Posts Tagged ‘files’

MetaVis File Manager for SharePoint

July 25, 2011

MetaVis File Manager is designed to enhance and simplify the interaction between SharePoint and File Systems. SharePoint already provides basic functionality to load a single or multiple files. However, there are many gaps in that functionality that MetaVis File Manager fulfills including the ability to Load and Download (off board) content with metadata. Here is a sampling of these features:

  • Loading Files
    • Ability to set metadata as part of the loading process
    • Ability to extract metadata from file system folders and assign them to SharePoint metadata
    • Ability to retain or unwind the folder structure in SharePoint
    • Ability to retain the core properties such as created/modified by and created/modified at
    • Load files and metadata using a spreadsheet (CSV)
    • Auto-creation of CSV for loading based on content in the file systems
    • Ability to load files with pseudo-versioning to SharePoint versions
  • Downloading (Off boarding) Content
    • Ability to download content from sites, sub-sites and libraries into the File System with metadata stored in CSVs
    • Ability to Load downloaded content back into SharePoint
    • Ability to retain pseudo-versions in File Systems
    • Ability to remove downloaded content

Uploading Files from the File System

This option is designed to enhance and expand SharePoint’s ability to import files located in Windows or other operating systems. There are several advantages to using MetaVis File Manager to do this operation.

  • You can upload, tag and check-in content in one step and en masse
  • You may reuse existing file system (NTFS) attributes to tag the content
  • Users often implement a folder based hierarchy inside the file system to categorize content. Classifier/Migrator can automatically extract and use these folder names as metadata in SharePoint.
  • There are no limitations to how many files you can upload at one time

The process of importing files is very similar to interaction with Windows Explorer, but rather than moving content into another drive or folder, it is moved into a SharePoint list. All that is required is for the user to select the content (including folders) from Explorer drag it into the desired location in MetaVis.

When importing content from the file system, File Manager can use files system attributes such as created and modified dates and file owner to tag the imported content. These attributes are shown under Available Columns list in the Field Value Selection Screen and include relative folder names.

Uploading Files into SharePoint Using a Spreadsheet

The option is designed to enhance and expand SharePoint’s ability to import files located in Windows or other operating systems by utilizing a spreadsheet that contains accompanying metadata. The files will be imported into SharePoint and tagged with the metadata associated to it from this spreadsheet. The spreadsheet itself is automatically generated for the user and may be updated and used and any time.

Downloading Content from SharePoint

The option is intended to allow the user to extract content out of SharePoint into a local or attached storage or file share. There are a variety of situations where this feature is helpful. Some examples include:

  • Archive or off-board content from SharePoint
  • Move content from one SharePoint to another that is not accessible through a network
  • Ability to download and then reload content into a re-built environment

Copy SharePoint Library File Using CSV

This option allows the user to create a CSV file that will copy files located within SharePoint rather than in a file system. A typical scenario for this is to copy many files but with unique metadata changes for each file. This can be done by creating and modifying the CSV file and then using the Upload Copy Content Using CSV option.

Bulk Uploading content from File Shares using a Spreadsheet for Metadata

February 3, 2011

One of the first features that we added to our Classifier product, which is designed to bulk tag SharePoint content, was the ability to migrate file system content into SharePoint. Customers wanted MetaVis to enhance the usability of SharePoint by adding the ability to upload files and classify them at the same time while also enriching the file metadata and maintaining the created and modified properties. In the past few years, we have continued to add features to Classifier including:

  • the ability to map NTFS metadata from a file system such as folder names (which is the original way to tag files) into SharePoint fields;
  • the ability to apply SharePoint 2010 managed metadata;
  • the ability to unravel the folder hierarchy for those users that want to maintain their content in SharePoint without using folders; and
  • many more small conveniences or other features that fill gaps left by SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010.

One commonly requested feature that kept coming up (and one that we have resisted to implement) was the ability to use a spreadsheet for file import. The idea seems straight forward. Create a spreadsheet that catalogs you files. Let users input field values into the spreadsheet. Then import the files using the spreadsheet for your metadata.

My past experience, inspired the MetaVis team to think of ways we could improve upon the process and satisfy the market demand for using a spreadsheet/CSV file that is simple and effective. Here is what the MetaVis team came up with:

Begin by generating the spreadsheet from the target list

Step 1) Start by identifying the files and folders that you want to import into SharePoint. There are two ways to do this. The first way is to expand and navigate through the My System area in the product. If you double click on a folder or drive, the contents will be displayed in the Contents area. You may drag-and-drop or copy/paste from My System or Contents areas directly to the destination. Alternatively, MetaVis provides the same capabilities directly from Windows Explorer

Step 2) After you have selected the content and dragged/copied it to your SharePoint destination, a familiar wizard will be displayed. This is the same wizard that is used to copy SharePoint content from one place to another. The first window will confirm the destination

Step 3) The second window will give you an ability to apply metadata values. It is a good idea to take advantage of this feature and apply as many metadata values as since all the data is validated against SharePoint. There are many capabilities for intelligent and auto tagging available including mapping to NTFS values such as folder names, file names, owners, etc.; or to select values directly from SharePoint managed metadata, choice and lookup lists.



Step 4) The final screen of the wizard has a new check box towards the bottom of the page. Selecting the Create CSV File for uploading files option will generate a comma separated values file compatible with Excel or any text editing software

Step 5) Although the file content may vary based on selected metadata and options the basic structure will always have the following layout:


Source File

SharePoint File Name


Field 1

Field 2

Created By

Created At

Modified By

Modified At



Your Value

Your Value

Your Value

File Owner

Created Date

File Owner

Modified Date



The layout must notbe changed or otherwise the imported file will not be recognized. However, the content may be edited to your preferences. Remember that any values that are modified or edited must be valid to SharePoint. Otherwise they will be ignored or an error will be generated.

Step 6) Once you finish working with your spreadsheet, you are ready for the last step in the process. The ability to Upload Files Using CSV is available at any library or folder right-click menu. Identify the destination for your files and select this option. In theory, the same destination as was chosen in step 1 should be used, but there is no such restriction. So, if you have more than one library into which you want to import your files and they have the same or similar metadata structure, the.csv file can be reused

Step 7) Next the Open File for Import screen will be generated. Enter the location of your .csv file

Step 8 ) The contents of the file will be loaded in the space provided below. You may stretch and scroll the screen to view the contents.

Step 9) You may check individual items or the Check All button at the bottom to select everything. In addition if you are using a custom character set, select it in the provided field.

Step 10) To start the import, press the Finish button.

In ten easy steps you can bulk upload content from File Shares using a spreadsheet for metadata. Give it a try and let us know what you think. Any and all feedback is always appreciated and welcomed!