I work for a small company, but we have a ton of .dwgs, .pdfs, and office files that we use. We have people that connect in remotely via VPN and dump files on the server, as well as people who work in the office. Sometimes its important for people to know when files were changed, or when files were added to certain folders.
Is there any sort of software that woudl help us with these notifications? I've been researching this, and I'm just not making any headway.
I was sort of hoping for something that didn't involve a whole dedicated server and directory structure to implement. Maybe there is some sort of stand alone package that can be configured to monitor folders and look for changes? I could probably do it with scripting out of a database, but I don't want to spend a year building the thing either.
HyperOffice's document management capabilities would answer your needs. It is a secure online repository of documents, where you can allow permission based access to documents, and users may collaborate on documents with version control/comments/file locking, and you may also set up change notifications. Other features include full text search, desktop web folders, drag and drop etc.
It sounds as if you need quite an advanced software, there's quite a lot of software about which are completely online and probably wouldn't require you to modify it.
If you you're mainly focussing on files rather than discussions/task manager/event manger/pages functionality, It sounds like the Clinked SmartDrive would be better (and cheaper) for you in terms of the requirements that you've mentioned. SmartDrive has the option to be used online, but also has a handy SmartSync desktop program/application. It's all secure and has some great functions such as version history and other collaboration tools which makes it stand out from the other applications.
You can try proofhub (www.proofhub.com), its a web based project management system. In it there is file section and proofing tool that allows to keep track of your files. You will get notification of any changes made in a file or any file being uploaded. I use it myself and it is very user friendly.