How can I implement parent child relationship inside a document library. The document library will have different documents for countries. The same document library will have documents for states belonging to different countries.

I need to maintain parent child relationship of all these documents and I don't want separate list to be created for this.

Thanks Alam


If you aren't going to use folders, then you'll want multiple metadata columns, one for country, one for state. Then you can use document library views to group by country then by state to get a folder like view of the relational data.


Depending on the version of SharePoint Online you're using you might have Managed Metadata. If you have then a TermSet with Continent => Countries => States => Cities => ... might be exactly what you need.

Hint to enable Manage Metadata if available but not enabled: Enabling Managed Metadata in Office365 (includes download)


Assuming I understand correctly what you need, it's not exactly parent-child relationship. It seems you need something like hierarchical categories.

Most obvious: use folders. Create hierarchical folder structure for countries and states, and then place your documents inside the folders, and you're done.

Another option could be, for example, to create a list for countries, and then add lookup column to your document library, and maintain it. If you have countries and then states, you can use Infopath and create cascading dropdowns, as it is described in the following article:

  • We don't want folders fyi. And the problem is we don't want to manually add documents. The process will be automated one i.e. Documents will have add ins and on click of these documents will be placed inside the document library. – alam235 May 11 '12 at 8:56
  • In this case, consider Drop Off Library feature. Please refer this article for details: sharepointedutech.com/2010/02/22/… – Andrey Markeev May 11 '12 at 10:59
  • And anyway, please reflect your question to include the requirements mentioned above, because obviously the question was initially inaccurate and sadly I spent my time for nothing, writing all these things down for you. – Andrey Markeev May 11 '12 at 11:03
  • I am sorry Andre for this. – alam235 May 12 '12 at 5:51

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