PleaseReview faqs

We hope you’ve had a good look around our website, and now have some further questions. The following categories of FAQs should provide the answers you’re looking for, but if not, or if they spark a further question, please get in touch.

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PleaseReview and SharePoint

Does SharePoint offer collaborative document review and co-authoring?

SharePoint 2010/2013, used in conjunction with Word 2010/2013 (exact functionality depends on version mix) offers uncontrolled document co-authoring, which is when multiple authors can access a document and edit it simultaneously.  

It’s called 'uncontrolled' co-authoring as everyone in the document is a 'master' author and are not only able to make wholesale changes, but are also able to delete each other's edits and comments. This completely removes the document owner's control over the document content and leaves no audit trail. So, the uncontrolled co-authoring process falls down unless you have a small group of trained, rational, courteous users… 

Previous SharePoint versions work in a similar way to a 'shared drive' and only permit people to work on the document in a sequential manner (i.e. the document is checked out by an individual, worked on and then checked back in again for the next person to work on it).

So what differentiates PleaseReview from SharePoint? 

PleaseReview has several distinct capabilities which are not available with SharePoint:

Internal and external teams can simultaneously access the same document at the same time, with the ability to work on the same areas of the document There is the ability to specify who can do what to where in a document.  An individual may be given co-authoring privileges on different areas of the document and even locked out of parts of the document entirely
Areas of a document can be locked as 'read only' or hidden for confidentiality reasons if you don't want sections of a document edited or viewed by specific team members Reviewers' comments and changes can also be made confidential e.g. for impartiality reasons
Reviewers can only mark up but not mess up a document, keeping styles and formatting intact The comment function allows for discussion threads, which, in a standard collaborative review, all reviewers can see and respond to
With PleaseReview you can review a document offline using either an iPad or Android tablet.  All comments and changes are then uploaded into the review when the reviewer logs back into the PleaseReview system PleaseReview provides comprehensive reporting detailing all activity on the review (e.g. all changes and comments, who made them and when, whether they were accepted or not and any associated reason).  This reporting function ensures outstanding issues can be rapidly identified and resolved as well as providing full transparency and traceability
There is a complete process, with deadlines, automated reminders etc There are several in-built workflows: single stage collaborative review; sequential collaborative review; parallel review; and hierarchy review

PleaseReview versus alternative document review process providers

How does PleaseReview compare to the Adobe Acrobat functionality?

The main disadvantage of review processes based around Adobe Acrobat is that all comments made on the PDF file need to be manually transcribed to the master document.

When reviewing Microsoft Office documents, using PleaseReview means there is no need to render the documents to PDF to have a controlled review. PleaseReview also allows the automatic consolidation of comments and changes into both Word and Excel documents, which means an end to the tedious, time consuming process of copy and paste.  

Other significant differences between the two is that PleaseReview also provides control over 'who can do what to where'; there is a comprehensive audit trail and it sends out deadlines and reminders, to ensure the whole team completes the review on time.  

It is also worth noting that PleaseReview can be used to review PDF documents and offers a couple of options in this respect. Contact us for more details.

Who are your competitors?

PleaseTech is not aware of any direct competitors to PleaseReview.  However, there are many other ways to review documents.  Most have significant disadvantages and, generally, an author either has to: (i) copy amendments from a marked up environment (such as PDF) into the original document; or (ii) consolidate comments and changes from multiple copies of the same document (e.g. emailed Word documents).  Furthermore, other methods usually cannot handle simultaneous mark-up by multiple people leading to a slow and highly inefficient sequential review process.  All these approaches are time consuming, prone to error and uncontrolled.

Collaborative platforms or workspaces typically provide access to shared documents but don’t provide simultaneous mark-up capabilities. This is similar to the shared drive 'one at a time' approach. Products which do provide simultaneous ‘co-authoring’ offer an uncontrolled environment in which all participants are a ‘master author’. This means that they can delete each other's comments and changes, completely removing the original author’s control over the document content and leaving no audit trail.

Some companies offer cloud based mark-up environments. The common factor in all these cloud based solutions is that they either offer only uncontrolled co-authoring, cannot handle simultaneous mark-up, or only offer annotations and not true collaborative editing. Where text modification is available they cannot handle anything but the most simple of Word documents properly. Whilst they can import Word documents, exporting them with incorporated changes is a bigger challenge.

Furthermore many companies offer only cloud based solutions. PleaseTech offers both cloud and on premise options and offers comprehensive APIs for integration, with many 'off-the-shelf' integrations with leading content management systems. 

PleaseReview and document management systems

Can PleaseReview be integrated with other systems such as document and content management systems?

Yes, PleaseTech has a number of off-the-shelf integrations with leading content management systems, including CSC FirstDoc, EMC Documentum, Microsoft SharePoint, OpenText Content Suite, QUMAS, Oracle WebCenter Content and Veeva Vault.   

With its comprehensive suite of APIs and support of web services, PleaseTech provides the capability to integrate its products into most software systems including both commercial off the shelf products and those developed in-house.   More information can be found here.

Is PleaseReview a document management system?

PleaseReview is not designed to be a document management system and does not offer 'check-out/check-in' capabilities.  It is designed to work either stand alone or in conjunction with document management systems.

PleaseReview can also be integrated with most leading document management systems, see here.

Document formats and other files handled by PleaseReview

What types of format can be handled?

Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF, source code, text and images.

Can graphics be inserted into a review?

