Our Work: SharePoint Document Management System

Containing 400,000 project documents from the past 10 years, the Hummingbird document management system was considered mission critical by ANTHC’s Division of Environmental Health and Engineering (DEHE).

However, the system required constant support; corrupted documents randomly; and couldn’t meet DEHE’s needs in key areas like searching, automated workflows, and security. DEHE asked Resource Data to replace the system with SharePoint.

The Solution

We built DEHE a custom Document Center site using SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Edition. In the site, each major DEHE program has a separate library with folders that define different levels of security.

The site self-organizes documents based on organizational or security related metadata. When a user changes a document’s metadata values, SharePoint automatically “moves” the document to the correct libraries and folders.

And to meet DEHE’s needs for robust searches, the site uses SharePoint’s built-in search features combined with

  • Custom search result pages, tailored to user groups and processes
  • Searchable document metadata
  • Customizations that increase usability

We also migrated all 400,000 documents from Hummingbird to SharePoint. Using a custom intermediary database, we transformed and mapped Hummingbird metadata fields to a standardized set of SharePoint fields. As documents were converted, we also automatically added new metadata fields to them in accordance with DEHE business rules.

Our Approach

One of DEHE’s goals was to automate moving documents within system. To meet this need, we architected the solution to drive document management almost entirely by metadata, instead of storing documents in rigid, hierarchical structures. This powerful approach greatly decreased DEHE document managers’ manually re-organizing documents.

We also designed all customizations to be configurable using SharePoint configuration lists. For example, with these lists, site administrators can define new security levels for documents and set which permissions the level requires. This configuration-centric design enables DEHE staff to easily maintain and extend the system—without help from developers.