Tech Trek Log – 2010.01.25
Now that I’ve given some background about CMS taxonomy in the previous blog post, let’s turn our attention to the importance of including metadata in documents. What is metadata?
Metadata is defined as data about data.
Thus, allowing authors to provide descriptive details on what is stored in their documents. Here are benefits of using them in a SharePoint environment:
- Search, having a good metadata standards results into higher relevancy when performing searches
- Sorting, providing the ability to display list items in a specific order
- Filters, allows displaying specific records based on a criteria
- Views, specific to SharePoint this allows drill-down displays for users
The screenshot below displays available metadata to Microsoft Office documents (some variation may occur based on file type and version used):
These can be modified by opening the document and clicking (File) Office button … Prepare … Properties option for Office 2007 applications. As indicated, these are the basic information that should be filled out in any documents to achieve better search results:
- Content created [automatically updated]
- Data last saved [automatically updated]
Samples of document properties that can be included for Content Management Systems (CMS) in corporate environments are:
- Content Type
- Geographic Area/Location
- Document Status
Defining additional metadata in SharePoint sites is as easy as creating site columns. These properties can be populated when documents are uploaded into libraries which are quite handy for sorting items, specifying filters, and creating views.
As you can see, advocating use of metadata can alleviate the time spent in searching documents, thereby, promoting usage of the system by making the information more accessible. Similar to why WordPress or blog providers implement tags and categories with the purpose of making it easier to categorize information for the numerous blog postings available on the web.