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SharePoint Document Management

SharePoint Document Management

SharePoint Folders vs. Metadata

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Folders vs. Metadata is an endless debate in SharePoint world. I published a number of articles on the topic myself. Here are the links to some of them:

I always wanted to create a slide deck to help my loyal blog readers to visualize issues with folders and the benefits of metadata. I finally got few hours to create such a slide deck. You can even download it from SlideShare, if you wish. Enjoy!

 

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SharePoint Document Management

SHAREPOINT DOCUMENT TYPES

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Are you trying to organize your documents in SharePoint and scratching your head as to how to name your docs? Perhaps you have different types of documents, like meeting notes, schedules, budgets, etc.? While you can tag your documents against various properties, like document owner, revision, etc., one of the most common “drop-down” choices is Document Types (as shown in image below).

SharePoint Document Library

 

COMMON SHAREPOINT DOCUMENT TYPES

In case you want to take advantage of this, I summarized all the frequently used SharePoint Document Types in a slide deck below. While every organization is unique and you will have your own document types as well, this list covers most common types of documents. So feel free to download this slide deck and copy and paste the list into your column drop-down choices or Term Store. Enjoy!

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SharePoint Document Management

2 WAYS TO SEARCH FOR FILES IN SHAREPOINT

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One of the great advantages of SharePoint over file shares is its ability to search and find the content you are looking for. Network drives, file shares, DropBox are great if you want to store content. However, how do you find your content (documents)? With this blog post, I would like to explain the available options for searching and finding the documents in SharePoint.

HOW TO SEARCH FOR FILES IN SHAREPOINT

Option 1: Site search box

I am sure you have seen this and I am sure your have used this already. Every site has this search box in the upper right-hand corner, which allows you to surface up content based on what you have typed in.

How to search for files in SharePoint using Site Search Box

  1. Navigate to the Search Box in the upper-right handcorner of your SharePoint Site
  2. Type the text/keyword you are looking for
  3. Hit Enter

Search Box

 

Pros:

  • Works out of the box
  • Searches for keyword typed in in file name, metadata and text inside of the files (Only MS Office and readable PDF files)

Cons:

  • By default, searches in a site + subsites that reside under the site where you typed in the search text. That means that sometimes, depending on keyword typed in, might return too many irrelevant results, as the scope is usually the whole site collection (unless the search has been specifically configured by your SharePoint Administrators)
  • By default, might not return all the relevant results. SharePoint makes an assumption about some of the files and might think they are duplicates of one another – so they won’t even show up in search results. Reference this blog post for more info, courtesy of Mike Smith.
  • By default, searches for all types of content, not just documents. So in other words, the search results will display any content (folders, events, tasks, contacts, whole sites and libraries) that match whatever keyword/term you typed in. So unless the search has been specifically configured by your SharePoint Administrators – the search results might be a bit overwhelming for end users. See an image below for what I mean… You also might want to check out related blog post “SharePoint Document Library – one or many?” to see what I mean.

search results all

Option 2: Document Library Search Box (my favorite)

Despite its presence for quite some time (the feature became available in SharePoint 2013), not many users know about it or get to use it. Every Document Library in SharePoint 2013 has a search box located just above the documents themselves. The beauty about this search box is that it allows you to search for documents just within the specific document library.

How to search files in SharePoint using Library Search Box

  1. Navigate to the root of the Document Library
  2. You will notice a search window present in the header portion of the document library (to the right of where all the views are
  3. Type the text/keyword you are looking for
  4. Hit Enter

search box library

Pros:

  • Works out of the box
  • Just like the “global” search in Option 1, the document library search box surfaces up content based on file name, metadata, and text inside the files themselves
  • More precise search results. Since you are searching within specific document library, you will only get results that are documents and not other junk (sorry, I meant content) located on your site

Cons:

  • If you have documents located in multiple libraries/sites, this option won’t help much. You will need to search separately in those document libraries or rely on Global search listed in Option 1.

