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Update: Document Sets in Modern Document Libraries

Lincoln DeMaris
Microsoft

I am pleased to announce some updates on the plan and timeline for improving the Document Set experience in modern document libraries.

 

In January, we communicated a March delivery date for these improvements.  We apologize for missing that date.  We’re now planning on rolling out this change in May.  We will be making the official announcement to the Message Center very soon with exact dates.  Thank you all for your patience!

 

This change allows organizations to use the power of document sets to group related documents together with consistent metadata and structure without having to go back and forth between classic and modern experiences.  

 

DocSet2.gif

Document sets now look and feel like ordinary folders in modern libraries, and benefit from all the cool new features in modern.  This means that users can drag and drop content to upload to document sets, link to content that lives outside the document set, pin files to the top of the document set, start flows on document set items, and define conditional formatting on document set items.  It also means that the Document Set experience can be customized using SharePoint Framework Extensions, just like all other modern list views.

 

All the content management rules you can define on document set content types are still supported.  No business processes were harmed in the making of this change!  Document set metadata can be viewed and edited in the details pane while in a document set.  Shared metadata specified in a document set content type continues to work as it always has; values inside shared columns will be copied to items inside the document set.  Columns that are identified as Welcome page columns in the content type are sorted to the top of the details pane, so that users can find them easily.  Content and structure rules specified in the document set content type are also supported, including the default content and default view settings.

 

Document set versioning functionality will appear under the context menu on document set items in the modern list view, include “Capture Version” and “Version History.”  Other document set-specific actions from the Document Set ribbon are still there, but only in classic.  Just like any other modern list view page, you can click “Return to classic SharePoint” in the lower left hand corner to go back the classic document set experience back.

 

The one caveat is that customized document set welcome pages are not supported in modern.  This change will not affect document sets that use welcome pages that have been configured with custom HTML or web parts; those welcome pages will still be displayed in classic mode, as they are today. 

 

93 Replies

 

@Lincoln DeMaris 

Excellent , will be happy to see this in production for end users!


@Lincoln DeMaris wrote:

 

 


 

Looking forward to seeing this in production. This will be very beneficial to folks already utilizing document sets in classic mode

@Lincoln DeMaris  Thanks for the update. I was just about to roll out document sets to our team but waited so not to put the users through a double change! 

 

One of  features I really liked about document sets was that each project could have a mini home page. I could then use WebParts to query certain pieces of information and display them on the welcome page. Almost like a synopsis of the project all in one place.  Looking at the move away from Welcome Pages is there a way I can do this within the modern view with web parts that pull documents up using web parts?  

 

So if a document set is clicked through the normal folder navigation it shows the folder list, the options panel and then a couple of Web Parts with details related just to that document set?

 

Rather than managing knowledge by copying 'Case Studies' or 'Purchase Orders' from one folder to another we keep everything in one place so not to duplicate content and make sure that the latest file/folder is being accessed.

 

Could this be achieved with views?The image demonstrates where I was going before I realised that modern was on its way! 

 

p.s Please update us as regular as you can as I have a large team waiting for this change . 

@Lincoln DeMaris  Thanks for the update. I was just about to roll out document sets to our team but waited so not to put the users through a double change! 

 

One of  features I really liked about document sets was that each project could have a mini home page. I could then use WebParts to query certain pieces of information and display them on the welcome page. Almost like a synopsis of the project all in one place.  Looking at the move away from Welcome Pages is there a way I can do this within the modern view with web parts that pull documents up using web parts?  

 

So if a document set is clicked through the normal folder navigation it shows the folder list, the options panel and then a couple of Web Parts with details related just to that document set?

 

Rather than managing knowledge by copying 'Case Studies' or 'Purchase Orders' from one folder to another we keep everything in one place so not to duplicate content and make sure that the latest file/folder is being accessed.

 

Could this be achieved with views?The image demonstrates where I was going before I realised that modern was on its way! 

 

p.s Please update us as regular as you can as I have a large team waiting for this change . 

@Lincoln DeMaris 

I sure hope this May delivery holds, we are looking at using these, but the classic view is not going over with the management stakeholders. 

 

No update from Microsoft in the Uservoice discussion thread on this.

 

Also disconcerting that the 365 road map was updated after this post, and stills says in development?


2019-04-23_14-49-18 Roadmap.png

@SWalter2937 We posted the official announcement to the Message Center yesterday.  Modern document sets rollout will begin early May!

