Glossary of Terms


Below are definitions of various terms and items associated with NetDocuments.

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Access List

All items in NetDocuments (e.g. documents, emails, folders, saved searches, workspaces) have an associated Access List that defines a list of authorized users and their respective access rights.

The following levels of access are available:

  • V - View only rights to a document, folder, etc. A person who has View rights to a folder cannot add documents to that folder.
  • VS - View and Share rights to a document, folder, etc. In this case, the user cannot edit the document or add documents to the folder.
  • VE - View and Edit rights to a document, folder, etc. A person with VE rights cannot share that document with others. 
  • VES - View, Edit and Share rights to a document, folder, etc. Share gives users the right to add other users in the cabinet to the Access List of a document or folder with any rights up to the same rights the user has. Share does not give any rights to remove users from the Access List. S rights are also required for a person to add subfolders to a folder or workspace.
  • VESA - View, Edit, Share, and Administer rights to a document, folder, etc. This "A" Administer right is not to be confused with the Cabinet or Repository Administrator status. The Administer right in the Access List is always given to the person who creates a document or folder. Users with Administer rights can also delete and/or rename the document or folder. Moving an item to another Cabinet or to a ShareSpace requires the "A" Administer right.
  • No Access - NO rights to a document, folder, etc. Not to be confused with the No Default Access setting used by Cabinet Administrators when setting up the cabinet-level security default settings. No Access has the same effect as taking the group or individual totally out of a document or folder Access List. 


Access Control List, see Access List. 

ActiveX Control

A specific way of implementing Microsoft ActiveX technologies. NetDocuments uses small ActiveX controls within Internet Explorer to integrate with Windows and PC-based applications. Learn more about ActiveX.

For browsers or devices that do not support ActiveX controls, see ND2 Interface.


The two types of administrators in NetDocuments are:

  • Repository Administrators manage billing details, Repository members and User Groups, master list of Profile attributes (metadata) and associated tables, and the creation of new Cabinets.
  • Cabinet Administrators manage Cabinet settings, including default security, enabling applicable Profile fields, Echoing parameters, EMS settings, Workspace settings, etc. By default, Cabinet Administrators have VSA rights to all items in the cabinet. 

Advanced Search

Provides more robust methods of searching, such as searching multiple fields simultaneously, including custom profile fields, file types, dates, and deleted items. 

APIs (Application Programming Interface)

NetDocuments provides the following APIs to allow customers and partners to easily write software that integrates with the NetDocuments service:

  • REST API provides a simple, robust programmatic interface to NetDocuments data and services. The API is accessed with HTTP calls and utilizes standard HTTP verbs (GET, PUT, POST, and DELETE) to indicate the actions that are to be performed. The URLs specify the data or objects that these actions are applied to.  Data is sent to and from the API in simple, standardized formats such as JSON, XML, and URL-encoded form.
  • Interactive Search API provides a simple method for external systems to initiate searches in NetDocuments while having NetDocuments manage the presentation of search results.  

AutoImport Folder

Enables users to import several documents at once from a local or network folder into NetDocuments. The AutoImport Folder can be accessed from the Check-In List in the Windows Program menu. The location of the AutoImport Folder can be viewed in NetDocuments under Settings > Workstation Settings.



Cabinets provide secure common access to a collection of documents. All items in NetDocuments must reside in a Cabinet. Cabinets are analogous to “libraries” in legacy DMS. However, unlike “libraries,” Cabinets are not restricted by geographical boundaries. Large firms may choose to have a single Cabinet for the entire firm.

Cabinet Inbox

A default folder created for a cabinet which cannot be changed or deleted. It is used for certain functions by the Service when needed. It is recommended that you do not save documents to this folder or create subfolders in it.

Cabinet Membership List

The list of users and user groups that are members of a cabinet. Each user and group in the membership list has a designated default access level. Also known as the Default Access List.

Cabinet Page

The page users land on when clicking on a Cabinet Name. It is similar to a user’s Home Page, but is controlled and modified by the Cabinet Administrator. It generally contains links to common folders or documents so everyone who has access to the cabinet can access them more quickly. For example, company forms, phone lists, policy documents, etc. are some items which could be linked to the Cabinet Page.

Check In List

A small Windows dialog that is available whenever a user has a document checked out to edit. From the Check-In List, users can perform actions on documents such as check in documents, view Echo Folder and AutoImport Folder, etc. If a user clicks the Check-In button, NetDocuments will check in all closed documents in the Check-In List.

Check Out and Check In

The process of accessing a document.

