Controlled Documents with SharePoint Online


Can SharePoint be used to manage Controlled Documents? This was the subject of a webinar I ran recently. I demonstrated some of the advanced document management features and using Power Automate to build approval processes.

During the webinar I talk about the common requirements for a controlled document system, process complexities and the some of the additional things you could do to enhance a solution.

Webinar Agenda:

  • Introduction
  • What is a controlled document system?
  • Why do you need one?
  • Common Issues / Business Case Scenarios
  • Demon of SharePoint Features for Controlled Documents
  • Q & A

Controlled documents are usually high value content, hopefully you’ll learn a few things from my webinar that help improve the way you manage content in your organisation.

Everything you see in the demo can be done using the standard licensing included with Office 365 plans that include SharePoint and Power Automate, including:

  • SharePoint Team site
  • Library Settings – Require Content Approval
  • Library Settings – Major and Minor versions
  • Metadata Columns – Owner, Department, Review Date
  • Library Views – My Documents, Review in 30 days, Group By Department
  • Power Automate Approval with additional approval steps

I mention Encodian PDF converter for SharePoint Online. This is a licensed app that adds functionality to Power Automate for many common document generation requirements.

I have also blogged on two of the main features in the demo:

My demo didn’t go entirely smoothly, but decided it was better to leave it in than edit out a real world lesson. Here are the lessons and solutions:

  • Metadata not updating because I had left the document open in Word Online. This prevented the metadata updating from the info panel.
  • My approval failed on the top document because it was checked out. In the Flow I have a step that sets the ‘Approval Status’, this action doesn’t work if the document is checked out.

Don’t forget to watch to the end. There are some great questions from the audience.

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