Wrapping Up a Video Training Course on How to Move Documents Within and Across Libraries in SharePoint 2013

This is our final post on a class on Moving documents within and across libraries.

On the topic of the chore represented by copying web parts in order to duplicate the same document library as a sole method of moving documents from within shared document libraries to other libraries within the same site collection in SharePoint 2013, Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP and MCT, notes that “it is a bit of a hack.” Nevertheless, for organizations that need to understand end user privileges in order to plan roles and processes, understanding just how to replicate this hack is likely very helpful.

The remaining important point in this video training course is that it is not possible to move folders of documents across document libraries in SharePoint 2013. We think this restriction makes complete sense. In fact folders can play the part of shared document libraries. Therefore, if it were possible to move folders across shared document libraries, which likely have been constructed along a governance policy (or at least ought to have been built along lines of governance), then empowering end users with the privilege of dragging and dropping whole folders of documents where they like, would, in fact, defeat the governance plan itself.

The missing piece, of course, is that the connection between a set of processes like those demonstrated by Asif Rehmani in this video, and a working governance policy for SharePoint 2013 should be inescapable. One can argue, in fact, that merely empowering end users with the privilege of dragging and dropping documents around with an approval process undermines governance. Further, and specifically in the case of businesses in heavily regulated industries, a privilege like the one demonstrated in this video will likely be out side of the range of what end users can do with SharePoint 2013.

It makes complete sense for businesses in heavily regulated industries to restrict the type of drag and drop document relocation capability demonstrated in this video. In fact, an approval process should be set up to ensure that documents can only be relocated once the approval of a library owner has been secured. Therefore, duplicating web parts may, in fact, be a kind of hack, but the challenge that successfully working with web parts and pages likely constitutes for an average end user is an effective deterrent to ensure that an effective set of controls can be truly exercised (not to mention counted on for further exercise, as required) to restrict how this capability is actually implemented, and by whom.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved

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