23 April 2013

Document Management In A SharePoint List

Good document management is becoming increasingly important today, when so much information is easily created and shared. Why not make use of a SharePoint list? In the demo below I am explaining a new product idea that includes structured documents and SharePoint.

Management solution for structured company docs
Many organizations have a lot of highly structured documents, like ISO certification documents, orders, instructions and manuals, but not all have an efficient document management system for them. You often have to open the whole document before you can start searching for the information you need.

This process can be made quicker and simpler if the documents are added to a SharePoint list, and Business Solutions already has a prototype for a solution that can help you do just that.

Document section = List item
The idea behind the new document management solution is to add all the structured documents to a SharePoint list and let each section of a document be made into a list item. That way users can go directly to the document section they need instead of having to open the whole document.

This solution is better than sharing the documents in a SharePoint library, because both content overview and access will be easier when you use a list in the way I suggest.
SharePoint list with structured documents
The image above shows a list created with the prototype for this new product. I have used official documents from the Swedish Defense Ministry, and I am showing them in four levels.

First I have three different views that filter the documents so that you never have to search among all of them. When you have selected a view you can drill into three sublevels, and in the last level you see links to the different parts of the document.

SharePoint list features give added value
Having the documents in a SharePoint list also gives other benefits, like:
Microsoft SharePoint list item
  • Change notifications
  • Version history
  • List views.

With rich text and tables enabled, all formatting from the document is kept when it is divided into list items.

New product
I want to develop my prototype into a full solution that can help users reach a better document management by using SharePoint. But the team has a lot of plans so I cannot say when this new product will be available on the market. As always I welcome sponsorships.

Do you find my idea interesting? Please take a look at the demo, and visit the new Ideas section of the website. Should you have questions I hope you will comment here or send me an e-mail. I will be happy to answer!

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

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