SharePoint Document Management System

In this SharePoint tutorial, We will discuss what is SharePoint Document Management System in SharePoint, What are the various elements of a document management system, How we can plan for document management, Why we will use SharePoint as a document management system.

Also, We will see how we can create a Document Management System in SharePoint Online, What are the best practices for Sharepoint Document Management, What are the benefits of SharePoint Document Management and What are the various templates used in Sharepoint Document Management.

What is SharePoint Document Management System?

Before starting the Document Management System in SharePoint Online or SharePoint 2013/2016, a user should know and get the knowledge about what is the meaning of Document Management System and what is its use in SharePoint.

SharePoint Document Management System (DMS) helps to manage and control the life process of all documents within your organization. This SharePoint Document Management System is a simple SharePoint Document Library which is based on metadata.

In this SharePoint Document Library, a user can upload and modify any documents, a user can search a document which is based on keywords like File names, content or metadata within the organization. So that it will easy to find which file a user needs.

Various elements of Document Management System

SharePoint Document Management System is having some various number of effective elements like:

  • One of the elements of a document management system is, You can get to know that, what are the different kinds of documents and content can be created in your organization.
  • Another element is, You should know that for each and every document, what are the various templates we can use.
  • For each and every document, We should know what type of metadata is used.
  • In the Document life process, In each and every stage, Where we can store all the files or documents. This is another element of the Document Management System.
  • In the Document life process, How we can control access to a file/folder in each and every stage.
  • How we can move documents to other team members within the organization is another element of a Document Management System.

How we can plan for Document Management?

  • Document Management Roles Identify:

To implement any solution, You should assure that you have the best team. So that you can get to know who will engage or cooperate in the Document Management Processes.

  • Plans to move the Document between the locations:

There is a plan wherein each and every stage of the life process, It is necessary to copy or move the documents from one document library to another document library or from one SharePoint site to another site.

  • Evaluate Document Usage:

By using this plan, you can know that who is working on the document and how much percent a user has used a document.

  • Organization Document Plan:

The document can be organized in any Site collections, any sites, and any SharePoint Document Libraries. This plan helps to organize and store any documents by using SharePoint Server.

Also, this Document plan provides a good feature is, Within any SharePoint Document Library, You can create a document very quickly and also can collaborate them.

  • Content types Plan:

There is an important plan available which you can use content types to coordinate about any document information such as document templates, workflow processes, Document metadata, etc.

  • Workflow Plan:

Basically, the workflow is a business process in your organization that can be used as an automated. This is the document workflow plan where you can control, track and also an update of any document which is moving or copying from one participant to others within your organization.

  • Content Governance Plan:

In any SharePoint Document Library, If you want to a specific document to be checked out before they can edit, then you can use this plan. This plan is based on content type or the location of storage of all documents.

  • Plan Policies:

Document Management System was introduced with a server known as SharePoint Server. This SharePoint Server is having some policies that provide document retention, bar codes, etc.

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Benefits of SharePoint Document Management

Since there are some important benefits to use of Document Management System, That’s why people are so much interested to know about what is this DMS and why they will use this DMS, There are various assets are present that I will explain in below points:

  • Safety and Security is the first and important thing which needs to protect any document from others like unauthorized users. So this SharePoint Document Management is the simplest and easiest thing for security purpose of any document.
  • This Document Management System helps to manage all the metadata for any documents. It helps to store, organize and control all the document within your organization.
  • Any document or file can be modified or edited by multiple users. This is the important benefit which is used by SharePoint Document Management System.
  • The Workflow process will be very smooth in the Document Management System. By using this, A user can track and control all the update in each stage of any specific document.
  • By using this SharePoint Document Management, You can easily search a file or a document by using its keywords like file name, metadata, etc.
  • Also, you can cooperate with a document with another team at any time and anywhere by using your local desktop and also mobile.
  • You can easily locate any files or documents from one SharePoint Site to another SharePoint Site or one document library to another library.
  • There is a Single Sign-On option is present which is provided by SharePoint. This option is used instead of continuously signing into a different system.
  • Version History is used in SharePoint which helps to manage to check out documents, have employees edit them, and then check them back into SharePoint.

