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Using SharePoint for Easy and Effective Document Management

  • By Steven Hays
  • Published 02/27/2012

Every business process involves the handling of numerous documents belonging to different categories. However, the advancement in technology has brought about a significant change in this regard; paper-based processes have been replaced by web-based processes in recent years. Managing every document is necessary for the proper operations of a business. This is what Microsoft SharePoint achieves for a business – easy and effective document management and sharing.

Creating, managing and sharing a document is what the features of this business solution provides. Because of its seamless integration with Microsoft Office, incorporating this solution is no difficult task. How does the integration of SharePoint and Office make document management easy? Here are the things you can achieve because of this integration between the two.

File menu integration makes it possible to open or save documents in a library on a SharePoint site. The advantage of this is that the metadata for the document is also stored in the document library. This makes it easier to update or modify document metadata from both the workspaces. Enhanced customisation options also make it possible to create document libraries for storing different types of documents. Finding the document is so much easier because of this.

Initially, document sharing methods used file sharing or emailing between multiple users. However, this made it difficult to find the latest version, especially if multiple edits were done simultaneously on a single document. The situation becomes even worse when there is the need to track an earlier version of a document. This results in confusion and loss in time and effort. Overcoming this problem is necessary for effective management of documents.

With the use of Office SharePoint, it is possible to check out a document from the document library when you want to work on it, and check it back in when you are done. No other user would be able to work on a document that you check-out until you check it back in. This ensures that no simultaneous edits take place on a single document because multiple users are working on it. It is also possible to track down an earlier version and deleted data of the document stored on a SharePoint site.

When there is the necessity for discussing and reviewing content, teams may need to do this together. Getting together a team for this is no easy task; the task becomes difficult when the team working on the document is scattered in different parts of the globe. The confusion generated by the multiple comments on a single document using email may make things even more difficult for the editor.

The inline discussion tools available on a SharePoint site and the possibility to store inline discussion comments provide a solution for this problem. This boosts the shared editing features of the solution. How does this work? The process is simple – every user working on the document may add their comments to the document directly. The centrally managed storage option makes it possible for the editor or reviewer to view and work on these comments whenever they open the document.

Author Bio: Steven Hayes works as a business consultant. He offers a brief overview of how the integration between Microsoft SharePoint and Office makes document management easy and effective.

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