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Plan document libraries (Windows SharePoint Services)

SharePoint 2007

Updated: December 1, 2006

Applies To: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

 

Topic Last Modified: 2011-10-03

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Document libraries are collections of files on Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 that you share with other site users. Most Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 document management features are delivered through document libraries. As part of document management planning, you should determine the document libraries that best fit your organization's needs.

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 includes the following types of document libraries:

  • Document Library Use a Document Library for general purpose document storage, document collaboration, and easy sharing of content.

  • Picture Library Use a Picture Library to share, manage, and reuse digital pictures.

Use document libraries to store content on which your workgroup is collaborating and to create shared knowledge bases. For example, a workgroup that designs products can use a document library to store works-in-progress such as design proposals, specifications, and supporting information. Using metadata, displayed as columns of information, the status of each design document can be maintained and made public, along with each document's author, the project name, and so forth. Completed documents can be stored separately in a searchable knowledge base document library that is used as source of information when researching new projects.

In Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, document libraries can contain multiple types of documents. To implement this, you associate one or more content types with the document library. When multiple content types are associated with a library, the New command for that library will let users create new documents of any content type associated with the library, and metadata for all content types that the library can contain are displayed in document library views. For more information on content types planning, see Plan content types (Windows SharePoint Services).

Other document library features that support collaboration include:

  • Templates You can design a template and associate it with a document library to standardize the documents created in the library.

  • Workflows Using a custom workflow (see Plan workflows (Windows SharePoint Services)), business processes can be run on documents. For example, a workflow could send a document for review.

  • Check in and out You can require that users check documents in and out of a document library before editing them.

  • Versioning You can choose from three versioning options.

Using the Plan Libraries worksheet, list each document library to create and the site on which the library will be created. For example, using the product design example described above, you would create two entries: "library for active design documents," and "library for archived design documents." For each library list all the types of content you want to store in the library, such as "product specifications," and "product design documents."

Versioning is the method by which successive iterations of a document are numbered and saved.

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 has three versioning options:

  • None Specifies that no previous versions of documents are saved. When no versioning is in use, previous versions of documents are not retrievable, and document history is also lost, because comments that accompany each iteration of a document are not saved. Use this option on document libraries containing unimportant content or content that will never change.

  • Major versions only Specifies that numbered versions of documents are retained using a simple versioning scheme (1, 2, 3, etc.). To control the affect on storage space, you can specify how many previous versions to keep, counting back from the current version. In major versioning, each time a new version of a document is saved, all users with permissions to the document library will be able to view the content. Use this option when you do not want to differentiate between draft versions of documents and published versions. For example, in a document library that is used by a workgroup in an organization, major versioning is a good choice if everyone on the team needs to be able to view all iterations of each document.

    Major and minor versions Specifies that numbered versions of documents are retained by using a major and minor versioning scheme (1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 2.0, 2.1, etc.). Versions ending with .0 are major versions and versions ending with non-zero extensions are minor versions. Previous minor and major versions of documents are saved along with current versions. To control the affect on storage space, you can specify how many previous major versions to keep, counting back from the current version. You can also specify for how many major versions minor versions should be kept. For example, if you specify that minor versions should be kept for two major versions and the current major version is 4.0, then all minor versions starting at 3.1 will be kept. In major and minor versioning, any user with read permissions can view major versions of documents. You can specify which users can view minor versions. Typically, grant users who can edit items the permissions to view and work with minor versions, and restrict users with read permissions to viewing only major versions. Use major and minor versioning when you want to differentiate between published content that can be viewed by an audience and draft content that is not yet ready for publication. For example, in a human resources Web site containing organizational benefits descriptions, use major and minor versioning to restrict employees' access to benefits descriptions while the descriptions are being revised.

In the Document libraries worksheet, for each document library listed, specify the versioning scheme to use: none, major, or major and minor.

Content approval is the method by which site members with Approver permissions control the publication of content. A document draft awaiting content approval is in the Pending state. When an approver reviews the document and approves the content, it becomes available for viewing by site users with Read permissions. A document library owner can enable content approval for a document library and optionally associate a workflow with the library to run the approval process. Use content approval to formalize and control the process of making content available to an audience. For example, an enterprise that publishes content as one of its products or services might require a legal review and approval before publishing the content.

The way that documents are submitted for approval varies depending on the versioning settings in the document library:

  • None If no versioning is in use and changes to a document are saved, the document's state becomes Pending. Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 keeps the previous version of the document so that users with read permissions can still view it. After the pending changes have been approved, the new version of the document is made available for viewing by users with read permissions and the previous version is discarded. If no versioning is in use and a new document is uploaded to the document library, it is added to the library in the Pending state and is not viewable by users with read permissions until it is approved.

