I'm working on a project which is creating a document library.

They would like to have one document lib and then tagged and categorized. But they would like to display these document library on other sites and sub sites filtered and sorted based on the tagging

But the question is whats the best way to tag the documents and the tagging structure is quite complicated. Currently we are thinking of creating columns and using that to tag docs e.g categories etc..

But I'd prefer to use managed metadata - Term Store. So is this the best way to achieve this.

Will document set and managed metadata work better in this scenario?

If I use Document set and Manages metadata how would I be able to display these files on other subsites based on specific filtering etc..

Any thoughts and experience will be appreciated

Thanks in Advance

1 Answer 1


Document management by metadata is the correct approach. I’ve worked both with Document Sets and without them. Document Sets have the benefit of storing documents that share one or more properties. They come in handy if you use a document library for storing multiple documents in an isolated environment. An example can be the use of marketing surveys records where you have several different documents in one survey. That market survey would work perfectly fine as a Document Set. You could easily store several market surveys in these document sets.

The downside is that Document Sets need a lot of configuration and it can sometimes be a cruel task to create views on the library showing only documents. Further they are folders with properties, and I’m a Filter-By-Metadata-SPAdmin and don’t like the information architecture of folders. Basically since you can only view one at a time, and can’t compare documents in multiple document sets at a time.

So instead I prefer to use a central metadata store, such as the one called Managed metadata Service and its Term Store. In there you create the taxonomy to be used in the company and can reuse terms for navigation, if needed. In your case, create the categories you need in a Term Set which should be used in a Site Column. That site column is of type metadata, which you connect to your category term set upon creation. Create as many term sets and site columns you need.

The next step is to collect all your newly created site columns in a content type for your document library. Add the site columns you need and move over to your document library. Go to library settings and chose advanced settings and set the “Allow management of content types” to yes and save. Add your newly created content type and delete the default one from this library.

Create appropriate views on this library (optional) and on your other sites, where you need to display documents, use the Content Search Web Part and filter content based on organizational property of your choice.

  • Thanks Benny awesome. Displaying the views on other subsites and sites with CSWP is what I have to get a hang of. Any resources will be appreciated
    – naijacoder
    May 25, 2015 at 6:16

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