Reducing clicks to access document ID in SP on-prem

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We are using Sharepoint 2013 on-prem for document and records management (we may be switched to hybrid with SP online for documents and on-prem 2019 for records later this year–fingers crossed!). Our Legal department and us Records folks are trying to find ways to relate families of legal documents to their MSA. We have a contracts management site that uses document sets, and we thought we would add a field to the document set type for the “parent document ID” where people would enter the automatically generated document ID of the MSA. Then we just build a search for that field, and hey-presto, you can search by family of legal documents.The problem is reducing clicks and sweetening the process for end users. Legal agreements are initiated by Legal, vendor management, and different BUs. We want to make it really easy to follow protocol and add the parent document ID when you initiate a contract and set up a new document set. Right now the best we can offer is using the “search by document ID” feature, but this means opening another tab or window, going to the correct search type (or using the global search and syntax), locating the document, opening the library, locating the document within the library, viewing the properties, copying the ID, and then going back to your document set and pasting the ID in. It’s cumbersome, slow, and inconvenient, and I know in my heart not a single person will do this, and it will fall to us Records and Information Management folks to ensure things are related.

Surely there is a better way to make these IDs available to people as they initiate contracts?

Brooke Sales-Lee
Corporate Services Specialist

Hi Brooke,

This would be my recommendation versus trying to cobble something together that will make your transition to SP Online more difficult, complex, and brittle.

Lorne Rogers
Vice-Chair, ISO Trustworthy Content/Document Management
President/Senior Management Consultant
Aria Consulting Ltd.



Dolphin_365_Data_Sheet.pdf   1.12MB 1 version



Brooke –

I think that there are definitely ways to do this and not make it hard.  One for instance… You can have vendors have a document set and that document set has a reference to the MSA.  The field then can be synchronized to sub-folders and document sets for the related documents.  This works easy for MSA and SOW attachments since they’ll automatically pickup the data they need.

That being said, I’m not sure that a simple management of a hierarchy wouldn’t resolve the issue without worrying about synchronization of metadata.

Lorne’s comment about purchasing a solution that is an add-in is certainly an option — however, even with third parties it’s necessary to get clear on the business need and the amount of effort that’s appropriate to address that need.  I suspect in most cases this is a simple hierarchy that setting an appropriate folder structure would solve — but obviously I only know what you shared.


Robert Bogue
Thor Projects LLC


One step that could be easily eliminated is going to the properties to retrieve the ID.  Just add the DocID column to your views.  Edit view, check the DocID Column and make it one of the first 4 or 5 columns visible.

Ted Williams
Specialist, Infrastructure Engineering – IA
Nationwide Insurance

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