  • Major versions only If major versioning is in use and changes to a document are saved, the document's state becomes Pending and the previous major version of the document is made available for viewing by users with read permissions. After the changes to the document are approved, a new major version of the document is created and made available to site users with read permissions and the previous version is saved to the document's history list. If major versioning is in use and a new document is uploaded to the document library, it is added to the library in the Pending state and is not viewable by users with read permissions until it is approved as version 1.

  • Major and minor versions If major and minor versioning is in use and changes to a document are saved, the author has the choice of saving a new minor version of the document as a draft or creating a new major version, which changes the document's state to Pending. After the changes to the document are approved, a new major version of the document is created and made available to site users with read permissions. In major and minor versions, both major and minor versions of documents are kept in a document's history list. If major and minor versioning is in use and a new document is uploaded to the document library, it can be added to the library in the Draft state as version 0.1 or the author can immediately request approval, in which case the document's state becomes Pending.

In the Document libraries worksheet, specify whether or not to require content approval for each document library listed.

You can require that users check documents in and out of a document library before editing them. It is always recommended to do this. The benefits of requiring checking in and out include:

  • Better control of when document versions are created. When a document is checked out, the author can save the document without checking it in. Other users of the document library will not be able to see these changes and a new version is not created. A new version (visible to other users) is only created when an author checks in a document. This gives the author more flexibility and control.

  • Better capture of metadata. When a document is checked in, the author can write comments that describe the changes made to the document. This promotes creation of an ongoing historical record of the changes made to the document.

In the Document libraries worksheet, specify whether or not to require check-in and check-out for each document library listed.

Information Rights Management (IRM) enables content creators to control and protect their documents. The contents of rights-managed documents are encrypted and supplied with an issuance license that impose restrictions on users. These restrictions vary depending on the level of users' permissions. Typical restrictions include making a document read-only, disabling copying of text, not allowing users to save a copy of the document, or preventing users from printing the document. Client applications that read IRM-supported file types use the issuance license inside an IRM-managed document to enforce the restrictions on users who access the document.

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 supports using Information Rights Management on documents stored in document libraries. To implement Information Rights Management for a file type, an administrator must install a protector for that file type, which is a program that controls the encryption and decryption of rights-managed documents for a type of file.

By using Information Rights Management in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 you can control which actions users can take on documents when they open them from libraries in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. This is in contrast to IRM applied to documents stored on client computers, where the owner of a document can choose what rights to assign to each user of the document. Use IRM on document libraries to control sensitive content that is stored on the server. For example, if you are making a document library available to preview upcoming products to other teams within your enterprise, you could use IRM to prevent them from publishing the content to audiences outside your organization.

When IRM is enabled on a document library and a document of a type that can be rights-managed is downloaded from the server to a client application, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 encrypts the document and adds an issuance license. When the document is uploaded back to the server, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 decrypts the file and stores it in the library in unencrypted form.

The IRM permissions that are applied to a document when users upload it from a document library are based upon each user's permissions to the content in the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 security settings. The following table describes how Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 permissions are converted to IRM permissions:

 

Windows SharePoint Services Permissions IRM permissions

Manage Permissions, Manage Web

Full Control, as defined by the client. This generally allows a user to read, edit, copy, save, and modify the permissions of rights-managed content.

Edit List Items, Manage List, Add and Customize Pages

Edit, Copy, and Save permissions. You can optionally enable users with these permissions to print documents from the document library.

View List Item

Read permissions. A user can read the document, but cannot copy or update its content. You can optionally enable users with View List Item permissions to print documents from the document library.

Other

No other permissions map to IRM permissions.

To use IRM in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, you must install the Microsoft Windows Rights Management Services Client, version 1, on every front-end Web server in your server farm, and Microsoft Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) for Windows Server 2003, service pack 1.0 or later, must be available on your network. To install the Windows Rights Management Services Client, and for additional information about Microsoft Windows Rights Management Services, visit the Windows Rights Management Services Technology Center (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/technologies/rightsmgmt/default.mspx). For a description of the steps needed to configure Microsoft Windows Rights Management Services to allow Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 to create rights managed content, see the "Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Deployment Guide." For more information about IRM as it is implemented by Rights Management Services, see RMS FAQ (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=230459).

For each document library listed in the Document libraries worksheet, specify whether or not to require Information Rights Management and, if protectors for additional document types are required, note that information in the Require Information Rights Management? column.

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