As you know, documents can be stored in SharePoint in two ways:
- In document libraries
- As list item attachments
Each one of these has its own pros and cons, such as documents in a document libraries can have versions and metadata, whereas attachments are linked to an item and displayed in its context.
Ultimate Forms already gives you additional capabilities, such as Associated Documents, when documents in a document library can be listed within the parent list item, and Document Link column, which provides lightweight linking and uploading of documents through a list item.
In some cases, you want to be able to convert your existing documents, for example, promote attachments to a document library or copy/move documents from a document library and create list item attachments from them. Until now it was not an easy task, basically requiring manual download and upload of documents.
With the new Manage attachments action type, it's now super easy! What can it do?
- Copy/move attachment to document library - take your list item attachments, all of them or filtered by file name and/or size, and copy them to the specified document library. They can be placed in the root or in a specific folder (folder can be automatically created when needed). You can also specify any additional metadata based on the list item properties. Optionally, you can link the documents to a Document Link column within the item.
- Copy/move from document library - specify query conditions and then copy/move those found documents into attachments.
- Delete attachments - delete all or filtered attachments.
I'll give you a simple example. We will be promoting all attachments that have the word "instructions" in their names to be documents in a document library, while specifying the target folder, setting some metadata and even linking those documents, in their new location, back to the item using Document Link column.
- First, let's create a new action. Choose Manage attachments as your action type and enter some meaningful action name
- Next, we need to select what list items we want to run on. By default, it will already select the current item (the one on which the action runs) by specifying ID=[ID], but you can affect any number of items in any site:
- Next, optionally specify filters based on attachment file name and size:
- Now we need to specify the target document library. It can be found on any site. You can even specify dynamic runtime site URL and library name:
- Optionally set the folder path (from the root of the library) and map any metadata you want to set. In our case, we are setting the document description and folder, specified dynamically based on the list item title.
- I'm using a Document Link column called DLF here. Promoted documents' links will be automatically stored here so you can easily access them from the list item:
- And this is how it will appear in the list item (didn't actually filter the attachments by name when running my example)
As you can see, it's easy to work with, yet incredibly powerful! One possible usage could be in conjunction with Import. Normally, when you set up an import profile on a document library, only the first document is taken from the email. If your emails contain multiple attachments and you want each to become a document in your document library, you can set up your import on a list and add an action on New to then to move list item attachments to the document library, each one will become a separate document!
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