 

@Bannywhey I think that everything you're using Document Sets for, as evidenced by your screenshot, will continue to work with this change.  Document set metadata is displayed in the details pane.  Default content that's specified in your content type will be created by default.  You can configure which view is used to display document set contents.  

@Lincoln DeMaris We are planning to implement the document set feature for contract management site in few days time in modern library UI incorporating with field extensions. Could you please let us know the exact date of this release for New Zealand region?

 

Thanks,

Nowshad

Thank you for the update, we are patiently waiting and are looking forward to this release.

Hopefully we can use the move function within Modern libraries to move the Doc Set to another library and or Collection as needed for Archiving purposes like you can with files & Folders.
Something to consider,

Within the enterprise document handling is often tied to a Customer, project, etc. generated from a LOB system. Often this data exists upstream so it would make sense one would wan't to generate the document set, folder, etc. from an upstream process rather than a manual process within SharePoint. I would really like to see the ability to be able to create Document sets & Folders directly from PowerApps. In my opinion most organizations rarely start their enterprise ECM processes from within SP and often begin well before we get to SharePoint. This would really take Document sets to a new level. Currently to do this you have to use a variety of work around's by writing your values to a SharePoint list and 3rd party tools to finally take the values and generate a Doc Set.

@Lincoln DeMaris 

 

Will this enable Flow for Document Sets as well??

@Lincoln DeMaris Will you be supporting the ability to assign a retention label to the document set level to ensure disposition of records as a whole document set, rather than individual docs within a document set?

@sjakester Flow on document sets and items in document sets will work the same as Flow on folders and items in folders today.

Do we know when this will happen? It is pertinent to a project I have completed recently and though I am no longer working with the customer, they would love to have this month.
Great, and will this happen as part of the current road map item or later?

@Lincoln DeMarisCool stuff, thanks. I guess the functionality will also include Copy To and Move To for the full document set, like for 'normal' folders?

@Lincoln DeMaris  We are hitting a 5000 threshold limit in our libraries that are set up as a modern library but use document sets (which are classic views). Will this limit go away with the update?

@Lincoln DeMaris  - Document sets used to update the folder view when clicked on them on "modern" libraries. With this rollout, it does not happen anymore.

 

It has defaulted to the same experience as a normal folder where, even if a view is set as default for a content type, it doesn't get affected. 

 

This is bad and I hope this functionality will be brought back for folders and document sets soon.

 

Regards,

Deepu.

@Lincoln DeMaris 

thank you very much for that update. Tree days ago this update was rolled out to our company.

But there are two more issues now:

1. when I click on a document set, the link opens in a new browser tab. Is this intended by you or did I something wrong? It would be good to have the link open in the same tab!

2. our default view for the ducument library and inside the document sets are different. when I click on a document set and it opens a new tab, everything is correct. But when I have opened the document set and using the breadcrumb to go back, the view isn't switching to the default view of the document library!

 

I hope you can give me a solution for that. 

Thanks a lot
Michael

@lotz-hellerau and @Lincoln DeMaris 

 

This is the same, on my library. And a really bad behavior. With this, the modern sets will not work for us. Please review them again, to have all functions 1:1. Thank you.

 

BR,

Steffen 

@Lincoln DeMaris I think I detected a bug with the modern document sets.

 

How to reproduce : 

1- Create a new document set

2- In the new document set, click on "Edit all" in the right panel to edit the properties

3- Notice that the Name column contains a value

4- Click on the Save button

5- The process is blocked. The Name column is now empty and the error message "You can't leave this blank" is shown. The Name column is read-only so the changes can't be saved.

 

 

@Bannywhey Agreed.  The welcome page is a must for our customers. We use it all the time as a landing page for a particular case file or grant application.  Metadata in the side panel isn't going to cut it for us.

@osborn_amy 

 

It's quite strange that the welcome page is opening a new tab and is classic while the rest is modern.  I am pleased that we have this update even though it feels unfinished.  Our bigger concern is you still can't move these like other folders within SharePoint, You can only move them within the context of their respective library. 

@osborn_amysame here. Info at welcome page is most easy way for users to have an overview. Looking at the info panel doesn't give the same experience as a welcome page

@lotz-hellerau and @Lincoln DeMaris 

Another major issue:

If you had content types that were part of a document set, the modern experience has massively messed that up. Now the library and the document set seem to share content types. Within the document set if you go to New, the default is to re-add the document set content type, not other content types defined within a document set.