Bonus: Wildcard Search

Another cool search feature you can use with both Options 1 & 2 is wild card search. That is when you don’t know exact keywords, only a portion of the text you are looking for (i.e. first few letters). In the example below, I am searching for the same keyword I searched for above (vehicle), except now I am searching based on first few letters. As you can see, I am getting same results!

wildcard-search

For wildcard to work in SharePoint…

  • You have to start with the first few letter of the word. In other words, in a word “vehicle”, you can’t search for text “ehic“, it has to be “veh
  • The wildcard character in SharePoint is “*“. You have to put the asterisk (wildcard character) afterthe first few letters, not before. For example, veh*, not *veh
  • You can use SharePoint wildcard search with both Options (global search and library-level search)
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SharePoint Document Management

SEARCH FOR DOCUMENTS IN A DOCUMENT LIBRARY USING METADATA NAVIGATION

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Before we proceed, I want to mention that this filtering mechanism (official name in SharePoint for this is Metadata Navigation) really only makes sense if you configure your library with custom metadata/columns. If you don’t have custom metadata setup, the only filters you will have are the ones that exist by default in any library (Modified, Modified By, etc.).

Metadata Navigation is a feature in SharePoint that allows users to dynamically filter and find content in SharePoint lists and document libraries.

Step 1. Configure your metadata, upload documents

I will assume that you already know how to do this. If you don’t – you might want to check out this slide deck for step-by-step instructions.

Step 2: Activate Metadata Navigation feature

Not sure why it is setup that way, but the cool looking filter (also known as Metadata Navigation) is not something that is activated out of the box. You have to enable the feature at the site level first. For this, you need to be a Site Admin (or have Full Control permission to the site).

  1. Go to Site Settings > Manage Site Features.
  2. Scroll down to Metadata Navigation and Filtering and click Activate button.

1

Step 3: Configure Metadata Navigation Settings

Once the Metadata Navigation is activated, you can now setup filters at the library level

  1. Go to the library where you want to add the filters
  2. Go to Library Settings tab – you will now see an option called Metadata Navigation settings. That option did not exist previously (it only appears after you activate that Metadata Navigationfeature above)2
  3. On the next screen you can configure your filters. You have full control over which filters to display and in which order. The filter list on the left side contains all of metadata filters available to you (both out of the box + custom metadata you created yourself).metadata filters
  4. Click OK

You are done – enjoy your search! Now use can search your library based on a combination of metadata filters. Just choose your choices on the left, click Apply filter and your library will adjust results accordingly.

BONUS

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SharePoint Document Management

SHAREPOINT DOCUMENT LIBRARY – ONE OR MANY?

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Shall I put all my documents in one library or multiple libraries? This is the question that always comes up when it is time to create the sites and migrate your documents from file shares / network drives to SharePoint. With this post I hope to answer that question and explain pros and cons of single vs. multiple document libraries concept.

SHAREPOINT DOCUMENT LIBRARY – ONE OR MANY?

To start off, if you are moving from network drives / folder structures to SharePoint, you will never want to put all of your files and folders in one big SharePoint document library. As I stated numerous times in my previous blog posts, the best practice is to break up that content and place it into different sites, depending on the business function/intent and unique security of the site. For example, all the HR documents will go to HR site, all Finance documents to Finance site, all Project documents to Project/Team Site and so on.

Assuming you did this, here is a next dilemma you might face. Say, each of your Departments has its own set of policies/forms/ templates they use. And you want all of these policies to be available in one spot. How do you deal with this? Well, there are 2 options available to you. Let me explain both.

Option 1: Each Department stores their policies, forms or templates on their respective sites

The obvious option would be to let each department manage and store their own policies, forms or templates. However, by doing so, you are making the task of aggregating these various documents in 1 place a very complicated one. Yes, it is possible to roll up the documents from multiple libraries and sites into single site/location, however, not something that can be done straight out of the box – it does require you to use advanced SharePoint Web Parts like CQWP (Content Query Web Part or CSWP (Content Search Web Part) and you need above an average Power User /Administrator knowledge of SharePoint to achieve this. And the rolled up content will look like this…

CSWP Search Results

To put in simple terms, there is no Out of the Box way to roll up content from multiple document libraries into another document library.

Moreover, because of the decentralized nature of this (every department is on their own), you might not have a good mechanism or governance to standardize on naming conventions, metadata tagging of those policies.

