Is "no folder" apparoach compatible with external collaborations

Dear Experts

People that master SharePoint argue that folders are problematic and that we should use metadata instead.
But is this compatible with the need for sharing content or more specifically a subgroup of content with external collaborators?

br Anker
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
Your first consideration should be the security boundaries.  Who are the external people? What type of "Sharing"? Read only? Read write?

If you are sharing with externals then I would generally go for either a separate site collection completely or at the very very least a separate Library in your site that you limit them to having access to.
I can't answer your question 100% for you as it is more about opinion, but I can talk from experience.
Despite what it says in the brochures, folders do have a place in SharePoint (Document sets themselves are simply a fancy content type based on folders).

Yes meta data should be the number 1 factor to enable grouping/filtering/searching and refining but I have found there are times when folders are a necessary evil (if you think they are evil) but then this meta data is also shown within folders so you it is not a one way or the other thing.

If you have libraries with a lot of content then you may encounter the max 5,000 items in a view scenario.
A view cannot show (retrieve) more than 5,000 items out of the box. You can raise this limit but this is inadvisable for performance reasons.

One way to get around this is using folders. Yes you can use filtered views (so long as you index the column(s) and your first filter criteria does not return more than 5,000)

Folders can be used to manage security within a library. You can break (and unfortunate term) security inheritance on a folder and apply specific security to it alone.

Folders (like document sets) can also be used to isolate content so you could (using your scenario) show the library in explorer view, right click the relevant folder and then select zip and email to <external collaborator>

In other words, it is horses for courses. Folders are fine if you have a need for them. The thing to avoid is using folders for the sake of them becasue your users are more comfortable with a drill down approach of subfolders like they may be used to in a file share. I have seen document libraries with little or no meta data and the subfolders named in order to describe their contents. That is silly IMHO

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martushaProduct managerCommented:
Folders is nice stuff, if they are used with head. And folders also could have their own metadata (using Folder content type).
QPR wrore very well about it.
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Anker74Author Commented:
Sorry for my late response and thank you for your comments.

The situation I am trying to solve is like this.
Project folder (Shared between internal teammembers)
 - Subfolder1
 - - Content within subfolder1
 - Subfolder 2 (Shared with external collaborator)
 - - Content within subfolder 2

All items related to the project are placed in "Project folder".
Items in "Subfolder 2" needs to be shared (read & write access) with external collaborator.

I am trying to figure out if SharePoint could be our Dropbox replacement, because Dropboc cannot do the above described situation.
Yes you can go to folder permissions for folder 2, break inheritance and add the contractor as having contribute permissions
Anker74Author Commented:
Okey, thanks
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