There is a lot of situations that requires the use of multiple files. These files are grouped and has to be considered as an unique item.
With SharePoint 2007, the only way to group documents together were to use folders. Now we have a way to manage, edit and shared metadata between each element of a group of files directly in the user interface without any custom development. This feature is named Document Set.
Document set is new in SharePoint 2010 and is really an interesting concept that we were waiting for a long time. So let have a global overview of this new content type available as a site collection feature.
When adding a new document set, this screen pops up:
After saving the new document set, it is available as an item in a SharePoint document library.
Document set is displayed as a web page with some metadata about the document set and a list with contained documents.
As you may know, ribbon is new in SharePoint 2010 and is available on each page. When a document set is loaded, the following ribbon items are available. We will discuss each of these features in the next paragraphs.
There is the possibility to create version of a document set and also versions for the documents in the document set. So you can create a lot of documents versions before creating a document set version.
Document versioning is performed as usual. According to your settings, new version is created when uploading the document or modify it. Version history is similar to the feature that was available in SharePoint 2007.
Because Document Set is a content type, we can use versioning and so on. Document set version is a snapshot of related documents with the latest versions captured when clicking on Capture Version in the ribbon.
Because minor versions can be considered as draft, we can check which documents versions should be used:
- Latest major versions only;
- Latest major or minor versions.
We also have the possibility to add a comment to the document set version.
Document set version history will display versions of the document set itself but also the captured versions of the documents in the document set.
Metadatas can be shared (applied) across the different documents in the document set. So you just have to add the metas to the document set and every document in the document set will use the same metadatas.
It is a very simple feature but it is really something that was missing before. Now you can perform more efficient searches as every file has the metadata on it.
Version capture and content changes can happened on document sets. These events can be used to run workflows. Really useful for global approve on a set of documents.
Because documents contained in the document set are group of unique documents, workflow can be attached to each document as we did with SharePoint 2007.
By using both workflow levels, we can run a lot of scenarios. Approval can be applied to individual documents and to a set of documents.
Permissions set at document level are, by default, inherited from the document set itself.
You can configure permissions on each individual document within the document set. Sometimes it is necessary to grant access to a document to a particular user but not all the other documents. That’s the same way to manage permissions within a document library.
Because there is a lot of other possibilities, we will just tell that every feature available at document level is available for document set level. Just remember that document set is considered as an item.
Unfortunately, there is no way to download all the files in the document set.
Document Set Welcome page
Document set have welcome page that can be customized. As you can see on the following screen, there is the possibility to add some web part on the welcome page of a document set.
It can really be useful for displaying information about the document set itself as the document set is can be considered as an single item or a set of different files that are related each other.
How to set up document set?
Document set is a content type. Content type will be available as soon as Document Sets feature will be activated. You need to have permissions at site collection level before activating this feature.
To enable this content type, go through the following screens:
- Go to Site collection features
- Activate the Document Sets feature
The new content type is now available but need to be activated at document library level.
- Click on Library Settings for the library that will contains Document Sets
- You have to go to the advanced settings page…
- … and then check the allow management of content types box.
- On the Settings page, click on Add a new content type
- Now, Document Set is available in your document library
Have a great day!