Option 2: All departments store their policies in one library / site

The second option would be to provision 1 site dedicated to Policies. On that site, you can create a single document library, configure metadata with properties that are relevant to Policies. Examples of such metadata would be:

  • Policy Owner (example: list of Departments like Accounting, HR, IT)
  • Policy Audience (example: Department names, types of employees like Full-time, Part-Time, Contractor)
  • Policy Type (example: policy, guideline, procedure)
  • Policy Status (example: draft, approved)
  • Policy Expiration Date

Here is an example of what such library might look like when all is set and done

Document Library Metadata Navigation

All you need to make sure is that policy owners from each respective Department have Contribute Access to this site/library and are properly trained on the new business process.

I ALWAYS ADVOCATE OPTION # 2 TO MY CLIENTS. HERE IS WHY:

  1. It is all about End Users! When you have all your policies in a single document library – you are making it super-convenient for your end users (Content Consumers) to find stuff. All they have to do is navigate to the site or library and it is all there for them. When you have content spread out in multiple sites, you are making it easier for content owners, but not content consumers. If you were an End User, would you prefer going to 1 place to find all your company policies or multiple? It is like one-stop-shop!
  2. Standard categorization. Since all of the files are in single document library and not spread over multiple site/document libraries, it is much easier to come up with uniform categorization (metadata) for all the policies. And there is only one document library that you need to setup, not many!
  3. Advanced filtering criteria. Since all polices are organized in single document library and you did your homework with metadata, finding stuff based on metadata is super easy! You can use various view, filters to group, sort your policies any way you want. Or you can enable metadata navigation to provide user with nice-looking filter to search for documents. You just won’t get the same nice look and feel and interface when you are rolling up content from multiple sites.
  4. No need to roll up content or write complicated search queries. If you have your policies on multiple sites and libraries, I hope you are an advanced power user or SharePoint Administrator with intimate knowledge of how search works and ability to write queries using CSWP web part.

With that being said, there are obviously situations when you cannot and should not put all your documents in one library. Project files are a good example. Project files will sit in each and separate project or team site and in case you want to roll up or aggregate documents from multiple project sites – you will be forced to use search queries mentioned above. However, for certain types of content, just like the one mentioned above, just by making slight changes in your business process, you can easily standardize on your documents, easily create nice search experience for your end users (content consumers) and alleviate yourself from major effort and overhead associated with writing queries and setting up custom searches in SharePoint.

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SharePoint Document Management

How not to copy files in SharePoint

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I usually advocate for many wonderful features of SharePoint to be used as much as possible, but today I would like to explain the feature which I would not want you to use. I had few clients inquire about best ways to copy files in SharePoint between sites and libraries. In particular, about the feature called “Send To” or “Copy”.

COPY FILES IN SHAREPOINT USING “SEND TO” COMMAND

There is a feature accessible via SharePoint File ribbon and it is called “Send To” or “Copy”.

Send To 1

In theory, the intent is great. The functionality allows you to copy file from one library to another and establish a link, so an update in source document library will update the file in the destination document library. I am sure you can see a number of business scenarios where this could be required. For example, HR could develop a number of company policies on the internal HR site, work through multiple changes and revisions, but only publish the official version to HR Employee site.

SOUNDS GREAT IN THEORY, BUT NOT AS USEFUL IN PRACTICE. LET ME EXPLAIN…

  1. Feature is not user-friendly at all. You have to insert the path of the destination library. You can’t browse and your URL has to be a root of the library, not a particular view – otherwise it will error outSend To 2
  2. The file update does not occur automatically. Should you change the file in source library, users have to manually force the updates to destination library. This means extra things and steps for user they won’t rememberManage copiesManage copies-update
  3. Only works on 1 file at a time. You can only copy 1 file at a time, which is waste of time if you need to copy/send a few.
  4. Feature is useless if destination library has custom metadata. In case if you use custom metadata in destination library to tag the file, you cannot assign it from the same menu when you send/copy the file over. That means you have to go to destination library anyway to assign metadata after file ends up there.
  5. Can’t send/copy folders – just individual files

Based on the above, I do not recommend that you use the Send To/Copy functionality. While great in theory, in practice it is not user-friendly and really does not add much value. You will be much better off educating your users on the manual process of uploading files in both libraries/sites. If you do decide to implement this for whatever reason, it is a sure way to kill SharePoint User Adoption.

