We are working on building a document management for our customer using SharePoint online. the documents will have those 3 categories (metadata)

  1. Client. ClientA, ClientB, ClientC, etc.

  2. Type. General, Know-How, Procedures, Rules, etc.

  3. Department. HR, IT, Finance, etc.

Now we are thinking of doing the following:-

  1. When a new client join the company >> to create the folder structure.

  2. Then users will be uploading documents to the root folder >> tag them by defining the 3 metadata >> then we will have a power automate flow which will move the document to the related folder based on the metadata applied. we will have this folder structure:-

Client Name (Main Folder) >> Type (first level Sub-Folder) >> Department (Second level Sub-folder)

now I have the following three questions:-

  1. is it a bad practice or it is a good practice to define metadata for the documents + arrange them inside folders? or this is considered redundant ? as based on folder location you can know the metadata?

  2. what determine if we should create separate libraries for each client? or store all the documents for all the clients inside the same library ?

  3. what should determine how many libraries we should have? the number of permission sets? or the number of clients? or both?


1 Answer 1


It is generally a good practice to use metadata to describe and classify documents, as well as to organize them into folders, as this can help to make the documents more easily searchable and findable. By applying metadata to documents, you can create a more structured and organized system for managing and accessing the documents, which can be particularly helpful if you have a large number of documents or if you need to share the documents with others.

As for whether you should create separate libraries for each client or store all the documents for all the clients in the same library, there are a few factors to consider. One important factor is the level of security and access control that you need to apply to the documents. If you need to apply different levels of security or access control to the documents for different clients, then it may be more appropriate to create separate libraries for each client. This will allow you to apply different security and access control settings to each library, which can help to ensure that the documents are only accessible to the appropriate users.

In terms of determining how many libraries you should have, the number of clients is just one factor to consider. Other factors could include the number of documents you expect to have, the level of security and access control that you need to apply to the documents, and the needs and preferences of your users. Ultimately, the decision of how many libraries to create will depend on the specific requirements of your organization and the needs of your users.

  • the issue is that it is hard to define unique permission for each document library as there will always be some unique documents that need to be shared with extra or less users
    – John John
    Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 22:53

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