I have been tasked with a project where I am moving a ton of documents from an old DB backed system to SharePoint. Easy, right? No!

The documents all have what the old system calls properties - basically tags or metadata such as Year, Invoice Number, or Customer. Naturally, one would just add columns to the Library. The only problem is, there are about 20 different groups of documents, all with their own properties.


- 1099's
    - Doc1.tif
        - Year: 2001
        - Company Code: 15432
    - Doc2.tif
        - Year: 2003
        - Company Code: 54323
- Bank Statements
    - Statement1.tif
        - Bank Name: Bank1
        - Account Number: 3452345345
    - Statement2.tif
        - Bank Name: Bank2 of America
        - Account Number: 2342345234

All "sets" of documents have their own "properties" and there are about 20 different sets of documents. So I don't think library columns would work here. I would HATE to have 20 different libraries to manage for this one project. I love metadata (and what SharePoint admin doesn't??), but this one has me stumped.

Does anyone know how this could be accomplished?

1 Answer 1


You should create 20 content types and then attach those to the library.

Inside the content types you can refer metadata columns (Ex - Bank names)

You can script the import using power shell scripts.

  • Thanks - I think that will work. I will give it a day or two before I mark as answer to see if there are any more ideas. One question though - with SharePoint Online, is there any way to force them to choose a document type rather than defaulting to Document? Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 17:42
  • Also, how can I show only the relevant metadata when viewing them in the List view (modern layout). The only way I can think of is create filtered views for each content type and check only the applicable boxes. Can you think of any other ways to do this? Thanks for all your help! Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 17:46
  • 1
    You can remove the default document content type from the library and add your own as the default. Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 17:47
  • 1
    You will be able to select the fields from the view settings page. Even if it belongs to a particular CT it will be available for selection. Once you try it out you will get more clarity. Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 17:52

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