Unique Metadata in Sharepoint

%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-3204247%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EUnique%20Metadata%20in%20Sharepoint%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-3204247%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3EIs%20there%20a%20way%20to%20require%20unique%20metadata%20in%20Sharepoint%3F%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EI'm%20researching%20a%20suitable%20application%20to%20move%20our%20engineering%20documents%20to.%26nbsp%3B%20We've%20been%20using%20Filenet%20since%202003%20and%20it's%20time%20to%20make%20a%20change.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EI%20would%20like%20to%20make%20sure%20a%20drawing%20in%20only%20in%20the%20system%20once.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EMost%20systems%20seem%20to%20look%20at%20the%20file%20name%20to%20identify%20a%20unique%20document.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EBut%20we%20might%20have%20XYZ-123.PDF%20or%20XYZ-123.TIFF.%26nbsp%3B%20These%20most%20likely%20represent%20the%20same%20drawings.%26nbsp%3B%20I%20do%20not%20want%20to%20present%20the%20user%20with%20a%20choice%20or%20worse%20if%20they%20have%20different%20descriptions%20and%20the%20user%20finds%20the%20file%20based%20on%20description%20they%20have%20a%2050%2F50%20chance%20of%20getting%20the%20wrong%20file.%26nbsp%3B%20This%20does%20not%20seem%20like%20great%20document%20management%20but%20seems%20to%20be%20a%20common%20practice%20with%20applications.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EHow%20do%20you%20handle%20file1.doc%20and%20file1.docx%20or%20123.jpg%20or%20123.bmp.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3ECan%20Sharepoint%20use%20the%20metadata%20to%20identify%20a%20unique%20document%3F%26nbsp%3B%20Can%20Sharepoint%20use%20a%20combination%20of%20columns%20to%20identify%20a%20unique%20document%3F%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-LABS%20id%3D%22lingo-labs-3204247%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CLINGO-LABEL%3EDocument%20Library%3C%2FLINGO-LABEL%3E%3C%2FLINGO-LABS%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-3205006%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Unique%20Metadata%20in%20Sharepoint%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-3205006%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3E%3CA%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Ftechcommunity.microsoft.com%2Ft5%2Fuser%2Fviewprofilepage%2Fuser-id%2F1315683%22%20target%3D%22_blank%22%3E%40tstroh%3C%2FA%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3ENice%20use%20case%20but%20at%20the%20same%20time%20challenging.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EDo%20you%20want%20to%20use%20SharePoint%20as%20the%20working%20environment%20for%20your%20technical%20staff%20or%20do%20you%20want%20to%20use%20it%20to%20publish%20final%20drawings%3F%20or%20both%3F%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3ESharePoint%20%2B%20metadata%20is%20not%20optimal.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EYou%20can%20configure%20the%20columns%20to%20contain%20unique%20values.%20The%20main%20problem%20is%20users%20need%20to%20set%20the%20metadata%20manually%20and%20are%20not%20forced%20(even%20when%20the%20values%20are%20set%20to%20required)%20when%20using%20the%20modern%20view.%3CBR%20%2F%3EUsing%20the%20OneDrive%20for%20Business%20client%20is%20also%20not%20an%20option%20because%20it%20currently%20does%20not%20support%20metadata.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EDo%20the%20pdf%20and%20tiff%20files%20contain%20properties%20like%20keywords%3F%20(ideally%20these%20values%20are%20unique)%3CBR%20%2F%3EThere%20are%20apps%20that%20can%20automatically%20extract%20the%20values%20and%20capture%20them%20into%20SharePoint%20columns.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EDo%20you%20have%20specific%20requirements%20for%20searching%3F%3CBR%20%2F%3EReason%20for%20asking.%20It%20is%20possible%20to%20extract%20information%20from%20pdf%20files%20(e.g.%20comments%20that%20originate%20from%20the%20AutoCAD%20drawings).%20This%20way%20you%20can%20use%20search%20to%20find%20all%20drawing%20containing%20a%20certain%20pump%20number.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EPaul%20%7C%20SLIM%20Applications%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-3205169%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Unique%20Metadata%20in%20Sharepoint%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-3205169%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EWe%20would%20use%20Sharepoint%20as%20a%20%22Published%22%20drawing%20system.%3CBR%20%2F%3EA%20drawing%20may%20come%20from%20scanning%2C%20multiple%20cad%20softwares%2C%20or%20outside%20vendors%20either%20designing%20for%20us%20or%20or%20providing%20turnkey%20systems.%20We%20have%20a%20PDM%20solution%20to%20manage%20CAD%20document%20for%20engineers.%20Sharepoint%20would%20be%20used%20as%20simple%20%22Search%2C%20View%2C%20Print%22.%20Departments%20like%20Machine%20Repair%2C%20Maintenance%2C%20Machine%20Repair%2C%20Purchasing%2C%20Marketing%2C%20Pricing%2C%20Sales...%20would%20be%20consumers%20of%20the%20data.%20We%20currently%20have%20300%2C000%20drawings%20and%20have%20240%20users%20access%20drawings%20as%20they%20need%20them.%20Our%20published%20drawing%20system%20is%20the%20one%20place%20to%20go%20for%20the%20correct%20copy.%20It's%20not%20the%20CAD%20system%2C%20not%20a%20file%20cabinet%2C%20not%20e-mail...%3CBR%20%2F%3EWe%20would%20like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Occasional Contributor

Is there a way to require unique metadata in Sharepoint?

