Deploying Document Centre in SharePoint Online with Content Organizer Feature

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Today I will be showing you step by step process of how to use Content Organizer in a SharePoint Document Centre.

When Companies have lots of documents & data, and they want to deploy a single platform for Document Management where they can manage the unmanaged and unstructured data and of course SEARCH is super FAST then we deploy Document Centre in SharePoint. Selection of a site collection template really depends on the Solution Architect and Customer’s Data Structures. When we handle with Data, the biggest challenge I have seen is with the category and structure of Customer Data.

Lets get started with DC,

Document Centre is a site collection template in SharePoint (2010, 2013, Office 365) in which you can store and manage your documents efficiently and with less stress. Just think of a scenario where customer come to a restaurant and give their car keys to the valet driver. Same as the case with Content Organizer Feature, by using this feature the user (customer) can park the documents in a drop off library (Drop off car park) and Content Organizer (valet driver) can park the documents at its correct place.

The features and benefits of Document Centre are: https://support.office.com/en-za/article/Use-a-Document-Center-site-06096070-d83f-45b8-b02d-ec7a4cf85cac (Reference: Microsoft Website).

First step is to create a site collection of the template “Document Centre”. I am using SharePoint Online for this demo, you can also do this in SharePoint 2013 version as well. Go to the Central Administration or SharePoint Admin Centre and make a new site collection.

Throughout the demo I will be using SharePoint Online Admin Centre. You can create a new Private Site Collection as below:

1 – Click “New” à “Private Site Collection “

Make new site collection

Make new site collection

2 – Fill in the details as below in the new site collection and click “Ok “

Make a Document Centre

Make a Document Centre

3 – Now after sometime (15 to 20 minutes), your new site collection “Document Centre” is created as https://greenred.sharepoint.com/sites/dcoumentcentre (this is my test domain site) Click Close and open this in a new browser

Document Centre

Document Centre

4 – This is your Document Centre (template of site collection)

Document Centre - Home Page

Document Centre – Home Page

5 – Now let’s get started. Click the gear icon on the top right and come in the “Site Contents”. Make a new Library using “Add an app” option

Add an app

Add an app

6 – Click “Document Library”

Click Document Library

Click Document Library

7 – Fill in the details and Click “Create”

Create a Document Library

Create a Document Library

8 – Now your library by the name “Finance” is created. Now again go to “Site Settings”.

Site Settings

Site Settings

9 – Under Site Actions, click Manage Site Features

Site Actions -> Manage Site Features

Site Actions -> Manage Site Features

10 – Locate the Content Organizer feature to activate it

Activate Content Organizer

Activate Content Organizer

11 – After activation, it will show a blue Active bar in front of the feature

Content Organizer Activated

Content Organizer Activated

12 – Now, go back to Site Settings then Site Administration then click Content Organizer Setting. Here we are doing some settings, so that when a user drops any document in the “Drop off Library”, it can go to the respective library.

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13 – Now, check the boxes as it’s mentioned below and highlighted in red box and then click “Ok”

Content Organizer Settings

Content Organizer Settings

Content Organizer Settings

Content Organizer Settings

14 – Some little more work, we need to setup a rule that whenever user uploads a Document it should move in Finance Library. For this we need to setup a Content Organizer Rule. Go to Site Settings then Site Administration then Content Organizer Rules

Content Organizer Rule

Content Organizer Rule

15 – Below you can see the Content Organizer Rules screen, click new item and fill in the details as below. We are keeping it simple for the time being, therefore give a meaningful name to the rule like I have given “ RouteToFinanceLibrary”, in the Submission’s Content Type section put Group as Document Content Type and Type as Document. Define the target location, in this case I have selected my Finance Library.

New Content Organizer Rule

New Content Organizer Rule

Making new Content Organizer Rule

Making new Content Organizer Rule

16 – Click “Ok”

Click Ok

Click Ok

17 – Now your new rule is created. Let’s test the rule.

New Content Organizer Rule

New Content Organizer Rule

18 – Go to your Drop Off Library and upload any word document. Like I have uploaded Sumayya Aslam.docx which is a word document. Click “Ok”

Upload Word Document

Upload Word Document

19 – Submit Document will ask you the Title of the document and will notify you that this document will be automatically moved to the correct library and folder after required properties are filled out i.e. the Finance Library

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20 – When you click Submit button, it will save the document to final location and will generate a message.

The document was submitted successfully and saved to its final location.

Use this URL to find or request access to the document: https://greenred.sharepoint.com/sites/dcoumentcentre/_layouts/15/DocIdRedir.aspx?ID=25TM4UJHUQ5P-2-3&hintUrl=Finance/Sumayya Aslam.docx

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21 – You can see your document in Finance Library and your Drop off Library will be empty. This is good as you want your documents to be neat and clean and parked in the proper place.

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Using this template, it is convenient and easy to manage your documents. The biggest advantage is for users as they would just upload the documents in the Drop off library and based on the predefined rules and settings, documents will automatically route to its correct folder. If you want to retrieve the documents or data, simply use the Search Function of SharePoint.

If you come across any issues or challenges while deploying a Document Centre, feel free to drop me a message.

Useful Tip: You can also activate this feature in your Team Site and just work like as you are working in a Document centre. No need to make several site collections and drop off libraries.

Note: It is not possible to define a target location other than the current Site Collection, in which you are applying Content Organizer Rule as below:

Different Library - Different Site Collection - Not Possible

Different Library – Different Site Collection – Not Possible

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9 thoughts on “Deploying Document Centre in SharePoint Online with Content Organizer Feature

  1. Sumayya,
    I like the explanation of Document Center for SPO.

    We have 6TB file shared data to Migrate to SPO. Please suggest if Document Center is correct place to MIgrate content.

    Like

  2. Sergio Giusti

    Hello

    I am getting my documents deposited into a separate document library via a 3rd party tool called Kofax.

    When the document arrives, I am using a SPD 2013 workflow to configure some metadata and set the correct content type and then copy the document to the drop off library.

    All content organizer rules are setup but the document is not automatically routed from the drop off library to its final destination.

    If I edit the properties of the document and press the Submit button then it does indeed work, however I expected this process to be automatic.

    Is there a bug in SharePoint online that stops it being automatic or maybe this functionality doesn’t exist and it needs to be done manually.

    Do you have any useful information that might help me?

    Thanks

    Like

    • Hi Sergio, Can you try doing some test:

      Try dropping off a document in a Drop Off Library (not from Kofax – rather Manually) and check if its routing to the Final Destination Library. If not check the Work flow line by line, that which properties are being changed by the workflow and then check it with the ideal meta data (Properties that should have been there so that document is automatically submitted in the final destination library – what is set in workflow)

      Do Gap Analysis and see if all is mapped.

      If Not, then run this issue with Kofax Team, there might be some thing not working with SharePoint since Kofax is not a Microsoft Product & Kofax guys might help us in this

      Do tell me how you go with this 🙂

      Cheers,
      Sumayya

      Like

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