Monday, 7 September 2009
Feeding SharePoint (Document Uploads)
Unlike the good old days when teams could buy and sell players whenever they want we now have the UEFA imposed transfer windows. I don’t know why they are called ‘transfer windows’ maybe it would be better to call them ‘transfer doors’ because only when the door is open can you do business. As Monday was a Bank Holiday the Premier League decided to make Tuesday 1st September 5pm the deadline for this summer’s transfers. Yet for some reason the final Villa transfer of Richard Dune (Manchester City’s player of the year last season) did not get cleared until around 10am Wednesday 2nd September. The reason why seem to be because all the required paperwork had not reached the big-wigs at the Premier League. What isn’t clear is how this information should be received. Is it via an old fax machine (that was probably used back in the days of Jimmy Greaves), via a PDF file in an email or does the Club Secretary have to charge around to FA Headquarters waving pieces of paper? If they were using SharePoint to record all the transfers and necessary paperwork what options would they have for entering the documents? So what I am going to talk about this week in my 50th SharePoint blog is the different ways of getting documents into SharePoint. Option 1 – Uploading For many the preferred option as all you do is click ‘Upload’, then decide if you are uploading multiple documents or just the one and then browse to the document. It works, it’s easy and can be used with all kinds of files including videos of each of Emily Heskey’s seven England goals. Option 2 – Open with Windows Explorer This is pretty neat. Just make the SharePoint document library into a Windows Explorer window (seem to be using the word ‘window’ a lot today). This is done by clicking ‘Actions’ – ‘Open with Windows Explorer’. Now you can open another Windows Explorer window and navigate to where your documents and files are kept. You should now have two windows open and you can copy and paste documents between the two using the right-click. You can even copy whole folders from the Documents window into the SharePoint Document Library Window. Very useful, but be warned that all the properties will be reset. You will become the author of the document and it will have a created date of today. Well, you can’t have everything. Option 3 – Email to Document Library All Document Libraries and most other lists can be set to receive emails. When you create a new list or library the option to receive emails is available. You just say ‘yes’ and then enter a new unique email address for the folder. You must have your SharePoint server configured for incoming emails in the Central Admin, but other than that it is straightforward. The emails arrive in the document library with fields including ‘To’, ‘Sent’, ‘From’ and ‘Body’ all available. You may want to add a rule to your email to forward certain messages straight to the Document Library. Office Talk has developed several Email Listener solutions for to help with this process and will be happy to discuss them with you. Option 4 – Scan to Document Library A number of Office Talk customers have documents in paper form and have asked for ways to get these into their SharePoint. The scanning solution Office Talk recommends is the one with the funny name – Dark Blue Duck. Perhaps they should have called in ‘Green Duck’ and based it on Orville. This simple to install product adds an extra item on the Action tab dropdown called ‘Scan Document’. It then allows you to use your local scanner to add it to SharePoint. It is brilliantly simple and effective. So in the next transfer window perhaps the FA could use SharePoint, although this won’t be relevant to Chelsea. If you have any other suggestions for how to get documents in SharePoint please feel free to comment on this blog.