Your Questions Answered by Marwan Tarek

The following questions and answers are from Marwan Tarek’s latest webinar with the European SharePoint Community. You can catch the full recording here: SharePoint Information Architecture for End Users.

1. Question: If I have a document template attached to a content type. Can I create a link which creates new document by this template without making the user to go to the “new document” button on the ribbon?

[Marwan Tarek] Yes you can achieve this. You will need to use JavaScript code. Check this post How To: Create a New Document Link.

2. How do you organise the limitation of list items in the content type (5000 items on one list)?

[MT] First approach try to separate items on multiple lists. If it is an absolute must to have items in one list, you need to categorise the items by different categories/metadata and create filtered views that limit the results to 5000 items. Another approach is to display items using search web parts.

3. Can we use SharePoint for Archival Scenarios?

[MT] Yes it can work for archival scenarios. You will need to think about how to separate active content from archived content. You may need to have separate web applications or separate farms. Also you can consider using Remote Blob Storage (RBS) for the archived content so you can offload your SQL Server storage for archived content. You can also store up to 4TB of content under extreme conditions however this requires specific configurations.

4. How do you know when to create a new site collection or use a subsite?

[MT] You need to consider 1) security permissions 2) size of the content (it is recommended not exceed 200GB per content database) a site collection can be in one content database 3) logical grouping for example team sites and project sites to be deployed into separate site collections 4) content types required.

5. Hi, what criteria do you use to choose whether to create a content type in a content type hub or at site level?

[MT] Content type hub is used if you want to have specific content types shared across multiple site collections.

6. What should be the right direction: one or multiple document libraries on one Site (e.g. project site)?

[MT] You need to consider the information architecture and the user journey. For example in a project site it makes sense to have all design documents in a single document library, and separate them from the project financial documents. It will be easier for the users to know which library to use and each library has a different target audience. You need to analyse the content you are going to store in the site and consider who will be using and what the logical grouping is.

7. Is SharePoint really the right product for storing ALL enterprise documents? Seems too much maintenance for sites and lists, and to get some sort of overview all documents.

[MT] My recommendation is SharePoint is not required for all documents in a company. You will have content that is very old or archived, it makes more sense to store them on a low cost storage then SharePoint can index this content for search. You need to analyse what content you have and the usage patterns.

8. What is the best architecture, libraries or sites if you have a large collection of documents?

[MT] You will need to find the architecture by analysing the content you have, how it is grouped, target audience, security, content life cycle then from there you will be able to design the libraries and sites.

9. What type of list did you use for the incident and project items?

[MT] In the demo, I used the custom list template and created content types for project and property incidents.

10. How can I define different content types and related meta data?

[MT] For content types you can use the card sorting technique to group the content you currently have. For metadata, you can ask the business users how they want to find the content and what filters they want to use to search for content. This will give you an idea on what are the metadata required. In addition, you can look at the current folders hierarchy and this will help you.

11. How do you know when to choose content types or use taxonomies (term stores)?

[MT] Content types allow you to have consistent structure of metadata. Taxonomy is a structure for a single metadata field.

12. Can we use Document sets within the Document library?

[MT] Yes you can.

13. As I know you can’t change the URL in sharepoint online (expect public site), how do you solve that?

[MT] Unfortunately you cannot change the URLs.

To see more content from Marwan Tarek, check out the Resource Centre!

Marwan Tarek: A recognized industry expert in collaboration technologies, enterprise content management, search and software development. Since SharePoint 2003 release, Marwan has been building SharePoint solutions for a diversity of industry sectors across United Kingdom and Middle East. Marwan worked for ITWorx and Microsoft for the past 8 years. He is a SharePoint community leader and Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award (MVP) since 2008.

Marwan Tarek

Marwan Tarek


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