Plan document libraries

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

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Topic Last Modified: 2016-11-14

In this article:

  • Plan document libraries

  • Plan the flow of content

  • Promoting document libraries from Office client programs

Document libraries are collections of files on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 that you share with other site users. Most Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 document management features are delivered through document libraries. As part of document management planning, you should determine the document libraries that best fit your organization's needs.

When you identify which document libraries best match your organization's needs, you might also determine that you need multiple sites or site collections. For example, if you are authoring content for publication to external customers, you might need one site (and library) in which to author and review content and a separate site, perhaps in a separate Office SharePoint Server 2007 installation, in which to publish your content.

When you plan document libraries over multiple sites, you may also need to plan how content flows from one site to another — by manual processes, workflows, or custom solutions.

Plan document libraries

The following table lists typical uses of document libraries in Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Library Purpose

Library in a team site

Collaboration; easy sharing of content among peers; content control, such as versioning and moderation; Office SharePoint Server 2007 searching.

Library in a portal area

Content that is intended for a wider audience in the organization; similar to a library in a team site, but typically implemented with a more-stringent review and approval process.

Library in a Document Center site

A large-scale library useful as an enterprise knowledge base or historical archive; includes features to help users navigate, search, and manage a large number of documents in a deep hierarchy by using a set of specialized Web Parts.

Library in a Records Repository

Specialized records management; each library corresponds to a record type, such as contract, that the organization must retain for legal compliance purposes; libraries retain documents, metadata, and associated audits and are meant to be read-only.

Library in an Internet site (HTML)

Contains Web pages to incorporate in an Internet or intranet Web site; Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports editing Web pages directly and manages the underlying document libraries for each page automatically.

Library in an Internet site (hybrid)

Content available for downloading from a Web site; you can present content from document libraries on an Internet site.

Translation management document library

Designed for translating documents, if your enterprise works in multiple languages. It includes a specialized translation workflow and views that show multiple language versions of the same document or all documents in a particular language.

Slide library

Supports sharing, managing, and reusing Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 slides.


Avoid creating folders in a slide library if you know that content from this site will be deployed to another farm or site collection by content deployment. Sites that contain slide libraries with folders cannot be imported or exported.

The following example illustrates how to use the analysis that you completed in Analyze document usage to help you plan document library organization for your enterprise. In this example, Contoso Ltd. delivers content to clients based on market research. The content is created primarily by consultants operating remotely. This is done in a cycle in which:

  1. A partner evaluates engagement ideas and requests for proposals.

  2. After a contract is established, a project manager assembles a team of consultants and creates an engagement-specific working site in which the results of the research are recorded and the project is completed.

  3. When the project is done, the deliverable documents are published to a secured Internet site, where customers have access to them.

  4. The team writes best practices documents and case studies based on the project.

  5. Knowledge managers collect, organize, and archive the best practices and other documents.

  6. Deliverables, contracts, and other records are retained as corporate records.

  7. Using the content maintained by the knowledge managers, partners evaluate opportunities and create new proposals.

The following table illustrates a document usage analysis for this scenario.

Documents Purpose Author Users Format

Engagement ideas and requests

Develop new customer engagements

Project leader

Sales manager; project leader



Describe a proposed customer engagement

Project leader

Project managers; project team members; customers



Commit to a consulting engagement


Project leader; project manager; sales manager; customers


Research results and project deliverable drafts

Generate documents related to the customer engagement

Project leader; project contributor; consultant

Editors; technical reviewers

.doc and other types

Deliverable documents

Generate final deliverables, probably converted from .doc format

Project leader



Best practices and case study documents

Capture organizational knowledge

Project contributor; consultant; knowledge manager

All team members

Various types

Corporate records

Retain some content, such as deliverable documents, as corporate records


Corporate records managers; corporate lawyers


This document usage analysis suggests the following conclusions:

  • Project leaders need libraries in team sites for storing engagement ideas, engagement requests, and proposal drafts.

  • Lawyers need libraries in a portal area for storing contract templates and active contracts.

  • Project leaders and contributors need libraries in team sites for authoring research results, deliverables, and case studies.

  • Customers need libraries in an Internet site for viewing final deliverables.

