SharePoint Meta Data Tags during Import

We’ve often discussed with client looking to utilize some of the features in SharePoint for document management the benefits of using meta data and tags to make finding document easier.  One of the challenges often faced with this approach is the migration of an existing file share or a large number of documents from another source.  Tagging such a large amount of files can prove problematic.

We have a current client facing such a situation.  There are 3rd party tools that can help with such a migration, but with recent changes and updates to the Microsoft Office 365 platform, those Office 365 customers can not benefit from a customized PowerShell script to tag files as they migrate.

We have a few options when tagging files as the script uploads them into their online SharePoint environment.  We could use the current folder structure to pull relevant tags, for example using a containing folder name to serve as a tag.  We could hard code the values for tags and perform multiple migrations, moving only folders we wish to take with a certain set of tags.  A more complicated migration may require an excel spreadsheet listing all the files to be migrated, their current location, and the tags for each file listed in cells on the same row as the file information.  The process can be catered to the needs of the customer thanks to the customization available in writing the script.

PowerShell provides us the flexibility and more importantly the efficiency needed to apply a large set of meta tag data to a large amount of documents in an automated fashion.  Combining the tags for documents with the new document library experience available in SharePoint allows any user to quickly find the documents via searching and filtering, and with PowerShell scripting – we can make the process of achieving a cleanly tagged document library a hassle free experience.