SharePoint 2013 - Automatically check-in documents added to SP via Explorer view with "require check-out" enabled

I have a SharePoint 2013 foundations site setup and being used as a file server for a client.  They access it via "explorer view" to keep things as simple as possible since many non-technical people access it.  This setup works great for internal/external access from Windows based devices.  

The problem we are running into is when a user adds a new file or document to sharepoint through the explorer view it does not automatically "check in" the document.  This is expected default behavior because we have "Require Check out" enabled (found under "versioning settings").  We are using the "require check out" feature to stop users from working on the same file at the same time ( a problem they were having with a "cloud" file share service) so we are unable to disable this feature.

I have done some research and see that the issue is because the files that are added require some meta data be added to them the first time they are checked in.  This meta data is added if the user uses internet explorer to access the SP site and manually checks in the documents.  We have discussed forcing the users to add documents via the browser only to fix this problem, but it has made clear that is not an option.

What I am wondering is if we can somehow assign a null value to this "required" meta data so that documents can simply be dragged and dropped into sharepoint through the explorer view and have them checked in/able to be viewed by other users immediately without having to manually check them in.  

A second/add on request from this would be to setup a "power" user in SharePoint that would be able to use a "view" to see all documents not checked in for the first time, then let that user force check-in as a backup to the above posed solutions (should a user figure out a way to break the "fix").
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

ntobinAuthor Commented:
Add on: Could a "Creation workflow" accomplish what we are trying to do?
Rainer JeschorCommented:
imho a workflow would be the only solution to automatically check-in freshly uploaded versions - therefor I would bind the workflow only on inserts (not updates). It has to be a 2013 workflow - the 2010 style workflows will not work - they need a checked-in item.
Problem my arrise when someone uploads a file which already exists because then it is just an update.

And there is a specific application page which allows someone to see all files which are just uploaded but never been checked in - it is accesible through "List" -> "List Settings" -> "Manage files which have no checked in version"

You should be able to create a link to this application page BUT you have to pass the library GUID as parameter.


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
ntobinAuthor Commented:
Thanks!  You have confirmed what I thought.  

Also thanks for the link, I stumbled across that yesterday while working on this.  I used that to "take ownership" of the files then created a view to display files that are checked out to [me], displayed without folders.  This made the task of checking in all these missed docs much easier.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Microsoft SharePoint

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.