 

Another potential issue - in my case, the info panel doesn't display the MetaData associated with the Document Sets. I can see where the data is supposed to be but the area is just empty. These document sets do have a great deal of MetaData associated with them, but the info always displayed in classic just fine. It's not a timing issue either as I have given the pages several minutes to load. spdocsetmetadata.png

After you add the doc set based content type to a library it takes a while for library settings to be fully updated, and for the content types included in the document set to be available via the New button. Until then you see the default New menu content types. It took about 40 minutes for this to update.
I agree. I use doc sets extensively for one of my clients to manage job files. There are about 20 metadata, including job status, payment stages, and amounts. I use different views to filter and sort to cater for different purposes. In the doc set, only the primary half dozen most important metadata properties are displayed.
I agree about the inability to move doc sets. I'd like to be able to move doc sets from library to library.

@Lincoln DeMarisThat doesn't really answer the question I had.  Will the MS FLow icon at the top of a Document Set NOT disappear when you select the Document Set?  When you select a Document Set....also, will you be able to Trigger an MS Flow when a Document Set is created or one of the items in the document set is Modified to start an Approval Process.  That is the functionality we are looking for....same as what you can do in any List currently.

@Simon Rawson are you referring to the document set content type? Yes, that shows up at the library level under New as expected, but it also shows up within the document set. For example, I have a document set content type called "Case". In the library, I can go New--Case as expected to create the document set. 

docset.PNG

 

But once I'm inside a case document set, I only have the same options for the New menu that appears at the library level. But if I'm already in a Case I don't want to be able to create another Case document set. That makes no sense.

 

In my scenario I have a document-based content type called "Checklist" that is associated with the Case document set, not the library. Meaning the "Checklist" should show up under New when you are inside the Case document set. With this approach, different content types show up under New at the library level and also from within the document set itself. It works in Classic, but not in Modern.

docset2.PNG

 

Are you able to display different content types at the library level and inside a document set or do you only see the same options too? Just wondering if others have the same issue with content types inside a document set.

 

@rodieremix It's because the metadata/properties panel no longer shows up within the document set. It only shows up back at the library level. Which is a whole new thing for users who are used to Editing properties from within the document set. So essentially to see/edit the properties of your document set, you have to go back to the library level and select the document set [folder] to get the info panel.

Hi all, I'm sorry to hear that many of you are having problems with document sets in modern. 

 

  • Move To/Copy To on document sets.  The change that's rolling out does not enable any new move to/copy to scenarios on document sets.  We hear this feedback and this is near the top of our backlog to address.
  • Opening in a new tab.  Before this change, document sets would open in a new tab in classic mode.  After this change, they open in the same tab in modern mode.  If folks are seeing document sets opening in modern mode in a new tab, that's very surprising - let us know for sure that the new tab behavior is indeed the modern document set view (as pictured at the top of this thread) and we'll look into this.
  • Document set metadata.  Document set metadata should be appearing in the details pane when inside the document set.  If this is not happening, there's a bug we need to fix.  If this is happening in your environment, please message me with the field types inside the document set content type and we'll try to reproduce, although your best and fastest recourse might be calling support.
  • Document set views and content types.  Document set views and content types as configured inside the document set content type should be respected.  If this is not happening, we have a bug that we need to reproduce.  Please send me more information in a private message - like what views and/or content types are present in the document set content type settings.  A screenshot of the settings page could work wonders.

@osborn_amyI agree. Also without this, the only way to see Metadata set by the Doc Set, thus is common to all documents, is to add it to the view only to see it's the same for all documents. One of the great things about this feature is the reduced number of columns required in the view.

@Lincoln DeMaris 

 

The below issue you mention is happening with us to. We were just about to launch a large system using Doc Sets which is now on hold and it is effecting other systems. In addition I've had a complaint that users can no longer selct multiple documents and bulk publish (as a major version) anymore.

 

Document set views and content types.  Document set views and content types as configured inside the document set content type should be respected.  If this is not happening, we have a bug that we need to reproduce.  Please send me more information in a private message - like what views and/or content types are present in the document set content type settings.  A screenshot of the settings page could work wonders.

I'm aware that document sets being modernized is on the road end of May 2019. Any idea when they will actually be modernized? Right now there is some peculiar behavior within flow regarding document sets. For instance, if i create an approval flow and I submit one document set, i get an approval for the number of documents within the set and an additional approval for the document set item itself. I have opened a ticket and I hope to see a solution to this issue soon as my business process heavily depends on the document sets for several key financial approvals. Is there a workaround available? Folders don't seem to be an option either. I've even gone so far as to create a manual flow and place a json button directly in the library. We are exiting a company and we need a solution asap before they shut down our on prem servers.

