Colleague: Don, I’m uploading a bunch of old content from file shares into a SharePoint 2010 Records Center repository and I need to figure out a way that I can apply metadata to each record in bulk so I don’t have to edit the properties of each record separately. Got any suggestions?
Me: Sure, Colleague, just setup location-based metadata defaults. It’s really not hard.
Colleague: Great. How do I do that?
Me: Check out my blog. I have a post on it in there somewhere.
Colleague: Um…no, you don’t. I looked.
Me: (Looking even more befuddled than usual) Wait…what?
Turns out Colleague was right. Close to 120 posts over five years and I’ve never written anything about metadata defaults in SharePoint 2010. Didn’t have it in the videos either. Surprising to me because it’s a really useful little feature that can streamline file share cleanups, as well as help you get the most benefit out of the Content Organizer.
Oh well, it’s a little late, but here’s how metadata defaults work.
Suppose you want to assign a value to records uploaded to a Records Center folder based on the fiscal year in which the original content was created, but you don’t want to force your users to enter that value manually. No problem.
Login to SharePoint as a user with proper permissions and navigate to the Library that contains the folders you will be uploading your records to. (In my example, I’ve created a Library called ‘Facilities Records’ that contains folders for each of the last four fiscal years. I’ve also created a custom Content Type that has a single line of text column called ‘Fiscal Year Created’ and assigned it as the only Content Type in the Library.)
Click on Library Settings and select ‘Column default value settings’ from the General Settings group.
This will display a tree view of the Library and all its folders, as well as list every column that a default value can be assigned to.
Highlight the folder which will contain your uploaded records and click on the column name you want to configure (in our example, Fiscal Year Created).
Select ‘Use this default value’ and enter the value to be assigned to records in this specific folder.
Click on ‘OK’ and you will notice that the folder icon has changed indicating one or more default column values has been assigned to it. (Of course, in a real-world scenario, I would continue through the remaining three folders in this Library and assign each of them a corresponding unique value for ‘Fiscal Year Created’.)
Now if we upload one or more records into the Fiscal Year 2012 folder in the Facilities Records Library…
…and view the properties of any them…
…we will notice it has the correct value assigned to it.
For some reason, this technique isn’t widely used, but it can be a tremendous time saver when you are uploading large volumes of SharePoint content and you want to avoid adding one or more property values to each item manually.