cattaDoc open source document and project management 

cattaDoc Concepts

Understand the classes or main concepts in cattaDoc, the relationships between them, business processes, state and events, and the double meanings of 'document' as well as 'project'

cattaDoc is about managing documents: Storing documents, searching for documents, finding documents, documenting the flow of documents, establishing an overview of documents, etc.

Documents contain knowledge, and document management is closely related to knowledge management. Documents are reused as paradigms or templates.

cattaDoc is about starting up, initiating, managing and closing projects: Preparing management products like the PID (project initiation document), work packages and highlight reports - keeping track of issues, risks and lessons learned, i.e. registers and logs - defining project organisation, cost estimates etc.


cattaDoc Classes - or Main Concepts

These are the main concepts - or classes (or object types) - in cattaDoc:

  • File/document obviously. Documents have relations to organisations (sender or receiver), to persons (author or receiver) and to projects. Read more about documents in cattaDoc.

  • Organisation: Any organisation - public or private - where documents are originating from or received. Organisations have contact persons and are participating in projects in various roles. In cattaDoc, an organisation can also have relations to other organisations, as parent-subsidiary organisations.

  • Person - or contact person, including employees in own organisation. Persons are most often - but not necessarily - related to an organisation where they are the tangible objects sending and receiving documents - creating, authoring, signing and answering to documents. Persons are also related to projects in various roles, summed up in the project organisation.

  • Project is the last centre-piece in cattaDoc. Documents are always about something which can be assembled into projects in a very broad sense - whatever they are called: Case, file, folder, business, etc. Read more about projects here.

Note: Organisations were called companies in cattaDoc versions prior to version 5. Organisation is however considered a broader and more adequate term.



One of the focal points is documents and projects in various relationships. Documents are not only important in themselves, but first and foremost in their relations to others objects. A document is related to one or more organisations, to one or more persons, and to one or more projects. And these objects have relationships with each other:

The main concepts in cattaDoc

Every class in cattaDoc is related to other classes in many-to-many relationships. This is reality. One-to-many relationships rarely exist in the social reality.

Reminders are a feature in cattaDoc from version 4.


Business processes and best practices

Business processes are defining what to do with documents and project - and when to do it. From creation to archiving and closing.

Documents and projects have a workflow, defined by the business processes - and by best practices, as laid down in PRINCE2® for projects and in MSP® for programmes.


States and events - state-transitions

All objects in cattaDoc are dynamic, they have a "life", a business process flow from beginning to end. Each object at a given time has a given state - expressed in a status. At a given state, a number of events can take place. Some of these events change the status of the object, others don't.

Events are sometimes called transitions, and the process flow for state-transitions.

In figures on the cattaDoc web site, events are shown as arrows and states (status) as boxes, as seen in the simple document example below:

Small screen dump

A simple example for a document process
Click to see the figure in full size

In this simple example there are 4 events and 3 states. The initial Create document event leads to a document with the status Planned. The next event, Create new version, changes the document status to Draft. Finally, the Send document event changes the status to Sent. If a new version is created, the status changes (back) to Draft.

From installation, cattaDoc has a number of generic process flows for each object. They can rather easily be changed or expanded to reflect the business processes in a given organisation. See more about this on the configuration pages.

Events are searchable from the Events tab in the Search screen.


User permissions

Finally, access rights or user permissions are important especially in relation to documents. Some employees must only view documents, others may also create new documents and change existing documents. Certain documents are limited to a group of people, only these people must have access to them, all others must not even know about their existence.

Read more about access control in cattaDoc.


A note on certain words in cattaDoc

Please note that in cattaDoc documents - or file/documents - comprise library files, meetings, PRINCE2 / MSP management products, registers and logs (as management products) as well as documents. See more under document classes.

The word project is both used in a narrow sense as defined in PRINCE2 and in a broader sense where it includes programmes, portfolios and folders - especially in connection with project management. See more under project classes.


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Revised: 2015-12-22