I opened a ticket 

  • Case #: 14584840 (initial ticket)
  • Created on: Wednesday, May 29, 2019 4:45 PM
  • Description: Document sets within SharePoint Online are creating multiple approvals each time a new document is added.

they sent it to the flow team? 119052922003785 looks like a (mindtree) ticket this is what happened the last time i opened a ticket.

 

@Lincoln DeMaris 

@Heather P 

Sounds like inconsistent behaviour. I'm seeing different content types on the New menu at the library level and the New button within doc sets, as per the settings. It took a while (about 40 minutes) for the New button settings to flow through and be available within the doc set, and until then all I saw was the default menu you get if you aren't managing content types in the library.

 

The only other factor I can think of is that I configured the library and doc set content type yesterday, rather than it already being an existing library and content type.

 

At the library level:

Library.JPG

...and within the Doc Set:

Doc Set.JPG

Here are the Document Set settings:

Doc Set Settings.JPG

I agree completely, @Brian Zwart. Have you added these 2 suggestions to user voice? If so can you send a link so we can vote for them.

@Simon Rawson 

 

Please consider voting for moving & Copying of modern Document sets.  You can find the suggestion here in the user voice.

 

I also added a user voice for replacing the classic welcome page with a modern one when creating new document sets however it still has not shown up, will check back tomorrow.

@sjakester This functionality will be available.  You can trigger Flows on document sets the same way as other folders and items.

@Simon Rawson Are you using content types that are syndicated from a content type hub?

No, Linc, not in this case. This was a quick test in a stand alone site collection. Good observation!
Done. I've forwarded the link to my network, too.

@Lincoln DeMaris

 

If you are using custom folder content types within the modern document set they use the classic form similar to the classic welcome page that is used when creating new document set.  This in combination with the classic welcome page results in a fragmented experience for our organization.  The very thing one would have though would have been eliminated by the modernization of the Doc set sill exists. 

Another thing, The welcome page does not seem to respect which columns you are actually showing and not showing within the Document set settings. It simply shows all columns after the modernization regardless if they are selected or not selected. I am trying to stay positive here however whats the point on releasing something with a key component such as the welcome page not working correctly. You use the welcome page to create a document set so it's not like this is an optional feature that you can simply disregard.

@Lincoln DeMaris  I've read through this whole post and all of the replies so I apologize if I missed something.   It seems to me that the default view of the Document Set is simply the list view that the docs set came from.  When I change the columns, the list view changes too.   Seems simplified from your perspective but a document set is very different that a list view and needs special attention so a user can differentiate.   

First of all, you need to clearly differentiate that container (Document Set) metadata from the individual document metadata.  Right now it looks indiscriminately mixed and you can even falsely edit the container metadata at the document level without effect.  My understanding is that this is even true in classic mode with is really bad.   Why not fix this?   You could color the container metadata in the in the individual document context and make it read only?   

Also, it seems you really need to be able to configure different columns in the document set view than the list view?  They simply don't suit each others purpose.  

Am I missing something?   What's the best way to independently configure the document set list view and individual document property editing within within the document set?   It should be completely independent of the list view that the document set is coming from. 

 

@Lincoln DeMaris  @Lincoln DeMaris  I've read through this whole post and all of the replies so I apologize if I missed something.   It seems to me that the default view of the Document Set is simply the list view that the docs set came from.  When I change the columns, the list view changes too.   Seems simplified from your perspective but a document set is very different that a list view and needs special attention so a user can differentiate.   

First of all, you need to clearly differentiate that container (Document Set) metadata from the individual document metadata.  Right now it looks indiscriminately mixed and you can even falsely edit the container metadata at the document level without effect.  My understanding is that this is even true in classic mode with is really bad.   Why not fix this?   You could color the container metadata in the in the individual document context and make it read only?   

Also, it seems you really need to be able to configure different columns in the document set view than the list view?  They simply don't suit each others purpose.  

Am I missing something?   What's the best way to independently configure the document set list view and individual document property editing within within the document set?   It should be completely independent.

@lotz-hellerau same thing for me. Seeing the Welcome Page columns is vital to the process my company uses that involves document sets. This update had great intentions but came up short with basic functionality. 

@Lincoln DeMaris When I create a new document set in a document library (having added the document set content type as an option for the library), it open in a new tab in the classic experience. janafam.sharepoint.com and wreim.sharepoint.com