Folders vs metadata for SharePoint Records Management
Posted on 2011-03-18
We are in the process of planning a Records Management System. Right now, we are using 2007, but we do plan to move to 2010 in early 2012.
My own approach to folders in SharePoint has always been a big NO - don't use them. However, a colleague has brought up a very valid concern. She is in charge of a site where multiple users upload files monthly, and has run into the issue of files being overwritten because of a duplicate file name. If the files were uploaded into segregated folders, it would significantly reduce the chances of overwriting existing files (in her site, at least)..
The area I will be creating will hold very sensitive information about students - this information may be subject to legal requests and so e-discovery is of paramount importance. Since many of the students will have the same type of document attached to them (medical diagnosis letters, psychologists reports) the danger of overwriting is of huge concern.
Initially, my thought was to have the documents uploaded with some required metadata - for instance, each student has a unique student number, so that would be a required field. But as my colleague pointed out, that will not prevent a file called Psych Report for student #001 overwriting Psych Report for student #006. Since multiple users in multiple locations will be uploading files, file naming conventions are unlikely to be followed.
Any help in solving this dilemma would be most appreciated. Thanks for your time.