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SharePoint Document Management

SHAREPOINT SYNC ISSUES? STOP SYNCING SHAREPOINT DOCUMENT LIBRARIES!

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UPDATE (May 24, 2017): Below post describes sync issues with the old sync client for SharePoint Document libraries. Since then, Microsoft has released a new OneDrive for Business sync clientwhich is very stable and resolves all of the sync issues described in this post. To take advantage of the new sync client and to learn more about it – please reference this follow-up post.

******************

In my blog posts, I usually encourage and educate my audience about SharePoint and Office 365 features. Today, I want to warn my readers about a feature they should stay away from (at least for now). The feature is SharePoint Document Library sync via OneDrive for Business sync client. Back in November 2015, I have published a detailed post on how to sync the document library to your desktop. If you notice, that original post has a bigger “problems” section than “how to” instructions section. And there is a reason for that.

SHAREPOINT SYNC ISSUES – WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

There are a number of issues with SharePoint-OneDrive sync, as outlined in the second half of the post here, but the biggest problem with SharePoint Sync is that you end up with lost files and/or conflicting changes that will force you to loose whatever updates you made to the files. Just in the last week, I had 3 clients reach out to me and complaining about the issue. And asking me to assist. Unfortunately, there is nothing that could be fixed here – that is the way that OneDrive Sync Client currently works (or doesn’t work).

AM I THE ONLY ONE DEALING WITH SHAREPOINT SYNC ISSUES?

You are not alone. If you google the topic, you will end up with lots of pages/forums about other people having same issues. Moreover, some prominent SharePoint consultants are talking about this as well. Check out this blog post by Jasper Oosterveld, SharePoint Consultant, and Microsoft MVP.

HOW TO DEAL WITH SHAREPOINT SYNC ISSUES?

Stop using it. I know, not the answer you are looking for, but until Microsoft fixes the OneDrive for Business sync Client, the best way to avoid issues would be not to use the sync feature of a SharePoint Document Library.

HOW TO DISABLE SHAREPOINT SYNC?

If you made a company-wide decision not to utilize OneDrive for Business Sync client, you can disable the sync feature, thus preventing your users from encountering the issue in the first place. There are 2 ways to disable sync: at the library level and at the site level.

How to disable SharePoint sync for a document library

If you are looking to disable SharePoint sync for a specific library, please follow these instructions.

  1. Once at the root of a library, go to Library Settings > Advanced Settings. You obviously need to be Site Administrator to do this.libraryadvancedsettings
  2. Scroll down to the middle of the screen and in the Offline Client Availability section, under Allow items from this document library to be downloaded to offline clients?, choose Noradio button (default is Yes).offlineclient
  3. Click OK

How to disable SharePoint sync for the whole SharePoint site

The above method disables SharePoint sync at the particular library where you changed settings. That means that if you have several document libraries on your site, you will need to do repeat the above step for all of them. However, you can also disable sync for the whole Site using instructions below. To do that:

  1. Go to Site Settings > Search and Offline availability (under Search section). You need to be Site Administrator to do this.
  2. In the Offline Client Availability section, under Allow items from this site to be downloaded to offline clients?, choose No radio button (default is Yes).offlineclientsite
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SharePoint Document Management

SharePoint Sync Issues? Stop syncing SharePoint Document Libraries!

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UPDATE (May 24, 2017): Below post describes sync issues with the old sync client for SharePoint Document libraries. Since then, Microsoft has released a new OneDrive for Business sync clientwhich is very stable and resolves all of the sync issues described in this post. To take advantage of the new sync client and to learn more about it – please reference this follow-up post.

******************

In my blog posts, I usually encourage and educate my audience about SharePoint and Office 365 features. Today, I want to warn my readers about a feature they should stay away from (at least for now). The feature is SharePoint Document Library sync via OneDrive for Business sync client. Back in November 2015, I have published a detailed post on how to sync the document library to your desktop. If you notice, that original post has a bigger “problems” section than “how to” instructions section. And there is a reason for that.

