Tag Archives: Document Management

Document Management

Sensitive Information Types in Office 365 allow you identify sensitive content that is held in Exchange and SharePoint Online and restrict its use.

You can leverage existing rules (e.g. Credit card numbers) or define your own.

The rules are applied as part of the search crawl.  The content of a document or email is analysed and if, for example, a credit card number is found a property is set on the document.

Depending on the licence that you have for Office 365 you can then run searches to identify the offending content or apply policies that restrict its use.

Sensitive information types are not guaranteed to find every offending document but they are a great broad brush approach to information security and compliance.

If you are working with scanned images that have been OCR’d and converted to PDF+Text then there is a good chance that these will be identified.

Further reading;








A taster of what is coming in 2017 for SharePoint

The short version?  More things, prettier things, better things and a growing trend for Microsoft providing apps to solve the business problems people used to develop in SharePoint (StaffHub, Teams et al)

The longer version?  Now what gets you excited might depend on what you are interested in or using SharePoint for, hopefully our heading below will draw you to the most relevant area.


Pretty Things

Publishing Pages

So 2016 gave us the modern team site (O365).  In 2017 the same is coming for publishing.  You will be able to easily created beautiful responsive publishing sites.

These pages will use out of the box and custom web parts developed using the new SharePoint Framework.

Custom Themes

Office 365 custom themes will be updated to include more themes overall, the ability for a user to upload their own theme and an option to use Bing images as your theme.

Document Management & Compliance

Copy and move to SharePoint

Copy and move files between OneDrive and SharePoint in web experiences. In CY17, Microsoft add the ability to move an copy files between a greater range of locations.

Mobile Scanning for OneDrive for Business

Using the OneDrive mobile app seamlessly take a photo, convert it to a PDF, and store it in OneDrive for Business. This will come first to Android followed by iOS and Windows Phone.

Office 365 Groups preservation and deletion policy

Create and manage preservation and deletion policies that affect Office 365 Group mail and files in one step using the Security and Compliance Center

Scanning – Office Lens iOS feature updates

New capabilities with Office Lens for iOS.  Multi scanning; scan multiple images in a row and save/send as a series.  Rotate scanned images3D touch feature to change modes.

OneDrive for Business SharePoint Online Document Library Sync

The ability to sync SharePoint document libraries, including Office 365 groups, added to the Next Generation Sync Client (NGSC). NGSC will also sync OneDrive for Business Shared Folders.



Microsoft StaffHub

Ok so not strickly speaking SharePoint but interesting because it provides the sort of solution that many people have tried to create before in SharePoint.

Microsoft StaffHub is a new app coming to Office 365 that connects Deskless Workers to the information they need to do their job for the day. StaffHub is currently in preview – find more information at http://staffhub.ms.


FastTrack | Dropbox to OneDrive for Business Migration

FastTrack Center will offer file migration services from Dropbox to OneDrive for Business as a new benefit provided by the FastTrack Center. This migration service will be available to customers with 150+ seats of eligible Office 365 plans.

Propeller Heads


SharePoint Online – Webhooks on SharePoint Document Libraries

Unlock the Webhooks development scenario through the Microsoft Graph. These WebHooks set of APIs allow developers to get notified with changes from SharePoint lists and document libraries in a performant and reliable way.


This article covers how to import documents to SharePoint.  Creating a folder structure, meta data, importing files with content types and why it is important to do this with some consideration.



We are going to assume that you have your documents on a file share / disk and that you have gathered your meta data in Excel, though your meta could quite easily be in a SQL or an Access database.  We will further assume that the documents being uploaded are Staff Employment Records

Import Tool

We will use the free version of Import for SharePoint toolset to import the files.

When you download the import tool you will have some Excel files, import configuration files, and screenshots of the content types which match this scenario.  Using these will make the next steps much easier.

The import tool has a lot of functionality which is covered in the documentation

Bulk Folder Creation

We need a folder for each employee in our scenario.

We assume that you have created a document library, attached a custom “Staff Folder” content type and to that some site columns.

Using the import tool we can create the folders from our spreadsheet.  The sheet is shown below.


From this the import tool will create a folder structure in your SharePoint library. Import meta data such as employee number is attached to each folder.


File Import

Now we can import our files into SharePoint.

We assume that you have created a document library, attached custom “Staff Document” and “Staff Disciplinary” content types and to those some site columns.

We can use the Excel spreadsheet as the import source.


Once the import has processed this the files will have been imported into the correct locations and with the correct meta data set against each one.


Why did we do this?

Ok so now we have a good structure to support common requirements.


How so let us assume that HR want to delete Staff folders 20 years after staff have left the business.  We can add this retention policy onto the staff folder content type and for employees who have already left we have the date already set (See Bulk Folder Creation) .


Ok, so usually it’s a bit more involved that this but you get the point.


