How do I organize my content in SharePoint?

By - June 9, 2015

You have applied the principles of information architecture to your Intranet site. Every type of document has got a well-defined location for it. You would like to achieve the following goals related to your content organization in the site:

  1. All the user documents uploaded get saved in the appropriate location for each document type (Container refers to a particular site/sub-site/document library)
  2. All the scanning and indexing applications save the documents in the appropriate location for each document type
  3. All the external LOB applications integrated with SharePoint for document management save the documents in the appropriate location for each document type

SharePoint has a feature content organizer rules which solves all the problems above. To enable this functionality there are 2 items required:

  1. Activate the feature “Content Organizer” under Site Settings -> Manage Site features
    1. This creates a new document library “Drop Off” in the site
    2. This also enabled 2 more settings “Content Organizer Settings” and “Content Organizer Rules” under Site Settings -> Site Administration
  2. Configure the Content Organizer Settings using the Site Settings -> Site Administration -> Content Organizer Settings. Mostly the configuration items are self-explanatory.
  3. Create the Content Organizer Rules using the Site Settings -> Site Administration -> Content Organizer Rules. The rules are based on the content type and the metadata columns in the content type. For example if the Document Type (Metadata property on the document) is Marketing, Move the document to “Marketing subsite/Marketing Documents” (Document Library “Marketing Documents” under the Marketing subsite)

The new document library “drop off” becomes the central location to drop all the documents. Every source of documents (User uploaded documents, scanning and indexing application, and external LOB applications) are directed to drop their documents in the central drop off library. As soon as the documents get dropped in the central drop off library, Content Organizer rules kick in and start moving the documents as per the rules. For example, if the document type is marketing, the document will be moved to “marketing/marketing documents”.

Content organizer rules help keep your content organized and compliant to the underlying information architecture. This enables the smooth integration between external applications and SharePoint since the external applications do have to drop all their documents in one location and do not depend on the information architecture knowledge.  This also eliminates the human error and ensures the consistency of the documents being saved in the appropriate location.

To find out more about this or other ways that RSM can assist you with your SharePoint needs, contact McGladrey’s technology consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.

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