SHAREPOINT SYNC ISSUES – WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

There are a number of issues with SharePoint-OneDrive sync, as outlined in the second half of the post here, but the biggest problem with SharePoint Sync is that you end up with lost files and/or conflicting changes that will force you to loose whatever updates you made to the files. Just in the last week, I had 3 clients reach out to me and complaining about the issue. And asking me to assist. Unfortunately, there is nothing that could be fixed here – that is the way that OneDrive Sync Client currently works (or doesn’t work).

AM I THE ONLY ONE DEALING WITH SHAREPOINT SYNC ISSUES?

You are not alone. If you google the topic, you will end up with lots of pages/forums about other people having same issues. Moreover, some prominent SharePoint consultants are talking about this as well. Check out this blog post by Jasper Oosterveld, SharePoint Consultant, and Microsoft MVP.

HOW TO DEAL WITH SHAREPOINT SYNC ISSUES?

Stop using it. I know, not the answer you are looking for, but until Microsoft fixes the OneDrive for Business sync Client, the best way to avoid issues would be not to use the sync feature of a SharePoint Document Library.

HOW TO DISABLE SHAREPOINT SYNC?

If you made a company-wide decision not to utilize OneDrive for Business Sync client, you can disable the sync feature, thus preventing your users from encountering the issue in the first place. There are 2 ways to disable sync: at the library level and at the site level.

How to disable SharePoint sync for a document library

If you are looking to disable SharePoint sync for a specific library, please follow these instructions.

  1. Once at the root of a library, go to Library Settings > Advanced Settings. You obviously need to be Site Administrator to do this.libraryadvancedsettings
  2. Scroll down to the middle of the screen and in the Offline Client Availability section, under Allow items from this document library to be downloaded to offline clients?, choose Noradio button (default is Yes).offlineclient
  3. Click OK

How to disable SharePoint sync for the whole SharePoint site

The above method disables SharePoint sync at the particular library where you changed settings. That means that if you have several document libraries on your site, you will need to do repeat the above step for all of them. However, you can also disable sync for the whole Site using instructions below. To do that:

  1. Go to Site Settings > Search and Offline availability (under Search section). You need to be Site Administrator to do this.
  2. In the Offline Client Availability section, under Allow items from this site to be downloaded to offline clients?, choose No radio button (default is Yes).offlineclientsite
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HOW TO IMPLEMENT DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN SHAREPOINT USING CONTENT TYPES

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I have written a number of posts already on how SharePoint is a perfect tool to store and manage documents. With today’s post, I would like to explain to you, my loyal blog reader, how to build a simple, but versatile Document Management System in SharePoint (also known as SharePoint DMS).

WHAT IS A DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN SHAREPOINT?

Let me first explain what I mean by SharePoint Document Management System. I don’t mean that you would recreate your file share/network drives folder structure  and migrate 50 GB of documents into 1 document library. First, you can do this without this post. Second, dumping all files and folders into a single document library and essentially recreating the mess you currently have is not considered a wise SharePoint strategy.

What I mean by Document Management System in SharePoint is metadata based document library where users can upload and tag documents, search based on keywords and tags and not worry whether they are accessing a duplicate or latest version of the file.

Below is a quick preview of what we are going to build

WHAT DO WE NEED TO BUILD A DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN SHAREPOINT?

Below is SharePoint functionality and SharePoint features we will be using in this blog post to build SharePoint DMS:

  1. SharePoint Metadata (to tag our documents)
  2. SharePoint Content Types (to categorize different types of documents)
  3. Metadata Navigation (to help users find the documents)

Step 1: Determine the types of documents you want to store in your SharePoint DMS

As I indicated in previous posts, it is not a good idea to dump all your company files into one SharePoint Document Library. The major objective of SharePoint DMS is to organize documents that are somewhat related and share same security/permissions. An example of such SharePoint DMS would be you storing various financial documents like:

  • Invoices
  • Purchase Orders
  • Quotes
  • Estimates
  • Receipts

If you are thinking of storing documents that belong to different departments, have different audiences, permissions/security, you do not want to store them in the same document library/DMS. Instead, you want to split them up into multiple sites/libraries. Check out this post for more info.

