Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Understanding Record Management Feature Part 1 - Document Information Panel

Hi All,

We are going to start a series of record management feature in MOSS. This series will include many topics that cover in records management. Starting from what is the record management to understanding of all its features one by one.

Read out Understanding Record Management Feature Part 2 - Labeling to continue our record management understanding.

Understanding Record Management Feature Part 3 - Barcode

Understanding Record Management Feature Part 4 –Expiration Policy

Understanding Record Management Feature Part 5 – Auditing

To start with the record management feature.

Many organizations and business have need to maintain their momentum of work in nice and in a perfect way. Work may include maintaining of documents, items, their repository. When we talk about documents, we should think in a bigger picture. Documents are not only stored, but they are actually shared and collaborated. Sharing means many other people can view it, and collaborate means people work on it, updates it, take an action on it, publishes it, needs meta data (who created it, when created it, who modified it, when modified it), give comments on it, approves it, makes the versions of it, compares them, expire based on policy defined and many more. This is where MOSS comes in to the picture. All these functionalities are built-in given. so why not to explore them. Even if it is thought in a bigger manner it is even more than that.

When data stored in list or items stored in document library is actually used in the business then we can say that those data and items are being used by the business. Its not only about storing them, its about using them also.

Let's start with feature called Document Information Panel.

Document Information panel name itself suggest something about having panel where you find the information related to something. Yes you are right. In organization when you work with documents, its not only about working with documents as i mentioned earlier also. Each documents stands for something either they are of business policies or they are of any project specific. Anyhow they will stand for purpose. When documents are created, there are certain things that needs to be captured like who created that and that document got created. Same way who modified it and when it got modified. Along with that there must be certain more properties that needs to be filled for the document.

Let's take a simple example. Example may not suits the best need but will surely clear the picture.Assume that we have created one document library for projects running in the company. Every department has rights on the document library on that site on the server. There are many projects running in that organization across the teams. Every team has to work on documents and upload in the same document library. So what we need is certain data that identifies that for which project and for which team this document is uploaded. so we will create the two columns for that document library and we will add one more field that when that document should be reviewed. let's take one more column indicating the Title of the document. lets keep all fields mendatory.

As you might have got the idea that we are gathering information about that document. so that while viewing the documents we can come to know the clear idea about whose document it is and belongs to which team.

Ok, let's start the example by taking steps.

Step 1 : Create a Document Library. Call it "Projects Documents".

Step 2 : Go ahead and create the column. Call it "Project Title". keep it a Drop down box and keep it required too. Place your projects titles there in the dropdown list.

Step 3: Go ahead and create one more column. Call it "Team Title". Keep it a drop down box and keep it required too. Place your projects titles there in the dropdown list.

Step 4 : Go Ahead and create one more column. Call it "To Be Reviewed Date" and keep it required too.

Now as you have all columns set, all you need to so is just create a document. You write down the content and you will be asked to enter the required columns as a metadata properties for the documents that you are creating. The snap that you can see below shows the Document Information Panel. You have to fill in those properties and save the document.

Step 5 : Observe that these information is now available as metadata in the document library as well.

Step 6 : Just to check, open the same document again. if you are not able to see the properties of that document, go to Menu->Prepare->Properties if you are using Office 2007 and then metadata will be available as it is. It is File -> Properties in Office 2003.

This feature may not stand best when we talk about bulk upload but yes feature itself stands for good user experience and usability purpose. As we have worked with the MS Word, same you can use it with MS Excel and Powerpoint also.

That's it for this feature. we will explore more in coming features.

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