Posts Tagged ‘document’

One Year in MetaVis Development

December 15, 2010

End of December is a traditional time to reflect about achievements of the passing year and lay some plans for the year upcoming. I tried to extract the essence of MetaVis development from the jungle of our release notes for the executive planning. I was surprised as many of the functions that seemingly were there forever got their start during 2010.

In brief, we did the following

· Rounded up MetaVis Migrator offering by adding the ability to copy sites, site collections and promote sites to site collections as well as adding support for many individual SharePoint objects. Among new objects we added support to browse and copy site and list permissions, security groups, permission levels, users, list views, WEB Parts (with views), publishing page layout settings, welcome page settings, site navigation settings, site themes settings, SPD Workflows, InfoPath forms, Survey lists and Discussion Boards, list and site templates, master pages. Added automatic URL correction when copying hyperlink fields, links, WEB Parts and WEB Part or publishing pages

· Launched Cloud Classifier – server side solution integrated with SharePoint 2010 ribbon GUI distributed across all site users that allows to mass tag list items and documents

· Started Change Control and Release Manager product – a comprehensive solution with delayed execution of activities, scheduler, mass source and target substitutions and audit trail history to manage changes across multiple SharePoint environments

· Implemented live side-by-side compare feature for sites, site collections and lists that displays live difference report for all objects supported by MetaVis product line starting with sites down to individual items or documents

· Added support for SharePoint 2010 including many SharePoint 2010 specific features like copy and map managed metadata fields, copy and merge term sets, copy document sets

· Integrated MetaVis products with Exchange Public Folders, Windows File Classification Infrastructure (FCI), Windows Explorer (for bulk import) and new Microsoft Online SharePoint 2010 from Office 365

· Extended Bulk import from file system offering by allowing to map file system folders to SharePoint fields, adding optional folder removal feature and enabling automatic correction of illegal characters

· Improved visual appeal, general organization, ergonomics and usability of the product by adding MS Office style ribbon toolbar, interactive graphical wizards and background processing for all operations

· Added reports for site collection inventory, site users and site templates

· Implemented filter-based items, lists and sites copy that allows to perform delta- and incremental migrations

· Implemented mass delete and mass rename functions

· Added command line processing for all copy functions with options

· Extended mapping functionality to tackle differences in SharePoint environments by allowing to map the fields of different types like lookup field to managed metadata field, map users, site and list templates when copying SharePoint objects

It was fun, productive and agile year in MetaVis development group full of discoveries and successes. We are looking forward to the challenges of the New 2011 Year with optimism and high expectations.

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Copy SharePoint 2010 Document Sets with MetaVis Migrator

July 20, 2010

Document Set is a new kind of objects supported by SharePoint 2010. The concept of Document Set has been around for quite a while in different content management systems. In Documentum they called it Virtual Document or, some of them, Assembly; in LiveLink they called it Compound Document. Microsoft brought this concept to SharePoint in its latest version. Document Set is a way to group related documents together. In a certain way it is like a folder but with several important differences. In some other way document set is like a document that consists of several other documents. Below is the picture of a Document Set with three documents inside and visible document set ribbon menu.

Document set is like a folder in a way that it can contain other documents and it could be located in a library together with other documents, folders or document sets. This is how document sets look in a list of documents.

Unlike folder, document set could be limited to contain only documents of certain content types. For example, we may create a document set content type in a list so that each document set instance will contain only Software Specifications and Project Plans.

Moreover, document sets, like regular documents, could have versions and could be sent to workflows as a single whole. For example, we can send a Car Loan Application document set with all its documents to an Approval workflow so that someone will check that all required documents are included in the set.

Latest version of MetaVis Migrator supports document sets in SharePoint 2010 sites as any other native SharePoint object. This is how document set looks in MetaVis interface. Copy it, paste it or drag it and drop to another list, site or server, alone or together with other documents or as a part of a list of a site.

Do not forget to select <Keep Original> Content Type on the properties page of the Copy Items Wizard if you do item level copy because there are several content types involved when you copy document sets.

Compare SharePoint content (items and documents) and other objects between sites using MetaVis side-by-side compare feature

May 13, 2010

There were several updates made recently to MetaVis Live Side-by-Side Site Compare dialog worth to mention today. First, it becomes possible to compare actual content: items and documents in SharePoint lists. Here is how the difference report looks like. Copy from left to right button would start the copy operation.

There are several objects types added to the side-by-side compare report besides content. Among them are list views, site permissions, permission levels and security groups. Here is the example how security groups compare in this report. As usual, all differences could be synchronized between sites using Copy button.

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

December 18, 2009

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.