  • Automatic Check out and check in is used when a document is opened in To automatically check out or open a document, the user clicks the name of the document. The check out process is transparent to the user. To check in a document which has been automatically checked out, the user closes the document and then returns to the NetDocuments List View page. A green check appears next to the name of the document. This check must be clicked to check in or upload the document with any changes into NetDocuments. You can also use the green Check In button at the top right. The green check only shows while you are on the current page. If it is not there, the Green Check In button should be used. 
  • Manual Check out and check in allows a user to set a document as View only for all other users and make a copy of the document locally. When the document is checked in, the edited copy will overwrite the document that is still in NetDocuments and the document is again made available for others to edit. This is used when a person will not have the Internet available and needs to work on a document. 

Consolidated Activity Logging

A feature that provides detailed data related to the activity of a Repository which can be formatted with a database such as Access or SQL Server to generate reports from the Service.



Deleted Items

Deleted items are accessed through the Advanced Search screen by checking the “Deleted items only” checkbox at the bottom of the search window.  When a document is deleted in NetDocuments, it is marked as deleted, but it is still available in NetDocuments. Generally, the Cabinet Administrator permanently deletes documents on a regular basis. These documents can be “undeleted” by the person who deleted them or by the Cabinet Administrator.

Desktop Email Integration

An integration that allows users to send emails from NetDocuments using Microsoft Outlook on a PC rather than the default web form.


The discussion feature allows users to engage in single-threaded written discussions. Discussions can be filed into a folder or a ShareSpace. Discussions automatically display the current date and time in the time zone of the user and stamp each entry with the user's name. Discussions are treated like documents, and are full-text indexed.


Document Management System. In terms of NetDocuments, the “S” refers to “Service” because it is a hosted service and there are no required local hardware or software components.

Document ID

Each document in NetDocuments has a unique identifier referred to as a Document ID or Doc ID. Any document can be searched by its ID. See also GUID. 



Echo Folder

Folder on a local workstation or network that contains a cached copy of recent documents. The Echo Folder can be accessed from the Check-In List in the Windows Start Program menu. The Echo Folder location can also be viewed in NetDocuments under Settings > Workstation Settings. ndOffice utilizes a separate Echo folder from that used by the traditional check out/in process (ActiveX).


A NetDocuments feature that can be used to provide improved performance and redundancy. When Echoing is enabled, documents that are downloaded to a client workstation as part of an edit are cached on the workstation in the Echo Folder. If the document is accessed again from the same workstation and has not been edited elsewhere, the echo copy will be used without having to download the document from the Global Data Center. Echoing provides document availability by providing access to recent documents even when NetDocuments is inaccessible due to an Internet failure.

Email Link

Allows users to send emails to other cabinet users with a secure link to any item (document, folder, etc.) in NetDocuments.


NetDocuments Email Management Service works with Outlook to provide customers with an easy and innovative way to archive and automatically profile emails in NetDocuments. See also NetDocuments EM.

There are two types of EMS that can be installed:

  • EMS Folders – allows users to drag and drop emails from their Outlook into NetDocuments. The user’s NetDocuments folder structure is re-created in their Outlook, which enables the user to file an email to a specific workspace or folder.
  • EMS Profiler – allows users to profile emails in Outlook with up to four profile attributes and file them in a workspace in NetDocuments. EMS Profiler also provides a “send and file” option for emails a user sends out.


Encryption Key Management. The features that allow administrators to manage the keys that are used to encrypt documents. 


A tool that provides a secure and private means of sharing information with external parties. As a hosted and neutral service, NetDocuments is an ideal service for extranet needs. NetDocuments users can create Extranets using Cabinets, Workspaces, or ShareSpaces.




1) Workspace filter - a container that can be automatically created in a workspace using an organizing profile attribute, such as document type. The filter is a combination of a folder and a saved search. It will show up as a filing location when adding a document or saving emails via EMS folders, but is also a search result and will display documents profiled with the attributes for that workspace and filter.

2) Search filter - a way of further narrowing the results returned from a search, also known as Search Refinement. 


A container that allow items to be filed into it, much like a Windows file structure. A folder can have up to 500 subfolders. There is no limit to the number of documents a folder may have in it. 


Allows users to receive an alert via email and/or RSS feed whenever a particular user(s) edits a specific document, folder, or ShareSpace.




Global Unique Identifier. A unique identifier for an entity such as a user, user group, or cabinet. See also Document ID. 




All of the NetDocuments online documentation available from the Help link. Users should consult the Help as their first source of assistance with questions or issues when using the service. This includes all other online resources on the support website.


Each document has a record of its accesses located in what is called its History. Users with VE rights can access the history of a document.

Home Page

The page users land on when logging in to NetDocuments. The Home page is unique to each user and the layout can be customized by the user to contain links to cabinets, documents, folders, saved searches, workspaces, etc.


Hardware Security Module. A physical device that stores encryption keys. NetDocuments administrators can choose to store customer-managed keys in a NetDocuments HSM, or their own privately-managed HSM.