Create a Document Management System in SharePoint Online

First of all, To manage a SharePoint Document, We have to create a SharePoint Document Library where you can maintain your own documents. Here I will show you how you can create and upload a document or file in Modern SharePoint Document Library.

In each and every SharePoint Site, there is a default Team site is present. So I will create a Modern SharePoint Document Library in the Modern SharePoint Team Site. There are 2 different ways to create a Modern Document Library.

To create a Modern SharePoint Document Library, Go to your SharePoint Team site Home page. Click on a +New option from command bar -> click on Document library as shown in below.

Similarly, You can create Modern Document Library in another way. Click on Site contents -> Click +New from the command bar of Site contents -> Click on Document Library.

Create modern SharePoint Document Library
Create modern SharePoint Document Library

Once you will click on Document Library, a library form will appear where you have to enter the document library Name, library Description. If you want to show this modern document library in the site navigation, then you can check the checkbox of Show in site navigation. Click on Create as shown below.

Create SharePoint Document Library
Create SharePoint Document Library

Now the Modern SharePoint Document is ready to use. You can see this library in the Site contents.

There are so many features in the library command bar. By using this you can do that specific operation whatever you want. To upload a document or file, You can click on Upload and then choose any one options as Files/Folder/Template.

SharePoint document library upload files
SharePoint document library upload files

Once you will upload the document or file, it will appear like the below screenshot.

SharePoint document library upload files
SharePoint document library upload files

To learn all the top new features about Modern SharePoint Document Library and also how you can manage all the SharePoint Documents, You can follow the below articles:

Best practices for Sharepoint Document Management

For SharePoint Document Management best practices, Planning is the main and important thing.

If there is in case you want to ignore some troubles will come in the future, then those plans will help you to out from those troubles.

Below are some precise plans where it describes some aspects of SharePoint Document Management.

  • Evaluate all documents and also the document types, properties, etc.:
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While evaluating all SharePoint Document, You should pay attention to what type of document you can use, what it looks like and what are the content types you can create in the document.

Also, you need to know what type of document metadata you should use.

  • Easily create a Content type structure:

Always create content types at the root site (home), So that it can be used on every site on your site collection.

For your better recognization, put the custom content types to a new individual and meaningful groups. For example, you can create group content types by locations: _Bangalore, _Hyderabad, _Mumbai, etc.

Groups are alphabetically ordered, so I use “_” symbol in group name to ensure my custom content type groups are on the top in the Site content types list. So that you can easily find out them.

  • Determine the location of documents that where and how to store all the SharePoint Documents:

To work further in the future, We have to store all the SharePoint Documents in a SharePoint List or Library. So that you can use those SharePoint documents later when you require.

You can store your all the SharePoint documents in SharePoint Lists as items’ attachments and similarly, in the SharePoint Document Libraries as items only.

Also, it depends on some variables like the types of document, business processes or security purposes. Hence it is necessary to determine the document storage in SharePoint List or Document Library.

  • Create SharePoint Sites, Lists and Libraries, Fields and also create Content Types:

First thing you should know, you have to calculate how many sites and subsites are present. Also, you need to know how many document libraries or lists are associated with those sites. Make sure that there should be as few storage locations or libraries for documents as possible.

For a large environment, all documents should be divided into many SharePoint site collections or web applications with individual content databases.

  • All SharePoint Permission plans:

Document permission is the most important factor of the Document Management System. This plan helps to secure all the company document in the document generation process.

In an environment, there are lots of documents or items or content types present. You can easily track all permissions, all issues, etc.

SharePoint Document Library permission provides the permissions to be set by different single users and also based on them. So that you can allow individual users and also any SharePoint groups. But you need to allow groups to assignment permissions, leaving user-based permissions only to really specific cases.

