Best Practice & Document Collections

Dear Forum, 

I have use case I would like to ask you for advice about.

We have a department that needs to collate a number of documents (lets say 50-100) for submission to an external party. This department at the moment classifies these documents broadly speaking as "attachments". My idea was to have a document class called Attachment (the broad class would mean that others departments could also utilize this class) and in this particular case we would link to the relevant Object which is the main "parent" of this information.

The idea here is that the:

  1. 100 Attachments could be dragged and dropped into M-Files and saved as doc class = "attachment" which link to a particular object
  2. These 100 attachments can then be collated into a document collection and shared with the relevant parties
  3. Attachments can always be filtered by the linked object which creates a "clean-looking" view for the end user i.e. view by object = document collection etc. 

For those experienced M-Files Users, do you have a better or more efficient way of managing such a case? If yes can you please share your wisdom :) 

Does the above seem too complicated or open to major future issues? Is there an easier method we could employ?

thanks and best regards, 

Parents Reply Children
  • You cannot share a multifile document with external parties - at least not via Public Link. The same challenge applies to Document Collections. One possible solution is to package all the documents in a single Zip file and send a Public link to the external party so they can download the Zip file.

    If the external party has access to the vault it is different story. Then you could simply allow access to your document collection and all documents in that collection.

  • One thing I also noticed is that the Multi-file document doesn't display a document count in brackets. When a Document collection is used, it does specify X document members, which can be helpful - basically its very easy to check that the user has successfully saved the right number of documents.

    Vault access for externals is a whole other topic that I had failed to consider here. would you use a publishing vault here to give externals access to the materials they need or do you allow access to the document collection via your main working vault? 

  • That depends on circumstances:

    1. Is there highly sensitive information in the main vault?
      If yes then either move the sensitive information to another vault or use a separate publishing vault.
    2. What is the relation to the external users?
      If they are few and trusted long term business partners you could probably use the main vault. If they are many and not necessarily trusted then use a publishing vault.
    3. Is permissions in the main vault well configured by a competent administrator?
      It takes quite some effort to control permissions sufficiently to allow external users access to relevant information and nothing more than that. A few mistakes can allow access to more than intended, and it can be difficult to spot such errors. You can also make mistakes in the settings to replicate content to the publishing vault, but it is easy to spot unintended content in a vault that should only have public content.
  • The multi-file document looks useful because in this case the individual metadata properties of each of the documents is not important to the end-user - rather they can all share a common metadata card (and its associated properties).  Thanks for your input here!  The next issue to tackle is sharing with externals! 

  • Excellent questions and information. Thanks! At the moment our current process has been to zip and email the documents to the externals. I think we will have to compare the two methods and see which one makes the most sense from an efficiency and security perspective.