Wave 15 Wag the Dog: Renditions

By Paul Dyck, October-03-11 | Permalink

Wag the Dog: What We Want in Wave 15It’s no secret that that next big release of SharePoint – aka Wave 15 – is in the works. Rather than engaging in pointless speculation and gossip about what will be included in Wave 15, I am going to take a more constructive approach and try to affect the outcome. There is likely still a long time left until Wave 15 is baked – plenty of time to try and influence the Product Managers and developers working on it.

Adlib is a Microsoft Partner that extends the value of SharePoint by automating the transformation of content to PDF. Therefore, my requests to the product team will be focussed on things that add value for companies that have document-heavy business processes. Stay tuned for more in our“Wag the Dog” series; and be sure to leave your own "wish list" for Wave 15 in the comments section at the end of this blog post!_______________________________________________________________________

Dear Microsoft SharePoint Team:

Please introduce the concept of document “renditions” in Wave 15. A rendition is a representation of a document in a different format – usually PDF. Establishing a relationship between a document and its PDF rendition is probably the most common request from our customers.

There are many reasons for businesses to create a PDF version, or rendition, of documents in SharePoint. These include:

  • Making documents available to employees, partners, and customers in an easily accessible and non-editable form. e.g. HR policy documents, Standard Operating Procedure Manuals, etc.
  • Create a searchable PDF file from a scanned image using OCR
  • Making documents accessible for collaboration if some users do not have access to the software package used to author the file
  • Convert AutoCAD drawings to PDF for review

A single source document, in Microsoft Word for example, may have multiple renditions for different purposes, such as:

  • A PDF rendition that is print-optimized
  • A PDF rendition that is web-optimized
  • A PDF/A rendition for archive or NARA submission

Establishing a relationship between documents and their renditions makes it much easier, less time consuming, and therefore less expensive to manage source documents and their distribution to the right people. From the rendition side, will make it efficient to determine which version of the source document the rendition is based on if there is a question as to whether it is the most current version.

Renditions should also share attributes of the source documents such as content type and metadata so that they can be easily found in the same manner as the source.

Document renditions are valuable to organizations in regulated industries with controlled documents that must be managed in compliance with regulatory requirements and pass through a defined approval process. Review-friendly renditions of documents can be used in the review process, allowing reviewers to annotate content while disabling editing to maintain control of changes.

As you can see, there are many uses for document renditions. Adding this capability to the next release of SharePoint would make it much more valuable to a lot of organizations; please consider adding it to Wave 15.

Sincerely,