Metadata – Why?
I was recently asked if I could come up with a scenario where metadata would be better than folders.
Imagine I have scans of receipts as PDFs, and I want to store them per vendor, per department and per year.
I could create a document library. At the root let’s put one folder for each vendor. Inside those, a folder for each department. Inside those, one folder per year.
My users can upload their receipts into the correct year folder, using the browser; Windows Explorer; OneDrive Sync – or Outlook plugins like OnePlace, Harmonie, Repstor etc.
Users can now view all the receipts for a particular vendor, and drill in to get the detail.
But, if a user wants a view of these receipts by department or by year,
we would have to entirely restructure the document library – and move files around in bulk.
Alternatively, we could use metadata.
Let’s create a Content Type for Scanned Receipts that has Site Columns for Department, Vendor and Year.
Just by doing that, users can have views showing: receipts per department, receipts per year, receipts per vendor and any combination of these.
If you care about your files: USE METADATA.