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23 October 2015

SharePoint Categorization With Rates And Keywords

SharePoint iconIn an earlier blog post I introduced some tools for SharePoint file categorization: folders, document libraries and columns. Now we have published more tutorials about the same subject, in which we take a closer look into what you can do with different kinds of SharePoint library columns.

Rate or like
A categorization method that I find too rarely used is the rating. SharePoint gives two rating options: likes (as in Facebook) and 1-5 stars. This is something people are used to, so no extra training is necessary for this kind of categorization. You can of course filter and sort the rating column by ranking.
                                

By default the SharePoint Search shows the highest ranked hits first. You can take advantage of this by only adding rating to very important document libraries, because then these documents will always show up first in searches.

Required values
SharePoint gives the option to make it mandatory to add a value to any certain column before other users can access the file.  When no column is marked as required, a file that is created directly in a library or uploaded to it will be accessible to all users at once. To categorize it you have to open the file properties, and there is a risk that users will forget or skip this step.

If you really want files to be categorized, you should set at least one column to required. Then each new file has to be "checked in" before other users can access the file. A check in cannot be done until the required value has been filled out or selected.

Default values
In some cases values can be calculated and set as default, something that lessens the burden on users and guarantees a correct categorization. Other default values instead increase the risk of wrong categorization, if uses don't change them when needed. Default values can help users get used to categorization, and maybe it is worth it to have some wrong categorizations in the beginning, compared to no categorization at all.

Enterprise Keywords
An Enterprise Keywords column is a Managed Metadata column where SharePoint automatically sets the connection to the Term Store, where the keywords can be managed. The Term Store serves the whole organization, so once a keyword has been added in one library it will come up as a suggestion when a user starts writing a similar word in the same or another library.

Term sets
You can of course also create your own Managed Metadata columns and connect them to the Term Store. It works in the same way as the Enterprise Keywords column, but by having various term sets in the Term Store you can connect different site collections to different sets of keywords.

In the kalmstrom.com Tips section we have an introduction page with links to all SharePoint categorization articles. I strongly recommend you to use some of these options to tag your documents. They will make it much easier to find the files you need among all you have stored in SharePoint.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions