SharePoint Document Library File Syndication

(c) Sean Bordner

(c) Sean Bordner

Incorporating a good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy involves being smart with your content.  Ideally, you don’t want the same content to live in two locations on the same site.  With SharePoint 2010 it’s actually possible to pull this off without causing a “foul” to be called by search engines; this post explains how. 
 
When explaining how SharePoint 2010 document libraries work; the request to store a single file in multiple document libraries comes up nearly every time.  Typically this request is closely analyzed to determine what they “really” want; and what they “really” want ends up being a content rollup.  A close second to what they “really want” ends up being simple “hyperlinks”.  However, what if they really do want a file to be stored in multiple document libraries?  Can SharePoint handle this out-of-the-box?  You bet!  Here’s how:
 
You will first need at least two (2) document libraries.  For this example, we’ll use the following two document library names:  “Doc Lib 1” and “Doc Lib 2”.  Ensure versioning is turned on for both document libraries.  Now, go to “Doc Lib 1” and upload a file.  For this example, we’ll use a .xls file, but any file will work.  Here comes the part that is not very well documented…
 
Locate the file you just uploaded into “Doc Lib 1” and expand its associated drop down.  Select “Send To” and then “Other Location”:
 
Now provide the “Destination” document library – in this example its “Doc Lib 2”.  You will also need to provide the “File name for the copy”.  This will be the name of the destination file located in “Doc Lib 2” – it is recommended to leave the name the same simply for consistency sake.
 
You should strongly consider placing a check in the “Create an alert for me on the source document”.  This alert will notify you when the file has been changed and will serve you well for ensuring the latest version of the file has been syndicated to all other document libraries.  Additionally, selecting “Yes” to “Prompt the author to send out updates when the document is checked in” will also help ensure the latest “Published” version of the file is syndicated to all other document libraries. 
 
Now it’s time to test the waters.  We have two documents libraries at this point (“Doc Lib 1” and “Doc Lib 2”) both containing the file we uploaded to “Doc Lib 1” and then syndicated to “Doc Lib 2”.  Lets modify the file in “Doc Lib 1” and then publish it to all other document libraries wired to “Doc Lib 1” (in this example, we’ve only wired one other document library called “Doc Lib 2”, however, we can wire up as many as we need). 
 
Go to “Doc Lib 1” and edit the file contained within.  Save your changes and make sure it gets checked in.  Note:  Your changes have NOT yet been syndicated out.  This requires the following action: 
 
Locate the file you just modified in “Doc Lib 1” and expand its associated drop down.  Select “Send To” and then “Existing Copies”.  This will syndicate the file to ALL document libraries wired to “Doc Lib 1” (for this file).  In this example, it will copy the latest version of the file to the “Doc Lib 2” document library.  Remember, we can set this up to copy to multiple document libraries should the need arise.  To copy to multiple document libraries, you simply repeat the same steps for each document library you wish to copy to.  From there, you simply modify the document, save/check-in, and then send to “Existing Copies” – this will copy the file to all destination document libraries.

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About Sean Bordner

CEO, Solution Architect, Co-Author of SharePoint for Nonprofits, Contributing Author NothingButSharePoint.com MCT, MCTS, MCSD, MCP, MCAD
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