Import Tools

NetDocuments offers the following Import Tools to assist customers in migrating to the NetDocuments Service:

  • AutoImport Folder enables users to move several documents from a local or network folder into NetDocuments. The AutoImport Folder can be accessed from the Check-In List. The location of the AutoImport Folder can be viewed in NetDocuments under Settings > Workstation Settings.
  • Folder Import Utility provides an easy-to-use method of importing a directory (folder) tree including the documents into NetDocuments. The Folder Import Utility is generally used in migrations with no previous DMS.
  • Mass Import Utility is typically used for importing large quantities of documents from that have differing profiles and that require document level The Mass Import Service is generally used in migrations from legacy DMS.  


Indexing is the process of a search engine collecting, parsing, and storing data for use by the search engine. All documents and emails in NetDocuments are indexed for searching, both full-text indexing (for documents where it is available) and metadata indexing. An item is not searchable if it is not indexed. 





Linked Documents

Two or more documents which a user wants to relate to each other. Each document contains the other’s Doc ID in its Profile.

List View

A List View is a type of list displayed in the web UI. It shows a single list of documents, and include the Preview and Details panels. Examples of list views include Recent Documents, a search result page, or a folder page. Compare to Summary View.


The recommended way to close out of NetDocuments. When the log out is used, it deletes all of the temporary cookies that may still exist while using NetDocuments. It also checks in any documents you have edited in that session and have not checked in.

Lookup Tables

Validation tables for custom profile attributes that are managed by the Repository Administrator.




Electronic equivalent of a case file that allows users to view all matter-related information (documents, emails, etc.) in a single, logically organized interface that may be shared across offices, practice groups and with clients and other counsel. NetDocuments Workspaces are used to provide matter-centric views. See Workspace. 


Additional data describing a document. See Profile.

My Cabinet

Personal space that is accessible only by an individual user. The My Inbox folder in My Cabinet is used to receive ShareSpaces. It is not recommended that stand-alone documents be stored in this location.

My Inbox

A folder in My Cabinet used to receive ShareSpaces.



Navigation Pane

The panel along the left-hand side of the NetDocuments web UI that displays folders and workspaces. 


Optional on-premises service providing local storage of all documents as a redundant document set.


These add-ins for Microsoft Office provide a simple way to open, edit, and save documents in NetDocuments without ever having to go through a web browser. The open and save actions are performed directly within the Office application (Word, Excel, etc.)


A synchronization app that allows users to access a set of documents without Internet access. ndSync is currently in beta. 


A cloud-based, predictive enterprise email management solution that integrates with Microsoft Exchange.

No Default Access

A setting used by Cabinet Administrators when setting up the Cabinet-level security default settings. When defined for a User Group by a Cabinet Administrator, the No Default Access setting will allow the User Group to see the Cabinet, but they will not have default rights to anything created in the Cabinet. In order to see or edit documents in the Cabinet, the User Group or users in the group must be given explicit rights to any documents or folders in the Cabinet.




An open standard for authorization, provides client applications a secure delegated access to server resources on behalf of a resource owner. It specifies a process for resource owners to authorize third-party access to their server resources without sharing their credentials. This is authentication method used by REST apps such as ndOffice, and identity providers when used with federated identity. 

Official Version

Also called the "default" version, this is the version that is specified to be the default version to be used when a document is selected, opened, downloaded, or emailed. It is not always the latest version. 




Also known as metadata (or document attributes), these pieces of information further describe or identify a document or folder. Profile attributes are important for effective document management and for powerful and focused search capability. In addition to the standard Profile automatically created for all documents (Document Name, Document Creator, Date Created, etc.), NetDocuments also allows customers to add custom Profiles to documents and folders. For example, most law firms add custom profile attributes such as Client, Matter, Author, etc. Such custom Profile attributes generally have pre-defined Profile values, an essential element for controlled profiling and management. The profile values, or Lookup Tables, are managed by the Repository Administrator. A folder’s Profile attributes can be inherited by its contents (e.g. documents).

Profile-based Security (PBS)

A method of assigning user access based on a profile value. For example, whenever the Author value of John Smith was assigned to a document, that document would have a specified level of security assigned to it also. 

Profile Tables

A profile attribute can point to a table of values (lookup table) which has been defined by the Repository Administrator to limit entry of a specific profile attribute to only valid entries as have been defined in the table. An example would be a list of valid client names or document types.

Profile Templates

User-defined saved profile attributes that can be quickly applied to documents and folders.




Recent Documents

Defaults to one of the following pages based on the user’s most recent selection:

  • All Recent Documents displays the last 40 documents or items a user either opened, edited, or added. 
  • Recently Opened Documents displays the 40 documents or items a user most recently opened.
  • Recently Edited Documents displays the 40 documents or items a user most recently edited.
  • Recently Added Documents displays the 40 documents or items a user most recently added. 


