Hi, Andreas. As Christian has occasionally hinted on the forum, there are plans for a future generation. But no release date will be promised in advance. “No wine before its time!”
I’m a heavy user of DEVONthink Pro Office for managing many tens of thousands of documents. For me, DEVONthink excels any document management application in allowing me to analyze and access the information content of my document collections. And as a “document manager” it can handle larger collections of documents than any other document manager for the Mac.
Except for relatively simple computations in Sheets, DEVONthink doesn’t “do” numbers. But of course it can hold searchable documents created using Numbers or Excel, that can be used for number-crunching of data within a database. I routinely do that in my databases that are benefited by number-crunching, such as my financial database that also deals with collecting and documenting data for tax-filing purposes.
Unlike some apps such as Evernote that change some document filetypes to a proprietary filetype, DEVONthink retains all documents in their native filetypes. It would, of course, be easier to add user-definable fields to documents via a proprietary filetype, but DEVONthink doesn’t do that – and I consider DEVONthink’s approach a major virtue. I wouldn’t want my Pages or Excel documents, for example, to be transformed into some weird new filetype that could only be opened by DEVONthink.
That means that DEVONthink’s ability to add metadata to documents is “limited” to the kinds of metadata that can be applied to any file, such as Spotlight Comments, or to those that are accepted by some filetypes, such as the Document Properties fields in PDFs or RTFs, text fields and annotations in PDF and of course metadata available for all documents via group organization, tagging, and labels within a database. Content added to a database from the Web will generally include the source URL. Scripts can be devised to change data metadata, or to add a prefix or suffix to Names. User-definable fields are not (yet) available.
But I can still add any kind of metadata I wish to my documents. I do that via creating a rich text document that is hyperlinked to one or more other documents, in which I enter searchable information. This can be very powerful and flexible, as I can add within a note cue strings that define specific kinds of metadata that are then searchable. Suppose I wish to add the source citation to a document that’s an excerpt of another document. I can quickly create an Annotation note (via a convenient keyboard shortcut) that’s automatically linked to the referenced document, and add the citation information (and anything else I wish). As the Name of the Annotation document is the same as that of the referenced document, plus a suffix, if I sort that group by Name, the Annotation will be displayed directly under the Name of the referenced document. Better yet, a link from the referenced document to the Annotation note will be created, so that it will find the Annotation note even if it were filed in a different location in a database. Although only one Annotation note can be assigned to a document, I can reference that document (and/or its Annotation note) from any other rich text note, as well.
I’m sure I will find user-definable metadata fields useful in a future version of DEVONthink. But I’ve got a lot of power to assign searchable metadata in the current version of DEVONthink.