Relevance of SharePoint Document Sets in 2023 - An Analysis
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SharePoint Online
Sep 15, 2022 6:00 AM

Relevance of SharePoint Document Sets in 2023 - An Analysis

by HubSite 365 about Dan Toft (M365 - TL;DR)

Microsoft 365 & SharePoint Specialist hos Evobis ApS

Pro UserSharePoint OnlineM365 Hot News

Unlock advanced document management in SharePoint with Document Sets - boost searchability, streamline processes & improve content organization.

Understanding SharePoint Document Sets in 2023

Microsoft SharePoint brings a noteworthy feature to the forefront - document sets, although it was a bit forgotten during the transformation from its classic form to the Modern User Interface (UI). Understood as 'blue folders', they don’t just store files; they create way for data tagging, thus stoking the curiosity as to what makes them so unique.

SharePoint Online recognizes them as more advanced and organized as compared to the standard 'yellow folder'.

Their supremacy stems from their pivotal feature of 'Shared Columns'. This permits specific columns' sharing to each file contained within the document library, irrespective of the content type holding that column. Consequently, it brings immense aid in searches.

Understanding SharePoint Document Sets' Features and Challenges

One common instance is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) being integrated where every opportunity manifests as a document set aiding in easy search of documents through a portal. Furthermore, document sets propose the option of setting default content. Evidently, they automatically create a series of files or folders each time a new document set churns out.

They even permit you to add the name of the document set to these files. This functionality means that a 'data processing agreement' gets ready as soon as an opportunity is created. Another appealing feature allows to limit content types within a document set, requiring a bit more setup but proves to be a worthwhile effort.

Though, the journey of document sets has not been entirely smooth. When you activate them, users are directed to a classic page looking reminiscent of the old SharePoint, despite being functional in modern UI. A script written by Microsoft tried resolving it, offering the ability to control the new form using SharePoint Framework Extension (SPFx) by setting up form customizers.

The Welcome Pages and Getting Started

Another lost feature from classic to modern UI is ‘Welcome Pages’. Known for displaying certain columns like the document set's description on the top of the screen when you opened the set, it served as a quick overview. But now, the information pane on the right always appears when a user accesses the document set.

The enablement of document sets being a site collection feature first requires enablement and then content types that inherit from them. This process might seem intimidating for the new users. Coding with the document sets is pretty straight forward once you get the hang of it. To rename the document set, two value settings are needed: 'FileLeafRef' and 'Title'.

Document sets are indeed a great way to incorporate more searchability into documents and streamline processes of document creation and data maintenance. They may not be the newest, but they may certainly be the greatest. An increased awareness by Microsoft is expected to make it more user-friendly.

Read the full article SharePoint Document Sets they relevant in 2023?

SharePoint Online - Relevance of SharePoint Document Sets in 2023 - An Analysis

Learn about SharePoint Document Sets they relevant in 2023?

In your journey to understand SharePoint's expansive features, you may stumble upon Document Sets and ask, "Are they still relevant in 2023?" Let's explore this topic.

For those unfamiliar with Document Sets, they're an old SharePoint feature that got a bit lost in the transition from SharePoint Classic to Modern UI. Also known as "the blue folders," they retain special attributes that set them apart from typical file folders.

At a basic level, Document Sets function as any folder would - one can place files inside them. However, Document Sets have the unique ability to be tagged with metadata. Although with some clever manipulation, this can also be accomplished with a standard "yellow folder" using quick edit, Document Sets possess additional unique properties, which we are going to discuss next:

  • Shared Columns

Perhaps you're wondering why you'd need metadata for a folder. For one, metadata enhances the searchability of your files. This is where Document Sets' "Shared Columns" feature emerges significant. This handy attribute enables you to "share" specific columns with every file contained within the document library. This applies regardless of the document's content type. It's a boon for searches, particularly for contexts like CRM integration where an opportunity is created as a document set and you can filter documents by customer.

  • Default Content

Another distinctive feature of Document Sets is the capacity to set default content. This lets you auto-generate a set of files and/or folders each time you craft a new document set. You could automatically create a ready-to-sign 'data processing agreement' for clients every time you create an opportunity.

  • Limit Content Types

Further, Document Sets offer the capability to limit content types within a set. You could configure your setup to prevent addition of data processing agreements for "self-hosted clients." This requires more planning to get it right, but it's transformative when implemented skillfully.

However, Document Sets are not without their challenges. For instance, while they work with the modern UI, the creation process still redirects users to the old-style SharePoint page. Also, the once touted "Welcome Pages" feature hasn't made a smooth transition to Modern UI, which affects visual representation of certain columns like document set descriptions.

Enabling Document Sets requires activating a Site Collection feature. Once enabled, you can create content types that inherit from them, which might seem daunting for newer users. Additionally, coding with Document Sets is a straightforward process once you're comfortable with the steps. Yet Microsoft could undoubtedly do more to popularise this powerful and beneficial feature.

In conclusion, Document Sets significantly boost your ability to manage and search for your documents and can even streamline the document creation process by preserving metadata. While they might not be the latest feature of SharePoint, they perhaps are one of the most impactful.

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