Maintaining Created / Modified properties while copying or tagging documents in SharePoint

Each SharePoint item and document has special Created By, Created At, Modified By and Modified At properties that can be seen on the item’s View Properties screen. These properties are not editable with SharePoint GUI but sometimes it is desirable to keep these properties while copying document from one location to the other one, uploading a file from file system or re-classifying the document with new content type or field values.

Below are some typical cases that would benefit from maintaining original values for these “core” properties at the time of moving, copying or uploading an item:

  • Created At property could be used to enforce document retention policy. During its life-cycle document may travel from file system to a list in SharePoint and to an other SharePoint site. In this case it would be nice to keep the created date of the original document instead of the date of moving to its last location.
  • Created By property could be used in a navigational list view with grouping that include original document author. Unless this property will be preserved during document copy, the document would not be found in the author category it belongs.
  • Modified At property could be an indicator of items that have been recently changed. The change would trigger a special workflow for an item or cause a notification. In case of maintenance (not business related) changes such business related activities should be waved. These maintenance changes may include mass enhancement of metadata of simple copying items to another location.

MetaVis Classifier and Migrator products optionally allow user to maintain Created By, Created At, Modified By and Modified At properties during item tag, copy or file upload to SharePoint. To enable this functionality a special product called MetaVis Core Properties Service has to be installed on the destination SharePoint server – the one where these properties values should be maintained.

After MetaVis Core Properties Service has been installed on the destination SharePoint server, MetaVis Classifier and Migrator products detect it automatically during items copy. In this case MetaVis displays all four created / modified properties on the Copy Wizard Properties screen. By default these properties are set up to keep original value they had on the source item but there are several other possibilities listed below for defining their values during items copy or tag. Note that any of these cases could be applied to any of four core properties independently.

  • Copy value to the property from the same property of the source item (Create At to Create At, Modified By to Modified By, etc). This is the default choice on the Properties screen of the Copy Wizard. This choice maintains the original created / modified property value as it was in the source item whether it was located in other SharePoint site or on file system.
  • Copy value to the property from the other property of the source item. This option allows to set Modified At field to the value of the Created At field of the original item or to copy a value from a custom Person or Group column to a Created By field.
  • Let SharePoint set this property. This option does not copy any values. After the item copy, Created At and Modified At properties of a newly copied items will be set to the current time, Created By and Modified By fields will be set to the current user. After tag or copy to the new version only Modified properties would be set to current time and user.
  • Set certain value for this property. A user for Created By or Modified By fields could be selected from the list of users. Date and time for Created At or Modified At fields could be selected using calendar control.

When bulk list or site copy is performed instead of item level copy MetaVis Migrator will preserve all four created / modified properties from the original source item. MetaVis Migrator will also preserve all four created / modified properties if “Keep Original Content Type” option is selected on the Properties screen of the Copy / Tag Wizard during item level copy.

These flexible choices allow to plan each copy or tag process with respect to the intended use of a document or an item during its life-cycle.

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