All you know is the document was on his desk. He doesn’t know who left it there, and at the top it reads: Inventory Sales-Wesuk Service (your biggest client). The report seems to have a bunch of inventory items and sale prices listed on the rest of it.
So, how can you find the date & time that the document was edited? How can you find the person who edited it? How can you find the document we are talking about in the first place?
Luckily, you use a portal, and you know that this document is saved somewhere on your SharePoint Site. That means that you WILL be able to find this document quickly and easily. All you have to do is search for the document using its Metadata.
In SharePoint document libraries, Metadata can be described as the data about the documents, or any properties that describe the attributes of the document. SharePoint actually captures certain pre-determined Metadata by default, such as document title, document type, last modified date etc. These are displayed as Columns, and can be stored in Content Types.
Let’s face it, HR department employees think differently than IT employees, IT employees think differently than the accounting department, the Sales Staff think they run the place…and the examples go on & on. Although they are all interacting with the same documents, they interact with them in different ways — with completely different motives & expectations.
Metadata provides the unique definitions that can used across departments, giving your content the scope that it needs so that it can be found and utilized by everybody.
Understanding metadata, implementing it, and organizing it will obviously be the key factors that make SharePoint work for you and your users. SharePoint gives you the ability to make customizations that are unique to your company. The additional context that it gives your users AND developers is extremely powerful — and can help streamline your processes so they work seamlessly.
If you would like to learn more about metadata and how it works in SharePoint, read the whole article here: “Data that Describes Data”
Antoine Victor has over sixteen years of IT consulting and training experience. He currently coordinates the Learn iT! SharePoint, DotNet & SQL training and certification programs.