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Document Management with Etrieve

Etrieve by Softdocs



Etrieve is Pepperdine's document management system, designed to store important and restricted information and internal forms for long-term storage. Etrieve, provided by Softdocs, includes two systems: Content (for Document Storage) and Central (for Forms).



Etrieve Content


What is it?

Etrieve Content is the system to store, organize, find, and modify mission-critical University documents. It is intended for long-term storage and is approved for restricted information (such as Social Security Numbers, credit card numbers, HIPAA-protected data, etc.). Remember, you can't store restricted information on Google Drive, so consider Etrieve Content instead. Learn more about Public, Confidential, and Restricted Information.

Etrieve Content Best Practices

  • Upload documents to the "Area," not to a specific person, cabinet, or folder.
  • When uploading to the "Area," switch to the unfiled section to filter by "Current user" to view only the documents that you have uploaded.
  • Use the "Simple Search" to find criteria in the Tree and use the Advanced Search to find keyfields.

Etrieve Central


What is it?

Etrieve Central is the system for University-wide business forms and approval workflows. It replaces inefficient paper forms and allows Pepperdine departments and schools to gather and track requests from University staff, faculty, and students. Whether for a single request form or a multi-level approval process, Etrieve Central helps to automate and innovate routine business processes. The system is secured behind Pepperdine's Central Authentication Service (CAS).

Etrieve Central Best Practices

  • Find forms that you have started (and have not yet submitted) in the "Drafts" section.
  • Check on the current status of a submitted form in the "Activity" section (select the submitted form and choose "History").
  • Share a form with others by first selecting the form in the "Forms" section and then copying/pasting the form's web address into an email or chat message.

Frequently Asked Questions

  When should I use Etrieve Central, and when should I use Pepperdine eSign for forms?

While both systems can electronically collect forms and approvals, there are unique differences between the platforms. Refer to the details below to help make the right decision.

When to use Etrieve Central forms

  • Sending an internal form to someone within the University. For example, a department or school requires a current student, faculty, or staff member to complete a form or submit a request. Etrieve Central requires recipients to have an active Pepperdine NetworkID account to sign into the system.
  • Collecting restricted information on a request form. Etrieve is approved for restricted information, like Social Security Numbers (SSNs), HIPAA-protected data, and Driver's License numbers. Gathering this type of information is discouraged and should only be done in very rare business cases. Consult with the Information Security Office if you have questions.
  • For forms that don't require legally-binding signatures. Etrieve gathers approvals, is secured by our Pepperdine Central Authentication Service (CAS), and documents who and when submitted or approved each form. It does not gather a formal electronic signature, however, and does not qualify for some legally-binding agreements.

When to use Pepperdine eSign to gather PDF forms

  • Sending a form to an external or outside party. If you are working with an outside vendor, donor, or other external person or organization, Pepperdine eSign can send forms via email to third parties.
  • For forms that require legally-binding signatures. Pepperdine eSign is powered by Adobe Sign and meets the requirements for legally-binding, electronic signatures.
  Can I store restricted information on an unencrypted hard drive or Google Drive? (Spoiler Alert: No!)

Restricted information cannot be stored on any unencrypted computers or electronic devices. Likewise, restricted information cannot be stored on Google Drive, S:/U:/P: drives, or other unapproved cloud or local storage solutions.

Etrieve (both Content and Central) are approved for the storage of restricted information, but consultation with the Information Security Office is recommended to assess the business purpose of your collection of restricted information and the appropriate storage of that information.


See Also


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