  • Specify the naming of SharePoint Document

The best practice for SharePoint Document Management is the Naming Convention. You should give a proper name and proper place to your Document.

You can see there are a lot of files with same file types present within a single document library or list which makes it confusing to a user. Such type of multiple file types within a single library or list is not a good practice within your environment.

Suppose, for example, you have saved two document files with the same name in two different locations. So it is very confusing to find out what file exactly you need. In this case, Search can help you to find out the document, but not sure if you save the same document in two different locations. Maybe, it will not help you.

For this type of above case, you should properly plan for naming convention.

  • Define the location of SharePoint Document Templates:

While you using content types to create SharePoint documents, you can store all the SharePoint Document templates in a single SharePoint document Library. To use your required library, you can simply assign a template to the required content type.

When you will choose to upload a new template, then it has some benefits as like:

  1. You must be sure that you can use only the latest version of the template.
  2. You can easily search the template and also drag and drop the view to move them all.
  3. You can manage the permission in a single location.
  • Views and Libraries optimization:
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SharePoint Views are an important tool where they can use for quickly locating files. That means when you search a file, but you can’t find the file in that library due to SharePoint is hanging. To overcome this type of problem, Views are used in the SharePoint Document Library.

The view will enable you to use filters and styles to organize and show the information already available in your lists and libraries. All items are the automatic standard view. There are 4 different types of views present as:

Standard View: In the SharePoint list or library, there is a default view is present which known as Standard View. When you will open the SharePoint list/library, then you will see this standard view only.

This is the simple and normal view which helps to display all the information available in a list/library. Also, there are different styles of views where each style makes your view look different.

Calendar View: Calendar View helps to display all the information in your list in a calendar format. In this Calendar view, you can select the format as a week, a month, a day as per your requirement.

Datasheet View: This Datasheet View looks like a Datasheet or an excel sheet. In this Datasheet View, You can bulk edit your all information. Because of this view helps to save your time, most of all users use this view.

Gantt View: There is not much more difference between the Gantt View and Calendar View. Both are so much similar because of dates. This Gantt view helps to give you a quick progress status on a project.

  • SharePoint Workflows implementation:

Workflow implementation is the most important factor of the Document Management System. There are numbers of SharePoint built-in workflows present as Approval Workflow, Collect feedback Workflow, Collect Signature Workflow, etc. This workflow helps to approve all the business flow within the organization.

  • Ability to find out and SharePoint search:

Search helps to find out a document or file-based upon your file names, content and metadata. Hence this is the most valuable thing in SharePoint Document Management System.

Those above SharePoint Document Management plans are not any universal plan, that means it can change further when it requires. Simply, these plans depend on the maturity or validity of an organization.

SharePoint Document Management Template

Content type helps to manage all the content. This content type can also be used to manage custom metadata, document lifecycle, templates, etc.
Similarly, SharePoint Content types are necessary tools for managing the content.

Document library content types mean it is the center stage of the document starting point.

Recently, Microsoft has been published the new functionality where you can add document templates to SharePoint document library content types. Also, you can able to edit the new menu where you can do some operations as like add, hide or reorder some new file options.

In below, Now you can see that how you can add a new template directly to your modern Document Library using the New menu dropdown.

Go to any SharePoint Modern Document Library (Team Site), Click on +New which is present in the command bar. Once you will click on the +New option, then you can see all the default Word Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, etc.

Also, you can add a template by using the +Add template. By using this option, you can directly add a new template.

Document management content type template
Document management content type template

To edit a new menu, you can click on Edit New menu and then you can see all the documents as shown below. Here you can edit and save any file.

Document management content types template
Document management content types template


Hence, In this SharePoint tutorial, We discussed what is SharePoint Document Management System, What are the various elements of a document management system, How we can plan for document management, Why we will use SharePoint as a document management system.

Also, We saw how we can create a Document Management System in SharePoint Online, What are the best practices for Sharepoint Document Management, What are the benefits of SharePoint Document Management and What are the various templates used in Sharepoint Document Management. Hope, this article will help you.