Sharepoint 2010_logo_2010.jpg In two recent articles we walked you through the evolution of document management in SharePoint 2010 (news, site), and a new feature called Document Sets. In a final follow-up article we will look at how those Document Sets can be customized so as to make them more flexible and more adaptable.

Document sets are components similar to folders that enable users to collaborate on related documents without having to create a new document library or site. Their purpose is to organize unmanaged documents and enable collaboration on documents that have been invested with similar metadata.

Editor's Note: To understand the basics of Document Sets in SharePoint 2010, read David's article: SharePoint 2010 Document Sets: Organize Related Documents for Project Based Work

Customizing Document Set Settings

While Document Sets come as standard components, Harmetz and Christensen point out that one of the real values is that users can customize them in many ways including:

  1. Customize Document Set Settings
  2. Customize Document Set Welcome Page
  3. Apply Workflow Actions

In this example, we will look at how creating a sales pitchbook will be made easier by deploying customized Document Sets in SharePoint 2010.

A pitchbook is a collaborative document created within the sales department of any company that is compiled to present the company, products, pricing and advantages to a client.

At the moment, this kind of collaboration is largely folder-based with new folders being created for every type of new content required. Customized Document Sets will not only speed up this process, but ensure that all required metadata and workflows are applied to all necessary documents.

1.Customizing Document Set Settings

Taking the pitchbook as an example, to get the full benefit of Document Sets the settings should be customized. While there are many possible customized settings, five of the most useful in this example include:

  • Create Content Type: The first stage here is to create templates. This is done by creating columns first then creating content types that inherit from the pitchbook Document Set.
  • Specify Allowed Content Types: In the Document Set settings link you specify the kind of content that you want to be allowed into the Document Set. Every pitchbook created after this will have these documents.
  • Welcome Page Columns: Columns can be added to the Welcome Page by aneasy select and tick function.
  • Document Library: The document must be added to the document library. New pitchbooks can now be created from the ‘New Document’ menu in the library.
  • Pitchbook View: The view that is required on the Welcome Page is selected in the document library and then added to the Document Set settings.

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SharePoint 2010 Document Set Customization

The result of these five steps is that when you create a new document -- in this case a pitchbook -- it will automatically be created with presentations, contracts and spreadsheets ready and all the with shared metadata.

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SharePoint 2010. Customizing allowable content in Document Sets

Editor's Note: Get the details on how Document Management has changed in SharePoint 2010.

Customizing the Document Set Welcome Page

Using the example of the pitchbook again, the first thing to say about the Document Set Welcome page is that in default it will display an image, the properties of the Document Set and all the content of the Document Set.

However, if you wish to customize it there are three options:

  • Web based SharePoint page editor
  • SharePoint Designer
  • Implement a completely custom page

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SharePoint 2010. Editing Document Sets Welcome Page with web editor

In this case, to edit the Welcome Page of the pitchbook the web browser page editor will be used. For simple editing in three steps: