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Metadata Tagging is More Accessible to SharePoint Online Users with the Latest Release of Office 365

We maintain an Office 365 E3 plan subscription. On April 6, 2013 our tenant on the service was upgraded to the 2013 version. We quickly updated our on premises versions of the Office Pro application suite and migrated our site collections for SharePoint Online to the 2013 architecture..

Today we uploaded an Excel spreadsheet with over 25K pieces of data to a SharePoint list. As we grappled with the options available to us to find an optimum method of displaying all of the data from the list in one view, we spent some time on the new List Settings page.

Two improvements caught our attention. A feature, “Information management policy settings” is now available to users and “Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Settings” is more prominent an option.

When we clicked on the “Information management policy settings” button we were served with a screen, which should be very useful for SharePoint Online users from heavily regulated industries. This screen can be used to define a “list based retention schedule”, which can be configured either based on Content Types (probably the most useful way) or “instead define schedules on the list and its folder” (quoted from the screen served by SharePoint Online, Office 365, 2013 version).

This feature, as is explained in a following screen that defines the “Source of Retention” options for the user, is to “[c]onfigure how items in this library receive a retention schedule . . . This will ensure that this library complies with the site’s information policy.” (Quoted from the text provided on the screen in SharePoint Online, Office 365, version 2013). In other words, the screen has been included to help the user implement at least an important part of a compliance plan, namely the information retention schedule.

The second feature, “Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Settings”, gives the user an option to permit the system to automatically “[a]dd an Enterprise keywords column to this list and enable Keyword synchronization”. Most users will likely opt to enable the system to build this information automatically, which should reduce the amount of manual effort otherwise required to ensure a useful search feature for a site collection or even an entire farm.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved