Earlier in the week Lara discussed SharePoint’s native labeling functionality. As Lara mentioned, the biggest disadvantage of the native labeling in SharePoint is that the user has to do something to get the labels in the document. In this post, I’ll discuss how we’ve enhanced the standard labeling in SharePoint with our Document Marking for SharePoint product.
Before I get into the details, I want to give everyone a bit of background on this product. Our Document Classification desktop product, which we’ve been selling for about 4 years, has the ability to add labels and watermarks to Office documents on the desktop. Some of our customers told us they liked this functionality, but they would prefer to see this done on the server. Being the most popular platform for sharing documents we decided to build labeling and watermarking functionality into SharePoint. Our goal was to make this a completely transparent process to users. The feedback we got was that, due to compliance and organizational policy, labelling needs to be mandatory in some environments. Thus labeling and watermarking functions should be controlled via administrator policy. The user should not be responsible for inserting labels.
The Document Marking for SharePoint product allows organizations to add labels and watermarks to Office documents via policy. The label or watermark can be any fixed text, or metadata available in SharePoint. So you could add labels that include standard SharePoint metadata like the author or date of creation, or custom metadata fields such as Project name, classification etc.
The administrator defines the policy via SharePoint Information Management Policy. We’ve added two policies, one for watermarking and one for header / footer labels. The policy can be attached to a document library, or you can create a site collection policy. The example below shows a policy that will add a watermark to Microsoft Word documents. The watermark will contain the value of the column “Classification”.
The screenshot below shows an example of the Header / Footer policy. In this case, we will be adding a header and footer to Microsoft Word documents. The text inserted in the header and footer will include the fixed text “Titus Labs:” and the value of the custom column called Classification.
Once the policy has been defined for a document library all documents in the library will have the policy applied. This can include existing documents in the library, a new document added to the library or a bulk upload of documents. All this is done transparently to the user. For new documents, the policy is applied when the document is saved or uploaded to the library. If the label needs to be changed for some reason, the administrator can change the policy and the document labels are automatically updated. Once a policy is applied, the next time a document is opened the header footer and watermark will appear in the document.
If you are interested in seeing the product in action, have a look at the YouTube video we’ve created - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDh9hiV-uHs