Change document upload action to support management of documents
Currently, documents are able to be uploaded to a document library that contains required fields without filling in these fields. This logic is flawed. Please let me explain...
Let's assume that we want to create a workflow that simply modifies the title of an uploaded document based on columns of a content type. To ensure the title is always populated with information, we make a column (we'll use the "Name" column) required on a document library.
If an end user were to click the "Upload" button, they will be able to select their document and click OK. Since this library has a content type associated, a window is displayed with the content type columns. If that end user clicks the "Cancel" button, the document has already been uploaded and is currently in a "Checked Out" state. The workflow runs and the title is not modified since the fields were not filled out.
In this particular situation, if the end user is not computer savvy, they may be inclined to assume that they have completed their task since the document appears to reside in the document library. This could then lead to many documents being placed in this library without the title field being filled out.
If an end user were to drag and drop one or many files into this document library, no window is ever displayed with content types or columns and the documents will remain in the document library in a checked out status without the title field ever being modified.
I propose a solution that allows administrators of SharePoint sites to place required columns on document libraries that must be filled out in order to upload a document to that library. If the "Cancel" button is clicked, the document will never be uploaded to the library. If a document is drag-and-dropped to a library, a window will appear asking for metadata pertaining to that library. If multiple files are drag-and-dropped, a window for each file will be displayed or include a check box to apply to all files. This feature modification can be achieved by potentially placing the uploaded document into a holding container until the metadata is properly filled out.
This functionality already exists on SharePoint lists. New items of a custom SharePoint list cannot be created if required fields have been associated with that list. This feature modification is simply bringing the document libraries inline with lists to play by the same set of rules.
If this functionality is not possible or plausible, then scheduled workflows must be allowed so that an administrator of the system can be emailed by a scheduled workflow that searches for files in document libraries that have been incorrectly uploaded.
Without the SharePoint platform allowing some method for ensuring required metadata fields be filled out, we are unable to utilize SharePoint as a true document management system capable of distributing documents in a uniform manner. By forcing end users to submit documents correctly, workflows will be able to utilize metadata columns to perform a multitude of tasks.