This post aims to showcase the powerful built-in search, filtering, and sorting functionalities of SharePoint libraries. By the end, you’ll understand why these features make SharePoint Libraries a superior option for document management compared to traditional File Explorer methods.

The Power of SharePoint’s Native Features

Search Bar

The search bar at the top allows for quick and robust searches across all documents in the library. It’s not just limited to file names; you can search within the contents of documents, provided they are indexed properly.

Column Sorting

Column headers offer an intuitive way to sort files based on various metadata like date created, author, or custom tags. A simple click can rearrange your files in ascending or descending order.

Column Filtering

Much like an Excel spreadsheet, SharePoint libraries allow you to filter documents based on column values. This is particularly useful when you have a large set of files and need to narrow down your options.

SharePoint vs. Traditional File Explorer

Nested Folders

In traditional File Explorer systems, documents are often saved in nested folders. This requires you to remember the exact folder structure or use a search function that may not be as powerful as SharePoint’s.

Training and Maintenance

Navigating through nested folders requires training, especially for new employees. It’s also a challenge to maintain this structure as your document count grows.

Lack of Metadata

File Explorer doesn’t offer an easy way to tag files with metadata, making it difficult to perform detailed searches or categorize files effectively.

The Importance of Metadata in SharePoint

One of the cornerstones of SharePoint’s effectiveness is its ability to make use of metadata. Properly tagged documents are easier to search for, sort, and filter, making your document management system highly efficient.

SharePoint libraries come with out-of-the-box features that are not only user-friendly but also powerful. When compared to traditional methods of file storage, SharePoint offers a more organized, searchable, and manageable solution, provided that you invest a little time in setting up your metadata correctly.

Bridging the Gap with Dynamics 365

While SharePoint itself offers a robust solution for document management, its power is multiplied when integrated with Dynamics 365. Through a simple Command Ribbon Button, as discussed in a previous blog post, users can effortlessly access SharePoint’s enhanced features without leaving the Dynamics 365 environment. Now, let’s delve into how this integration can help you overcome some of the limitations present in Dynamics 365’s native document management capabilities.

Breaking Free from Dynamics 365 Limitations

Dynamics 365 is powerful, but when it comes to document management, it has its limitations:

  1. Limited Search Capabilities: Dynamics 365 doesn’t offer the same depth of search functionality as SharePoint, especially when it comes to searching within the contents of a document.
  2. No Column-based Filtering or Sorting: Dynamics 365’s document interface doesn’t offer the same level of granularity in filtering and sorting documents as SharePoint does.

Expanding Your Search in SharePoint

Once you’re in SharePoint via the Command Ribbon Button, you’re not limited to just the pre-filtered view. You can easily remove or adjust filters, use the search bar, and sort columns to find exactly what you’re looking for, taking full advantage of SharePoint’s capabilities.

Conclusion: The Best of Both Worlds

By integrating SharePoint’s superior document management features with Dynamics 365 via a Command Ribbon Button, you create a streamlined, efficient workflow. Users get the best of both platforms: the CRM capabilities of Dynamics 365 and the document management prowess of SharePoint.

For more, check out the other posts in this series:

Meta Data Tagging

Creating & Adding Documents

Copying file from CRM field to CRM Library

The Command Ribbon Button

Viewing PDFs in Canvas Apps