Metadata, navigation, and more

Office 365 / SharePoint Blog

The first day of Site Collection Administration class was spent learning some basic vocabulary:

Immediately doesn’t mean what you think it means

including that “immediately” means something very different to you and me, than it does in SharePoint. To us, “immediately” means “right away” or “this instant”. To SharePoint, it means “whenever I have a moment after my important jobs are finished,” generally speaking this means “sometime in the next 5-10 minutes.”


We at the DSA have what we call a publishing site collection, which means that our sites work slightly differently. For our navigation, our two options are GLOBAL (top bar navigation) and LOCAL (left side bar navigation). In non-publishing site collections, they would be referred to as top navigation and quick launch respectively.

Note to SPOCK: when you are asked by a SharePoint application if you want something to be added to Quick Launch, it means “left side bar navigation”.

Lists vs Libraries

It was nice to finally get cleared up what the difference is between a list and a library in lamens terms. A library has a mandatory file attachment, and the column data is often about the attached file. A list does not have a mandatory file attachment (although it can have a file attached in some cases). A list is data about anything.


Today was also metadata day. We need metadata to search, sort, and categorize our data and our files. If you want to be able to find something, you must use metadata in your daily lives.

We also talked about using folders in document libraries. Folders are not inherently bad, as they can help categorize. However, using too many folders makes things difficult to find and nesting folders within folders can make it almost impossible. Where possible and appropriate, use metadata to help you classify your documents.


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