I can't wrap my head around how Metadata and permissions levels will play together on my sharepoint library.

When I think of Metadata I think of a flatter folder hierarchy. At least, reducing our very deep folder system is the impetus for instituting metadata. When I think about permissions levels I think about doing it on folders. I would not want to have to set permissions on each individual file. We do have some groups set up so I can assign permission that way.

If I go from a hierarchy with 7 levels of folders, to one with only 4 levels, say, I am imagining files which currently have different permission levels, that would be commingled.

Am I thinking about this correctly? What is the best way to limit permissions on files that are currently in folders but would no longer be once we institute metadata?

1 Answer 1


If there are things that will need to be permissioned, then use folders in conjunction with metadata. Views can be created to recurse through folders to show information to users. This will automatically security trim the results.

Managing item level permissions in a flat lisst of documents is a nightmare and can cause performance issues. So don't think just because you are using metadata, you have to abandon folders completely.

  • thanks. I wasn't thinking that I had to abandon folders completely but our system is so deep that we are running into too long path name errors sometimes, so it definitely has to be scaled back.
    – Vidro3
    Nov 26, 2013 at 15:08
  • 1
    Plan ahead, when creating the document library, give it a really short name initially to set the URL then edit the Title in the List settings. Keep folder names short and don't allow people to name things like Product_review_Contoso_11192013_rev2.docx, that's what metadata is for. Nov 26, 2013 at 16:01

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