Adding meta-data gives us a better chance of an item showing up in search results and in the instance of managed meta data will give us access to refiners on the search results page.

5000 Item Per Folder Limit

Ok so we know it’s not a good idea to have more than 5000 items in a folder.  But doing our import as set out in this article you should be able to design a great structure that works inside this boundary even it your original folder structure did not.

So is this a packaged solution for Staff Records?

Well the reality is that the treatment of employment records will vary for each jurisdiction, can often complicated by different treatment for pension records,  and the SharePoint implementation will change dependent upon whether you have a HR system and how that works.

That said it’s a great demo scenario and hopefully demonstrated some techniques will can be applied in all areas of your work.


Microsoft have recently announced the release of SharePoint Webhooks Developer Preview.

You can read the announcement here and further technical information here.

Webhook support in SharePoint provides an additional means to automate process in response to a change to or addition of a list item or document stored in SharePoint.

The mechanism allows you to register external application(s) with SharePoint online which will be called when an event occurs.

Historically many on premises SharePoint implementations used event receivers to run code in response to such events.  Classic examples have included setting specific permissions on documents at point of creation, automatically creating folder structures, sending documents to record centres and so on.  As event receivers are not permitted in SharePoint Online many organisations who have benefitted from using event receivers have been hesitant to migrate to the cloud.  This announcement potentially eases migrations for such SharePoint users.


Microsoft have recently made available the capability to copy files from One Drive for Business to SharePoint Sites.

You can find out how here.

You can get more background here.

This article describes the feature set as of Summer 2016.

The feature is highly useful; particularly where your users have stock piled a lot of files in OneDrive which really need to be managed centrally for better collaboration and / or long term storage.  You can now delegate the process of centralising this data to the users themselves whereas previously this was an operation more suited to advanced users.

The new feature is, however, not without limitations.

  • Followed sites do not necessarily appear immediately under the destination tab.
  • You will only be able to see destination sites where the site was created using the Team Site and Project Site templates.
  • There is a limit upon the amount of data which may be transferred in a single copy operation – effectively rendering files over 50Mb unable to be copied.

If you are hitting these limitations you may do a number of things.

  • Be patient – If your destination site does not appear, limit the number of sites that you are following, ensure that the site (or sub-site) which you want to copy to is being followed and wait.
  • Ensure that the site you are copying to was created with the project site or team site template.  If it was not then it will not appear in the list of sites to copy to even if it is a followed site.  If you used a different template then either use a different method of copying files OR rebuild the site, starting with the team site template.
  • Use a different method to copy the files.  You can use explorer (refer to this article) or talk to us about our migration options.




Modern document libraries are now rolling out to all Office 365 commercial customers worldwide. You can learn more about how to use modern libraries in this article, “What is a document library?” or watch the video at, https://blogs.office.com/2016/06/07/modern-document-libraries-in-sharepoint/.

The new interface is attractive and easy to use.  For the majority of SharePoint users it will be a very positive thing.  It is not, however, without it’s limitations.  These are of particular consideration for user’s heavily orientated towards document and records management.

So lets focus on the potential potholes for such customers.

Once multiple documents are selected you have limited capability to do anything nice like bulk check-in, you can only move, copy, delete.

The new quick edit function does not work well with multiple content types (it allows you to enter a data for a field which the document’s content type does not carry).

Linking through to editing a view is more complicated than before.

The way that the library interacts with the ribbon, masterpage and composed look is different so custom brands might be affected.

Sending a document to a record centre is not available because it is on the ribbon which is absent.

When you edit the properties of a document you CAN change the content type.  When you edit the properties of a folder you CANNOT change the content type.  Setting content types on folders is important in many records management / retention scenarios.

If you were using functionality change the view being used by virtue of the content type of the folder in which you were located then this is not fully observed by the new interface.

Now you can work around any of these limitations by clicking the “Return to classic SharePoint” in the bottom left hand corner but this does muddle the user experience.

You also have a certain level of control in regards to use of modern lists – See https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Differences-between-classic-and-new-experiences-for-lists-and-document-libraries-30e1aab0-a5cc-4363-b7f2-09e2ae07d4dc

In it’s current form (Summer 2016) the experience looks great for basic scenarios but for existing customers using SharePoint for document and records management should look before they leap.


Every organisation has differing types of content.

SharePoint manages this by using Content types.  A content type consists of a metadata profile, information policies (such as retention), and a template.

Carefully planning and content types can dramatically improve your SharePoint implementation.  the search engine will pick up metadata properties, and give users the option to refine the search results based on these same values.

Content can also be easily standardised – by defining document templates for each content type. Each document can then take the same look e.g. the header, first page, footer, index, can be defined in the document template stored against the content type.

Content Types are hierarchical and inherit elements of configuration.  A carefully planned hierarchy will dramatically reduce the administrative overhead.