Tech Trek Log – 2010.06.07
Did some research about the ability to add metadata into folders of document libraries. This is not a new feature to SharePoint since it was introduced back in 2007 release but as indicated with my previous post about Metadata navigation — this particular option has become more meaningful and has extended it usefulness.
When designing information systems, there are multiple ways of looking into data as many of you may have experienced. This is one of the key things lacking in file systems since once you store something then you’re pretty much locked-in to how users categorize files in the folder. Thus, the old way of doing things results into either the following options:
Renaming folder names as needed
This might be the easiest option but difficult to implement since most likely not all files may pertain to the new naming scheme.
Manually moving files based on the document status or storing content based on a particular phase
How many of us have created draft, final, and archived folders then moved items between these folders as the file transitions from one state into another. Another scenario is storing files in different folders during the various project phases i.e. planning, development, testing, etc.
Duplicating files in each folder
Much worse than the previous example, some would resort into duplicating content among various folders to avoid file moving operations. This is also not ideal since it results into “multiple versions of the truth”. Now, you or others are not better off with the dilemma which particular file is the true copy.
Along came SharePoint and other content management systems (CMS) which enables us to specify metadata about files and folders, thereby, allowing users to create containers with meaningful information.
I won’t illustrate the step-by-step procedure in this blog but I have provided the reference link to a sample implementation below. My intent in this post is to bring attention of re-thinking how you can structure your filing system to minimize duplication and spend time-consuming operations just to convey information about a particular document.
Adding metadata to folders