  • All members of the enterprise need access to a Document Center site for viewing best practices and case study documents.

  • Corporate records managers and lawyers need access to an enterprise Records Repository to maintain corporate records.

The following figure illustrates how these libraries might be distributed. The sites are hosted in three site collections: an Internet site collection for customer access, an extranet site collection for remote authoring by team members, and an intranet site collection for secure maintenance of the records management site.

Distribution of libraries across sites

Worksheet action

The Document libraries worksheet ( is provided to record your library planning decisions. Use this worksheet to list the libraries required for your solution, along with the types of documents they contain. Note that libraries can contain more than one type of document.

Plan the flow of content

Content in a document management solution based on Office SharePoint Server 2007 is often dynamic, moving from one site to another as needed to meet document users' needs. When you plan document libraries, therefore, also plan the flow of content from one library or site to another. Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes the following ways to move content, either manually or dynamically:

  • You can create custom workflows that copy or move content from one site or library to another. A workflow guides a document through a business process, assigning tasks to participants as their role in the document's life cycle becomes active. A workflow can be designed to move a document from one site or library to another. For information about planning workflows, see Plan workflows for document management.

  • Authors can copy a document to a library in any site in which they have authoring permissions. The relationship between the source and the destination document is maintained so that the copy can be refreshed as needed.

  • Web pages and entire Web sites can be staged and published from one site to another either manually or automatically based on a schedule.

  • Content can be sent to the records management site by using the Office SharePoint Server 2007 user interface, by using a workflow, or by using a custom solution based on the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 object model.

  • Using Web Folders or Network Places, an author can manually copy or move the contents of a document library from one library or site to another.

Returning to our example, the following figure illustrates how to apply some of these content flow techniques. Note that the Staged Internet site has been added to the Authoring portal site.

How content flows from one library to another

  • Using publishing features, Web pages are published to the Internet site.

  • Using the Copy command, documents are copied to the Document Center site.

  • Using a custom workflow, documents are copied to document libraries on the Internet site.

  • Using the Send to Records Repository command, contracts are sent to the enterprise Records Repository.

Promoting document libraries from Office client programs

You can customize the 2007 Office system Open and Save dialog boxes to encourage organization members to use document libraries as storage locations. By adding sites to the My Places bar next to the Open and Save dialog boxes, you can provide one-click access to the locations where users should store their documents. This enables team members to interact with the document libraries as part of the Save experience from 2007 Office system client programs, rather than having to go directly to the server to upload their documents.

To promote using sites in the Open and Save dialog boxes, you can publish them by using a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Web service. This service provides a list of sites targeted to specific users based on their roles or the sites that they are members of. A 2007 Office system client program can automatically discover this Web service through the user's My SharePoint Sites. Other server products can also implement this Web service and provide the location of the service to the Office client. After this is configured, 2007 Office system adds an entry to the My Places bar and populates it with the locations defined by the Web service.

Alternatively, administrators can set registry keys to add specific sites to the My Places bar in the Office Open and Save dialog boxes. Registry keys are deployed by using Group Policy and a Microsoft Active Directory directory service template provided in the 2007 Office system Resource Kit.

You can limit the locations that organization members can save to using the Office Save dialog box. For example, you can restrict the ability to save files to desktops and force users to save content in a document library. In 2007 Office system, you can control where users are allowed to browse to save their documents, thereby guiding users to save in approved locations. Note that this does not guarantee that users won't save files to their local computers or other unapproved locations. There are many ways to get files onto a computer, and motivated people can work around most restrictions. However, by limiting access to these locations through the Office Save dialog box, you can dramatically reduce the number of team members who use these unapproved locations.

To restrict the locations available in the Office Save dialog box, use Group Policy to set the appropriate registry keys to enable this setting and define the approved local, network, or server locations. When this setting is enabled, any location not defined in this manner — including standard links to the Desktop and My Network Places — will be removed from the My Places bar.

The list of approved locations can be limited to one or more Office applications. For example, an administrator can restrict save locations in Microsoft Office Access 2007 while allowing other Office applications to save anywhere.

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See the full list of available books at Downloadable content for Office SharePoint Server 2007.

See Also


Plan content types (Office SharePoint Server)