- A common problem with the freewheeling nature of document authoring tools is that users can create as many documents as they want. This can create a problem for organizations when it comes time to find documents later, because the user may or may not have used a consistent naming scheme, may or may not have tagged the document with metadata properties, or may or may not have used a consistent, discoverable location for storage.
- SharePoint provides a feature called content types, which enable an organization to create a defined set of site columns and document templates for a given purpose. This enables users to select from a predefined set of published document templates and site columns, making it easy to maintain consistent document formats and storage locations. Content types can include an associated document template, required metadata columns, and consistent workflow and retention policies.
- A Content Type is a collection of settings that define a particular type of information, such as a project plan or financial report. A Content Type can be defined at the portal level or at the site level and reused across multiple document libraries and sites.
- It is often difficult to find related information when you are searching through a large repository. For example, if you would like to create a project plan for a new project, but you know that there have been many other projects similar to yours in the past. In a portal with several project team sites, it would be difficult to find all of the project plans. Content Types in Office SharePoint Server 2007 help simplify the process. If you define Project Plan as a Content Type, you could find all project plans in your portal easily with a single search.
- Here are a sample of Content Types other organizations have found useful. ■ Brochure ■ Case Study ■ Checklist ■ Form ■ Form Letter ■ Lesson Learned ■ Manual ■ Organization Chart ■ Policy ■ Presentation ■ Procedure ■ Project Plan ■ White Paper
- Content Types can be created at the site or site collection level and can “inherit” properties from a parent Content Type. For example, while a memo is an “instance” of a document, if your organization wants users to leverage a standard template when creating a memo, you will want to create a new Content Type called Memo that may be a “child” of the parent Content Type called Document. The Memo Content Type can inherit all of the properties of the Document Content Type but can leverage a different template.
Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 content types:
- Document content types—Basic Page, Document, Dublin Core Columns, Form, Link to a Document, Master Page, Picture, Web Part Page
- Folder content types—Discussion, Folder
- List content types—Announcement, Contact, Event, Far East Contact, Issue, Item,Link, Message, Task
- Special content types—Unknown Document Type
SharePoint Server 2007 content types:
- Business Intelligence Content Types—Dashboard Page, Indicator using data in Excel workbook, Indicator using data in SharePoint list, Indicator using in SQL Server Analysis Services, Indicator using manually entered information, Report
- Document content types—Same as with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
- Folder content types—Same as with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
- List content types—Same as with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
- Page layout content types—Article Page, Redirect Page, Welcome Page
- Publishing content types—Page, Page Layout, Publishing Master Page
- Special content types—Same as Windows SharePoint Services 3.0