Step 2: Define different types (categories) of documents you want to store

So for the purposes of this post and example, let’s create a SharePoint Document Management System to store financial documents mentioned above.So let’s assume we are going to build a SharePoint DMS to store the following categories of documents:

  • Purchase Orders
  • Invoices
  • Receipts

Step 3: Define metadata for each of the categories above

It is very likely that each of the categories above will have its own, unique metadata. For example, you might want to tag all Purchase Orders against PO#, Vendor Name, PO Date. Invoices might be tagged against Invoice #, Client Name, Date Received, Date Paid. Lastly, Receipts might be tagged against Vendor Name, Receipt Date, Description, Employee Name. So it might look like something like this:

Purchase Order

  • PO #
  • Vendor
  • PO Date

Invoice

  • Invoice #
  • Client
  • Date Received
  • Date Paid

Receipt

  • Vendor
  • Receipt Date
  • Description
  • Employee

Step 4: For each metadata property, define the type of that property/column

For example, free text field, choice/drop-down, date. We will need that when we create our columns in next step

Step 5: Create your metadata columns

In case you are not familiar with how to create metadata in SharePoint, you might want to check out some detailed instructions here. I will do one example below and you can repeat the procedure for all the other metadata/columns you have.

How to create Metadata Column in SharePoint:

  1. You can create your column at library level, but it is always considered best practice to create columns at the Site Level. This way, you can reuse your columns in other sites and libraries. In our case, having our metadata columns built at a Site level, will also allow us to create global content types down the road.
  2. To create a Site Level column, go to Site Gear Icon > Site Settings > Site Columns (under Web Designer Galleries) > Createsitecolumns1
  3. Create your metadata column according to the information we gathered in Step 3. For example, I will create Vendor Column, which will be a drop-down choice of all vendor namessitecolumns2
  4. Repeat above steps for all columns you have identified.

Step 6: Create Content Types

If you are not sure what the content type is, I suggest you reference this blog post. With this step, we will create content types defined in Step 2 and associate corresponding metadata defined in Step 3.

How to create SharePoint Content Types:

  1. Go to the root of the Site Collection (or same site where you created all your site columns in Step 5).
  2. Site Settings > Site Content typesContentTypes1
  3. Click on Create linkContentTypes2
  4. On the next screen – this is where we define the name and characteristics of our future Content Type. Fill in the name of the first Content Type from Step 3 (i.e. Purchase Order). In the middle of the page, in the 2 drop-downs, choose Document Content Types and Document respectively. Essentially by this we are telling SharePoint that we will be using our Content Types in a Document Library to manage Documents. At the bottom of the screen, in the Group section, choose the grouping for your Content Types (just like with Site Columns, you can use Custom group or create your own). Click OK buttonContentTypes3
  5. You will now be presented with the next screen that looks like the one below. This is where we associate our newly created Content Type (category) with corresponding custom metadata (columns). There are many other things we can do with customization of the content types, but for the purposes of this post, we will just focus on associating site columns. To do that, click on Add from existing Site Columns. If you notice, by default we have Title Column. We will now add the ones we created.ContentTypes4
  6. You will now be presented with a screen you see below. Under Select columns from drop-down, choose the group you used to organize all your site columns (i.e. Custom Columns). This will filter and only show you corresponding site columns from that group. Choose the site columns associated with the particular Content Type from Available Columns and using Add> Button, add them to the right side of the selection screen. In our case, these columns are PO #, Vendor and PO Date. Click OK at the bottom of the screen.ContentTypes5
  7. Your result should look like the page below, where the Content Type now includes the corresponding custom columnsContentTypes6
  8. So we are done with first content type. Repeat the above 7 steps for all the remaining content types

Step 7: Create a document Library on the site where your SharePoint DMS will reside

I trust that you know how to create a new site and add a Document Library to it. Do not use default document library (there are reasons for it which I will document in later posts).

