UPDATE: The Enhanced Document Upload solution is now available! Click here to download.
Our governance guidelines mandate that all documents be tagged with metadata classifying the document and additional fields that provide regional and organizational tagging. The problem we faced was that when you upload multiple documents, they remain checked-out until the user edits the required fields on each document and checks it in. A real waste of time and by far the most requested change when we designed the new Intranet.
So we designed an extension to the native multi-document upload mechanism in SharePoint 2010 that allows users to set the common metadata and properties for a series of documents and then checks the documents in automatically. Let’s take a look…
Highlighted above is our Multi-Document Upload tool – placed in the Documents ribbon right below the standard upload options.
The process uses the same native SharePoint control to perform the upload of the documents to the library.
The files are uploaded checked-out (because we have required fields).
We fill out the common required fields (note that the Document Title and name fields are absent)
And our new documents are added to the library with the specified metadata and checked in. A simple process that saves our users a lot of time when bulk-uploading files.
How it works – the Multi Document Upload project is a series of event handlers and a custom version of the native upload.aspx page. After the upload, we open the properties editor for the first document and hide the unique columns – so only the common fields are present. When the properties are saved, an event handler fires to apply the common properties to the other uploaded files (indexed in a property bag) and then checks them in.
And sure, there are multi document uploaders out there to purchase. Found one for around $600 per front end. I thought we could do better with a custom solution. This one feature has made a huge difference by improving the usability of the Intranet and saving our users time and keystrokes.
We’ve even gone a step further. We also designed another feature that reads the user’s organizational and regional data from their SP/AD profile and auto-populates most of the metadata for them. It performs the lookup to the taxonomy service to get a valid term from the string data in AD and populates the appropriate fields during the upload process. So now, our users only need to fill out the classification and click Save. Awesome.
Want to know more – look for me at the SharePoint Conference next week in Anaheim and chat me up on all things SharePoint. Follow me on twitter for updates from the conference: http://twitter.com/#!/marcrdavis