SharePoint 2013 Document Management Features

These days there are many issues that organizations have identified for a long time of use in their document storage. First, file server would only be accessible to end-users in internal network and would have to require VPN (Virtual Private Network) in case documents need to be present to partner or people outside of the company. Next, classification by hierarchy of folder is not a flexible approach. End-users have to navigate dozen of times when finding content. Moreover, the existing search feature is actually poor that does not reach to expectation. In terms of security policy, although the NTFS mechanism is applied, documents look unsecured all the time. Below are some of many concerns organizations are dealing with:

  • Security is applied carelessly, which exposes sensitive information to inappropriate people.
  • Important documents are stored on laptop that could be lost, stolen at any time
  • Documents stored centrally on Windows network drives, once deleted; may not go into a recycle bin.
  • No version management process is established to recover original version of document when needed.
  • It’s hard to audit document as no record exists

SharePoint was built intentionally to replace the manual document filling which was just used to store, and manage document in the manner of structured folder/sub-folder, by providing a new centralized document management system, to storing, controlling and protecting effectively for all documents.


SharePoint is web-based application that allows end-user to be able to access to shared documents regardless of where they are and mobile devices they use. Currently, the solution supports and is compatible with common browsers including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari.  Almost mobile platforms are supported.

Document Center

The document center is designed as a repository for lager quantities of documents. Document center looks like a portal where shared corporate documents are located. It provides the following features:

  • Document Upload button
  • Find Document by ID
  • Newest Documents
  • Highest Rated Document
  • Modified by Me

Additional reference:

Document Library

Document library is a place that is designed to replace folder in common use. End-user can decide whether uploading a document or creating a new one in document library.

With Related Content feature available in document libraries, organizations can define the relationship between many documents. The solution auto suggests many relevant documents that can be defined initially.

Version Management

Every time a document is edited, a copy of it is created automatically with a configurable version number. It’s helpful to protect your document because you can recover original version.

With this feature, time and effort involved in figuring out who has the latest version of a document, and recovering when various revisions overwrite each other are definitively saved a lot.

Document Approval

SharePoint allows organizations to effectively control documents by forcing them to be approved before they are present to authorized users. With this organizations are able to manage corporate documents such as expense reporting, product design documentation, engineering changes, employee vacation or so on.

The solution allows administrators who do not have much technical skill can customize approval process (i.e. adding/removing approver, creating more branch of approval steps)

Document Set

Document Set enables organizations to group multiple documents that support a single project or task, together into a single entity.

Some example where document set might be useful to manage information would be:

  • RFP response: managing multiple documents like proposal (.docx), presentation (.pptx), estimate and pricing (.xlsx) which are part of the response to a RFP.
  • Product documentation: managing multiple document like TDM/BDM brochure (.docx/.pdf), evaluation guides (.docx), various presentations (.pptx), feature comparison sheets (.xlsx) etc. which need to be created as part of product release.
  • Construction project management: managing multiple documents like architecture design (.pdf/.cad/.vdsx), master plan (.xlsx/.mpp), financial sheet (.xlsx).

Document ID

Document ID is useful for organizations that need to apply compliance for corporate document. By using ID, end-users can look up their documents more quickly.

Document ID is configurable and can be applied globally.

Additional reference:

Metadata and Navigation

The solution provides the ability to accommodate metadata for each document when created. Metadata is created per organization’s information architecture. For example, metadata of a project documentation may include Author, Client Name, Budget, Project Name, Project Manager, Expiration Date etc. With such a metadata, organizations can apply classification at best to provide a seamless way to search document.

With custom navigation that displays defined metadata, end-users can choose to see documents based on them. For example, someone can select all project documents that are provided to client A. With this, they do not have to spend time looking up documents in urgent case.

Office Web App

For personnel and traveling executives, access to the internal documents is always a burden. It happens normally to IT department as well. With Office Web App solution, end-users can view, edit documents directly in browser without having to install Microsoft Office client application in their personal computer.

View or Edit permission can be set to specific user or group in organization.

Helpful reference:


SharePoint  provides powerful search engine that provide greatest user experience for end-user. For the use of search normally, end-user simply needs to enter keyword in Search box like Google experience. Search is customized for big data that is very effective to organizations that have to serve large databases.

Additional reference:

Security/Information Rights Management

SharePoint supports a variety of authentication types including Windows authentication, OAuth, SAML …etc. In terms of authorization, it offers a visual look in permission administration portal.

SharePoint allows administrator to be able to add not only Active Directory group but also custom SharePoint group to manage document access. Moreover, permission can be assigned to specific documents or a group with different level (Full Control, Design, Contribute, Read, View Only…).

Information Rights Management

Information Rights Management in SharePoint can combine Active Directory Rights Management Service to provide organization the ability to control rights on content. Policy can be defined to meet security policy and compliance.


Archiving solution enables organization to archive documents when needed. That said, documents that are no longer effective could be moved to another document libraries to improve database performance and to meet compliance. Archived documents are still searchable if necessary.


SharePoint allows administrator to be able to track which users have taken what actions on documents. Knowing who has done what with which information is very important for company regulatory compliance. For example, administrator can determine which users edited a specific document and when they did it. These activities below can be captured:

  • Opening or downloading documents, viewing documents in libraries, or viewing document’s metadata.
  • Editing documents
  • Checking out/Checking in documents
  • Moving or copying documents to another location
  • Deleting or restoring documents

Administrator will be able to export audit report to Excel file with the following information:

  • Site from which an activity originated
  • Document ID, type, name and location
  • User ID associated with the activity
  • Activity type, date, time and source
  • Action taken on the document

Offline working

End-users can synchronize shared documents to their personal computers and mobile devices for offline working. Once their devices connect to the Internet, chances made on documents would be synchronized to SharePoint document libraries.


SharePoint supports translating content in documents from corporate language to another language using Microsoft Translation Engine.

Multi-lingual Support

Not only supporting translation functionality, the solution also supports multi-lingual format. End-users can decide to select which language they are familiar with.

Beside out-of-the-box features above, if you would like to use my consulting and development service, please feel free to shoot me an email at


  1. November 25, 2014 — 7:27 am

    This is fabulous that I found this much information in one blog. Thanks to the writer of this blog. These are very small things that we forget sometimes and the author pointed out all the details very precisely. Thanks again.

    Janet Shaffer

  2. December 11, 2016 — 1:31 am

    I think this is awesome work. Thanks for sharing you knowledge.

    • Thuan Soldier
      December 19, 2016 — 7:45 pm

      Thank you for your comment. Glad my article is helpful to you. Ping me anytime you need help at

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