
  • Lister module: Show a list of popular/latest documents.
  • Admin modules (displayed in the DOCman control panel)

There’s no need to unzip the package, the addons are installed automatically.

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DOCman 1.5 Stable is now available!

Today we are very excited to announce the release of DOCman v1.5, which you can buy in the new Joomlatools store!

Conceived in 2003, and sporting thousands of downloads each month, DOCman has established itself as the premiere document management tool for Joomla. The new release is the culmination in years of experience in security. Keeping your documents safe has always been the primary concern — one we will never take lightly. Marc Alen, Adjunct Secretary of the Belgian Police Force agrees:

“We run 140 DOCman installations, one for each police zone’s public website, and even more installations on our intranets. Security is imperative — and for years, DOCman is delivering that for us.”

Native Joomla 1.5

We’ve been collecting user feedback for a while, and we’ve implemented the most demanded feature: being able to run DOCman in Joomla 1.5 without legacy mode.

The primary focus for this release has been stability, performance and security. Not only did we squeeze out another 10% in performance improvement, and 20% in memory usage; thanks to our extensive testing, you can rest assured this is the safest way to store and distribute your documents using Joomla. DOClink, the search plugin and the modules are now installed automatically along with DOCman. And as an added bonus, the new DOCman release was given a brand new front end theme.

GPL freedom

You can buy the new DOCman 1.5 in the Joomlatools store. Charging a little for DOCman will help us invest in development and better support. Does this change anything? No, DOCman is still Free Software (as in Freedom) released under the GPL, just like Joomla. You still get the freedom to use DOCman as you wish. By buying DOCman, you support open source development.

We’d like to thank everybody who had a hand in making this possible. We’re looking forward to hear your feedback on this great new release, and with your support, DOCman can keep going on this amazing journey!

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