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A "Content Type" Strategy?

  Asked By: Kiara    Date: Aug 26    Category: MOSS    Views: 1642

I've been doing quite a lot of thinking about content types and what
they can be used for within a SharePoint 2007 implementation. I
think everyone is familiar with the concepts of attaching metadata,
workflows, IMP's and document templates, however I'm thinking along
the lines of how to use them to solve more complex problems such as
defining search scopes and filters, as well as including all relevant
information pertaining to a search. We've discussed having content
types that define the regions, such as US, UK, Asia, and Australia,
so the metadata about where the form or document is relevant could be
consistently applied, but after that I began pondering utilizing
content types to define classes of information that could assist in
search and filtering. My second level of content types I am
considering after region are as follows:
Collaboration Resources
Corporate Resources
Communication Resources
Career Resources
Human Resources
Travel Resources
Knowledge Resources
Project Resources

Each item in this set would be created as a content type for each
parent region content type. This brings us to the scenario I'm
trying to solve.
A user is searching for the expense report document for our company,
being a global company we unfortunately have different ones for each
region. The user is based in the US so he searches on Expense report
(let's leave best bets out for now) and gets a ton of results and
doesn't know which to use. Since the Official US Expense report was
uploaded as a "Corporate Resource" content type, which inherits from
the "US" content type, the document has the properties "US" as the
region property, and "corporate" as the type property within the
metadata. The user first filters the search down to results
containing "US" as a region, but still has a bunch of results, he
then filters down to results containing "corporate" as the type and
finds his result, but here's the kicker.....he also finds other
documents such as the instruction sheet on how to fill out the
expense report that has been uploaded as a "Corporate" content type
with a parent of "US" content type. The other document that he
didn't expect or even know about is provided because it's classified
under the same content type and both the form and instructions
contain the relevant words "Expense Report".

It would seem that it would be easier to manage lists that exposed
items and documents of certain content types much more easily this
way as well.

Does anyone have a different approach or feedback on my thought



1 Answer Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Naimish Ranganekar     Answered On: Aug 26

I understand your approach. I haven't been through an entire file plan
development/implementation cycle yet, but it seems to me that you're
trying to make search results more relevant to your users. This seems to
be one of the biggest challenges in moving away from folders towards a
more search-based retrieval paradigm.

The only thought I had would be to focus on the business processes in
place and derive your file plan from that. Your file plan should support
how your users:
- declare documents as important enough to send to the repository
- 'file' the documents (assign document types  / metadata)
- locate the documents
This is likely to be the same across regions. (Or are there differing
retention schedules per region?)

I don't know if content  types need to be region-specific. Perhaps region
is additional metadata on a parent content type? You could then have
your searches include selected content types, filtered by region
somehow. We're finding that we need to customize the search web part.

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