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Office documents in SharePoint 2010

A question about handling documents in SharePoint 2010.

What i've seen a couple of times now, is that a company introduces SharePoint and just copy their folder structure from Windows explorer to SharePoint document libraries. And that's it. They still have that same web of folders that they used before. User have to click their way into the folder structure to find the document they want to work on.

My guess is, that there must be another way. Is it possible to use Office documents with metatags or document properties, and upload them all to 1 folder. Use document libraries to show just the specific documents that you want.

For example, i've got several document for the sales department. I tag the documents as sales, upload them to some kind of document repository..... Add a document library to the SharePoint Sales site, and confiure the library to just show the documents with the Sales tag.

Or something like this.... Your help will be appreciated.

~ Sven ~
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SvenIA
Asked:
SvenIA
2 Solutions
 
Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE)Microsoft MVP ExcelCommented:
Hello,

absolutely! I am in the middle of a project to move documents from a file share folder structure to SharePoint. We avoid folders in SharePoint and use metadata instead.

If the file share has a structure like

- Customer A
-- 2010
--- invoices
--- reminders
-- 2011
--- invoices
--- reminders
- Customer B
-- 2010
--- invoices
--- reminders
-- 2011
--- invoices
--- reminders

... All these documents will be uploaded into ONE document library, with no sub folders. But it has three columns for Customer, Year and Purpose (or whatever you may call it). The Library can be explored with metadata navigation, because most columns are fed by managed metadata. But even without that service (which is a feature in the Enterprise license only), we can build views with different groupings:

by Customer and Year
by Customer and Purpose
by Year and Customer

and so on.

Whereas in a folder structure I only have ONE place to store a document, the SharePoint library with its metadata columns offers many different ways to arrange and view documents that are all stored in one place. On top of that, the metadata columns can help with refining search results.

That will never be beaten by a folder structure.

SharePoint MVP Michal Pisarek has a very good write-up here: The battle for Metadata in SharePoint 2010

cheers, teylyn
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Rainer JeschorCommented:
Hi,
it first depends on the SharePoint edition. Metadata navigation is part of Server edition - not foundation.
Second it depends a lot on your security/permission requirements. There is no security based on metadata hence if everything is stored in one folder (root folder) you will then have to start with item level permissions if you need different permissions e.g. per customer.
I think the best is a good balanced mixture:
Assign appropriate metadata to all elements in your library and "group" them mainly by permissions.

I have seen so many customers (and so many frustrated SharePoint user) when a file share has simply be moved via Windows Explorer to a SharePoint library - without even using metadata.

On the other hand please be aware about size limitations / query thresholds. It is no good to put thousands of documents into one library because then there is a really good chance to get a threshold warning as soon as you start querying the library.
Therefore a good planning upfront is necessary - better you structure your files in multiple libraries or even sites than running into issues at the end.

Just my 2ct
Rainer
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SvenIAAuthor Commented:
Thanks a lot. This information is most helpfull!
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