A way to sort items in a search result list. Relevance means that the items at the top of the list meet the criteria the closest. 


Central administration for managing account/billing information, internal/external users and user groups, profile attributes, cabinets, etc.




Software as a Service. Those services related to multi-tenant (one-to-many) delivery of software over the Web. NetDocuments is the first SaaS provider in the legal market. Also known as “on demand software.” Note that SaaS providers are not the same as application service providers (“ASPs”). ASPs generally have little or no specialized or proprietary IP and host software that was designed for licensing in a client/server architecture. As a result, many of the ASPs from the dot-com boom have failed and the term ASP now has negative connotations.

Saved Search

A saved search criteria with a folder-like user interface. Saved Searches can be filed into a folder. Saved Searches are a powerful tool for dynamically searching, managing and grouping documents and knowledge across the entire organization. For example, Saved Searches can be used in a Workspace to display all emails across the firm related to a specific project or matter.


There are several types of searches that can be performed in NetDocuments:

  • Simple Search allows users to type anything in the text box, including document content, name, and standard and custom profile fields, etc.
  • Advanced Search allows users to narrow searching to specific criteria using any custom profile fields which have been defined.

Security Template

A template that can be applied to a document upon importing it that specifies user and user group access to the document. 

Send to Application

A feature used to indicate and prepare multiple documents for an action.  The appropriate software needs to be installed on the workstation in order for that option to appear in the Send to Application window. Currently, the following operations can be performed using Send to Application:

  • Append Versions (combine multiple documents into one document with multiple versions)
  • DocsCorp (pdfDocs, compareDocs, formFiller)
  • Lexis (CheckCite)
  • Litera (ChangePro)
  • Nordic River (Textflow)
  • Payne Group (Metadata Assistant)
  • Workshare (DeltaView) 


Generally, the document and email management services provided by NetDocuments. Specifically, NetDocuments maintains three separate services, with datacenters based in the US, EU, and Australia, respectively. 


Settings is used to manage personal information, login information (e.g. password), account information, application settings (e.g. email integration), workstation settings, etc.


A secure document sharing and collaboration container that allows users to share documents with other users. ShareSpaces can be easily created by users on the fly, and are thus best suited for ad hoc extranet collaboration. Documents are actually moved to a ShareSpace unlike folders where they are only filed with a link in the folder. Also the security is at the ShareSpace level, so all documents have the same rights in the ShareSpace. It is designed for a small set of documents shared with a small set of people on an ad hoc basis.

Summary View

A Summary View is a type of view displayed in the web UI. It shows a "summary" of the documents related to the page you are on. Examples of summary views include a workspace summary view, a Home Page, or a ShareSpace summary view. Compare to List View.



Top-Level Folders

Highest level of folders (directly under a Cabinet) that are by default shared with every member of a Cabinet. A Cabinet flag can be set to only allow Cabinet Administrators to create these types of folders. When this flag is set, any user can still create a “top-level” folder, but it cannot be shared with anyone in the Cabinet. Subfolders under these non-shared folders can be shared with other users but they will not be visible from the navigation pane. We recommend that Administrators set this flag to not have folders proliferated in the navigation pane for all users.




One or more improvements to a product. NetDocuments updates its primary software once a quarter. These Updates include new features, bug fixes, and UI enhancements. 


A person who has been given an account to access NetDocuments.

  • Internal User is an employee of the Repository account who has been given access to Cabinets in the Repository.
  • External User is a non-employee of the Repository Account who has been given
    access to selected folders and documents stored inside a Repository Cabinet.
  • ShareSpace Personal Contact is a person who is not an external or internal cabinet user who has been given rights to access a ShareSpace originated from within the

User Interface (UI)

The webpage(s) that allow users to easily interact with data stored on remote servers. The UI is viewed through a web browser. 

User Group

Lists of users that are used to set security for Cabinets and their contents (e.g. documents, folders, etc.). User groups are created and managed by the Repository Administrator. Also referred to as Access group or Security group.


The name used to login to a user account. Each user account has the following attributes:

  • Display Name: 1) First Name, 2) initial, 3) Last Name. This field can be changed by the user.
  • Email Address: e.g.  This field can be changed by the user.
  • Service ID: e.g. Vault. [Service records this value]
  • Common Name (CN) or username: e.g. “James” 
  • User GUID: [Service ID]–[CN]. e.g. VAULT-james. 
  • ndusername: the name or ID the user logs in with. This field can be changed by the user.


Version Control

The management of multiple versions of the same document. Users with at least View/Edit (VE) rights to a document can open, view, or create new versions of the document. Only a document administrator (VESA rights) may consolidate all or delete individual versions.




Customized views that can be created to consolidate and display all content (documents, emails, etc.) for a particular project or matter in a single, logically organized interface. Typically referred to as a Matter-centric approach.