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SharePoint Lesson #21: Metadata vs. Folders

A few examples showing that you have a lot more options for file storage with metadata. Folders and subfolders often limit the use of document libraries significantly.
by

Peter Heffner

on 26 August 2013

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Transcript of SharePoint Lesson #21: Metadata vs. Folders

The usual way...
Initial Situation
There are various documents from different departments. For better search results the documents should be grouped by categories.
At a first glance this is an easy task and can be resolved with a couple of folders.

What if more requirements come along?
Each document has an owner, who wants to see only "his" documents
Old documents should not be deleted
The user should only see the newest version of a document
. . .
Let's assume there are documents of "IT", "Office" and "Travel".
Usually folders are created to store the relevant documents.
How to display only the documents of a specific owner?
Where are the archived documents?
The Document Library
The documents are uploaded and the list will become more and more confusing as the number of documents increases.
gibt
Let's add another Choice-field named "Category" and use the folder names in the selection list.
MetaData
In the same way documents would be stored in a folder, the corresponding category is assigned. It is getting better now. You can even sort by category!
But it gets even better...
Views
Views are filtered lists to display only specific items. In this case a view named "Office" is created. Only the documents where category equals "Office" are displayed.
A separate View for each Category
In a first step the required Views are created. In a second step a new web page is created to hold these Views.
New WebPart Pages
The document library is added and the desired View is selected in the properties.
In the same way the same document library is added and the two remaining Views are selected.
So far, so good...
2 person take care of the documents. Each one only wants to see his/her own documents he/she is responsible for.
We add another field named "Contact" and add the name of the corresponding contact person:
Other Views
...are needed. Each contact person gets a separate View. The Views are added to a new WebPage.
This is exactly the same procedure as with the categories above.
The final WebPage
3 times the document library, each time with another View.
Documents & Contact Person
Even more?
Documents are updated over the time.
On one hand
only the current documents
should be displayed, on the other hand,
outdated documents
should not be deleted, but

archived.
Again a new field named "Archive" with the option "Yes/No" is added.
The filters are expanded by the criteria "Archive Yes/No":
And now with an Archive!
Note:
There is a field labeled [Name], which is the file name and another field labeled [Title]. The title is a free text field if the file name is sort of cryptic.
In this example there is a new Travel Policy (Version 2). The file names are different, but the titles are the same. The old version (1) is marked with "Archive = Yes".
And now with Archive!
For a better understanding the Page View:
With the new document.
Only archived documents are displayed.
Summary
Add more properties to a documents (or another object)
Documents can be searched and organised by this additional data
1 Source - many ways to display the documents
Expandable with additional MetaData and Views at any time
Secure management, all documents and information is stored in one single place
Individual display of data depending on the requirements

The use of MetaData vs. Folders has many advantages. Folders and sub-folders are limited due to the one-dimensional use. We can achieve much more functionality with MetaData.
http://peterheffner.de/SPTuT.htm
Please find here an overview of all existing presentations:
If you found the presentation useful, I would highly appreciate a "Like" and a recommendation :)
http://goo.gl/p0aDi
http://goo.gl/Na2pF
Each Contact Person can display their own documents on "their" WebPage.
Now...
The user only sees the document named "Travel Policy", but the document has been updated.
Full transcript