Step 8: Prepare your document library for custom content types and custom metadata

Before we do the magic and add our site content types to it, we need to prepare our Document Library for “metadata”. Essentially we will need to tweak few advanced settings before we do the rest.

  1. Go to Library Tab > Library Settings to access all “administrative” functions of a document libraryLibrarySettings1
  2. Choose Advanced SettingsLibrarySettings2
  3. Under Allow management of content types? choose “Yes” radio button. This will allow us to add our custom site content types to our document libraryLibrarySettings3
  4. Scroll to the middle of the screen. Under Make “New Folder” command available?, choose NoRadio button. I like to disable folder creation for users anytime library uses metadata. You really do not want to mix the 2 together.LibrarySettings4
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click OK button
  6. From the Library Settings page again, click on Versioning SettingsLibrarySettings5
  7. Make sure Create major versions option is chosen (it usually is, but just to make sure)LibrarySettings6

Step 9: Add custom content types to the document library

OK, now we are into some exciting stuff. We are now ready to add out custom content types from Step 6 to our document library. To do this:

  1. Scroll down to the middle of the Library Settings Page. In there you will see a section called Content Type. This is a section that appears in a document library once we enabled content types in previous step. By default it shows a single, default Content Type called Document. We eventually will remove it. Bit for now let’s add our custom content types. Click on Add from existing site content typesConfigureDocumentLibrary1
  2. On the next screen, choose custom content types you created. Just like with site columns, select the grouping you used to organize your Content Types from the drop-down. Then choose the custom content types and click Add> button to push them to the right side of the selection screen. Click OKConfigureDocumentLibrary2
  3. Your middle section of the page will look like this, with custom content types added next to the default document type (Document)ConfigureDocumentLibrary3
  4. Notice how not only the document types were added, but also all corresponding site columns were brought over as well. You can see them in the Columns section at the bottom of the screen. That section also shows you all the columns used and where they are used (which content types). Pretty powerful!ConfigureDocumentLibrary4
  5. Before we forget, let’s go ahead and remove that default content type as we won’t need it in our SharePoint DMS. To do that, click on the Document Content Type from Content Types section (middle of the screen) and click Delete this content type. You will get a warning message. Click OK.ConfigureDocumentLibrary5
  6. Another thing that is optional, but I personally like to do is Hide the Title Field. Title Field is added by default to every content type. Sometimes it means an extra entry for the user. I like to hide it. If you want to hide it, go to the content type, click on the Title ColumnConfigureDocumentLibrary6and choose Hidden radio button. Repeat this step for all the other content typesConfigureDocumentLibrary7

Step 10: Add metadata navigation

We are getting very close to completion of our SharePoint DMS. Just few more steps. One thing I love to see on any SharePoint document library or SharePoint list is Metadata Navigation. This really only makes sense when you use metadata. This allows you to search for files/documents/items in your list or library using the cool-looking filters. I always compare that experience to Amazon.com shopping, where you punch in filters on the left hand-side and results adjust accordingly on the main page. I have actually written a pretty detailed blog post on the topic and already provided detailed instructions on how to set it up. So I am not going to repeat them here. Instead, I recommend that you check out this blog post here and follow instructions as per that post. Once all is set and done, you will end up with something like this below

ConfigureDocumentLibrary8

Step 11: Optimize SharePoint DMS for 5,000 Item limit

I assume you would want to store lots of documents in your SharePoint DMS. In order to be able to do that in SharePoint, you need to optimize your document library accordingly. Once again, I have written a detailed blog post + published a slide deck with instructions on what you need to do. Please follow all of the instructions and take care of indexed columns, views, etc. Otherwise you will run into issues when you go above 5,000 files in your SharePoint DMS.

Step 12: Upload some documents

We are pretty much there. Now, go ahead and upload a document. You will notice that in addition to “regular” metadata properties, you also have a Content Type drop-down. As you toggle through the drop-down, your metadata choices will adjust accordingly. Below images show the difference

Upload1Upload2Upload3

Step 13: Enjoy your Document Management System in SharePoint!

 

That’s it! Once all is set and done, you will end up with a really nice SharePoint DMS and wonderful user experience. Check out this video which shows what you would end up with if you follow all the steps above. Enjoy!

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