SharePoint 2010 Features We’re Watching: Document ID

By Paul Dyck | April 7, 2010

Have you ever received an email with a link to a document in SharePoint and then cursed the “webpage cannot be found” page that appeared when you tried to use it? That’s because the author probably moved it to a different document library or folder in an effort to better organize their content. If so, you will be pleased with the new Document ID feature in SharePoint 2010.

This is the last post in my 4-part series on features in SharePoint 2010 that we think will be especially valuable to our customers. So far we have discussed these 3 topics:

  1. Enhancements to metadata capabilities
  2. The new Document Sites content type for organizing content
  3. Workflow Enhancements

The new Document ID capability in SharePoint 2010 allows documents to be assigned a unique identifier, which stays with the document even when it’s archived.  This allows documents to be easily referenced by an ID no matter where the document moves.

The Problem with Links to Documents in SharePoint 2007

The problem with links to documents in SharePoint 2007 is that they will no longer work if the document is moved to another location in SharePoint. Document IDs can be used to maintain a relationship between a document and its rendition.

In case your definition of rendering involves boiling pig fat to create lard, the word rendering is also used to describe the process of converting a document to another format such as PDF. Document renditions are created when another format is more appropriate for the intended audience, for example:

There are some shortcomings with Document IDs that you should be aware of. The most significant of these is that each version of a document does not have its own ID. If a Document ID is used to identify the source document of a rendition, it is not possible to tell if the source has changed since it was last converted to PDF.

In addition to other enhancement in SharePoint 2010, Document IDs help make SharePoint a much more valuable document management or ECM solution.

Other SharePoint Features We’re Watching…

  • Document Sets
  • Workflow Enhancements

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