 

I'm researching a suitable application to move our engineering documents to.  We've been using Filenet since 2003 and it's time to make a change.

 

I would like to make sure a drawing in only in the system once.

 

Most systems seem to look at the file name to identify a unique document.

But we might have XYZ-123.PDF or XYZ-123.TIFF.  These most likely represent the same drawings.  I do not want to present the user with a choice or worse if they have different descriptions and the user finds the file based on description they have a 50/50 chance of getting the wrong file.  This does not seem like great document management but seems to be a common practice with applications.

 

How do you handle file1.doc and file1.docx or 123.jpg or 123.bmp.

 

Can Sharepoint use the metadata to identify a unique document?  Can Sharepoint use a combination of columns to identify a unique document?

7 Replies

@tstroh 

Nice use case but at the same time challenging.

Do you want to use SharePoint as the working environment for your technical staff or do you want to use it to publish final drawings? or both?

 

SharePoint + metadata is not optimal.

You can configure the columns to contain unique values. The main problem is users need to set the metadata manually and are not forced (even when the values are set to required) when using the modern view.
Using the OneDrive for Business client is also not an option because it currently does not support metadata.

Do the pdf and tiff files contain properties like keywords? (ideally these values are unique)
There are apps that can automatically extract the values and capture them into SharePoint columns.

Do you have specific requirements for searching?
Reason for asking. It is possible to extract information from pdf files (e.g. comments that originate from the AutoCAD drawings). This way you can use search to find all drawing containing a certain pump number.

Paul | SLIM Applications

We would use Sharepoint as a "Published" drawing system.
A drawing may come from scanning, multiple cad softwares, or outside vendors either designing for us or or providing turnkey systems. We have a PDM solution to manage CAD document for engineers. Sharepoint would be used as simple "Search, View, Print". Departments like Machine Repair, Maintenance, Machine Repair, Purchasing, Marketing, Pricing, Sales... would be consumers of the data. We currently have 300,000 drawings and have 240 users access drawings as they need them. Our published drawing system is the one place to go for the correct copy. It's not the CAD system, not a file cabinet, not e-mail...
We would like to check in a file over another as a version. (but what happens when we want to replace a TIFF with a PDF?)
Minimal editing or changes. Only to keep up with data corrections.
I was looking as a few tools that could generate a published file from our cad data and publish it to sharepoint. The idea get a bit messing when you consider existing data can consider what might go wrong.

Our current system allows all files to be loaded. Then on an after record insert in the database a procedure searches for duplicates. If something is found it renames the new file and sends the author an e-mail telling them to fix their mistake. Not perfects but keeps the system cleaner and prevents junk from building.
I've experimented with Sharepoint searching. It's different from what we are use to. We may have to build a few more filters that would help. Not being able to use a prefix wild card could heart. Content searching is not a bonus for us and most of our data is a tiff file. We want to limit results in most cases. most of the time people just search for a part number. They know the number and get the one file they need. But when you don't exactly know what you want and need to search for a combination of fields it gets interesting. Some of us are good at it and others...well you know...
A combination of columns containing a unique value is what I'm looking for, Nice to know at least one column can contain a unique value.

@tstroh 
Some topics to address:
1. How will the publishers add metadata? Manually during uploading, automatic extraction, ...
or will this be done through an separate app? Can they use the classic view?
2. Is there a need to detect duplicate metadata values before uploading or after uploading?
In the latter case you may want to look at Power Automate.
3. Is the current viewer for pdf and tiff files adequate for your end-users that read the files?
4. Structure: placing all 240 k documents into a single library/location will result in problems with the list view threshold
5. Consider use of managed properties to help your users find information quickly.
e.g. search for part: xyz123

Summary:
Using SharePoint for the intended purpose is very well possible. Cost effective solution with decent interface, permissions, search, previewing, ...
Just make sure you have a solid plan to cover the gaps and end up with a robust solution.

Paul | SLIM Applications

1. How will the publishers add metadata? Manually during uploading, automatic extraction, ...
Both. If it's in our CAD system we should be able to do automated export/import. If not we have to do manually.
2. Is there a need to detect duplicate metadata values before uploading or after uploading?
Yes. Would like to check as many places as possible to reduce errors.
I will start reading about Power Automate.
3. Is the current viewer for pdf and tiff files adequate for your end-users that read the files?
Yes there are no plans to change our published data. This is only for consumers of our information. CNC departments go to our CAD system PDM.
4. I'll check out list view thresholds. We are use to a list after a search. I was curious about performance entering the library and not having done a filter or search yet. Most likely we will have multiple views that initially splits the data into major departments. Assuming the user can start in a view already filtering the data.
5. Consider use of managed properties to help your users find information quickly.
e.g. search for part: xyz123
Is there any way to search with a specific property or several properties?

@tstroh 
about 2. having multiple layers sounds attractive but also requires initial effort plus ongoing effort to maintain. I would only go down this route if a single layer does not provide sufficient quality.

about 5.
Yes, you can combine multiple managed properties in a single search request
for example. To search for emails from google where the subject contains request use the following search query.
from: google subject:request 


@Paul_HK_de_Jong 

google subject:request    Looking for something a bit more intuitive.  A form would be nice.