Yes, PleaseReview can handle graphics.  

Graphics can also be inserted into a document by the document owner or co-author.  Reviewers are able to attach images to their comments.

So can it handle images?

Images can either be inserted into Word documents and uploaded to the PleaseReview system for review or .jpg, .gif and .png images may be treated as documents in the review and have comments attached with pixel level accuracy.

Can you review video files?

You can upload any document or file type (including a video file) to PleaseReview, however, for such unsupported formats reviewers can only make general, document level comments on a document or file; they can't attach comments to a specific section of it.

Reviewing documents with PleaseReview

Does PleaseReview have an approvals cycle?

No, most of our customers have document management workflows for approvals.  However, it's a question we're often asked and are looking to provide approvals in the near future.

Can you capture metrics?

Yes, all information associated with PleaseReview is available on the database for reporting purposes and there are specific, customizable screens to allow the categorization of reviews to further enhance metric capture.

Is the document locked when one person is reviewing it?

No, PleaseReview provides simultaneous access.  This means your team can review the same document at the same time.  All comments and proposed changes are applied to a paragraph immediately.  This same immediate update happens for all other actions such as revising, accepting or rejecting comments and proposed changes. 

Reviewers will automatically see each other's comments and changes unless this is not desired.  

The only time that an area of the document is locked is when it has been locked by a co-author for editing.  Once edited, this area (known as an EditZone) is updated and unlocked making it available for others to comment upon.  The ability to co-author is a specific role allocated to certain users (and is a license option).

Is it possible to hide parts of the document from reviewers?

Yes, for Word documents it is possible to hide areas of the document from selected participants.  This is achieved via PleaseReview's 'ReviewZones' feature, which provides control over 'who can do what to where' giving an additional level of control and flexibility over the review process.  This gives the review owner the ability to specify whether review participants can review, view only (not comment or propose changes) or simply not see different sections of a document.

How can we protect the content of the document from public view?

Every user has to log on and can only see the documents they have been invited to review.  As a configuration option, it is possible to prevent the download of the original document.

Is it possible to prevent reviewers downloading and printing the document?

In the same way that Internet sites can't stop people printing pages, taking screen shots (or even taking a picture of the screen with a camera phone), we're unable to stop people who have access to the review from doing these things in PleaseReview.

Is it possible to make the comments of each reviewer confidential (other reviewers shouldn't be able to see each other's comments)?

Yes, PleaseTech recognizes that not all reviews can be undertaken in a collaborative environment, with each participant able to view the latest changes and comments.  

Certain business reasons may require that a review be undertaken in a confidential environment whereby each participating individual cannot see the other participant's input.  This is usually done for reasons of impartiality - when reviewers should not be influenced by other reviewers' comments or changes.  

Setting up a confidential review (in which reviewers cannot see the other's comments and changes but the document owner gets a consolidated view) is as simple as selecting the appropriate check box.  This short product tour details how.

Is it possible for external reviewers to our organization to also access documents for a review?

Yes, because PleaseReview is browser based, it means both internal and external contributors can access and review documents without the need for any additional software.   PleaseReview is ideally suited for collaboration through the firewall using standard infrastructure techniques to enable documents to be securely reviewed anytime from anywhere.

Can PleaseReview be used by different user communities across different business platforms?

Yes, PleaseReview is browser based and therefore may be used by different user communities (using different systems) to collaborate on a review.  

If used within a large organization, PleaseReview may be configured differently for different business communities. For example, the comment categories available for the review of proposals can be completely different to the categories presented for the review of engineering documents.

Is it possible to have passwords for opening documents?

In order to access a document you have to have a password to log into the PleaseReview system and then be invited to review a specific document.

Installing PleaseReview

For the cloud solution, can documents be saved in an online file sharing service or only on the PleaseTech server?

For security reasons, all documents must be stored on PleaseTech's servers.

Does your product have the ability to be installed locally on our servers?  We wouldn't like to use a cloud service because of confidentiality issues.

PleaseReview is available either as a hosted cloud solution or for on premise installation within the organization.  In fact, the majority of our clients have installed PleaseReview internally on their own servers.

Is PleaseReview available on a subscription service?

Yes, we offer a range of licenses including renewable term licenses.

How user friendly is the interface - what training is involved?

Minimal training is required to use PleaseReview - the user interface is extremely intuitive.  Don't just take our word for it, see what our customers say.  Or take a look at our product tours.

When implementing PleaseReview, there was virtually no set up except knowing who was going to be set up on the system, and the training was easy because PleaseReview is really intuitive for people to use.”  Peggy Berry, Vice President and Head of Quality & Regulatory Affairs - Amarin Corporation| life sciences

Our users are very satisfied with the system and find it very easy to use and clear in its instructions. We are also extremely satisfied with the helpdesk support which delivers efficient and quick day to day service.”  Karen Olsen, Global strategic publications planning manager -Ferring International Center | pharmaceuticals

PleaseReview has been a great success in our company and our users have been happy with how easy the software is to use. I continue to receive positive feedback from them."  Matt Fitzpatrick, Manager, Regulatory Affairs - Pearl Therapeutics, Inc. | life sciences

Sign me up, what's the cost?

With pricing starting at only US$25 per user per month* and dropping with quantity (minimum user numbers apply), PleaseReview is affordable for organizations of all sizes. 

*Exact costs depend on user roles and license type. Perpetual licenses are also available.

For more detailed information about pricing, please contact us.