Microsoft & .NETAvoid Broken Links with SharePoint's Document ID Tool

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In SharePoint 2007 if you rename or move a document then all the existing links to it will be broken. Naturally, this leads to angry users and headaches for IT support and staff in general.

Simply put, it affects productivity, especially if happens often. With SharePoint 2010 this issue is resolved by the introduction of Document ID functionality. Basically, each document gets a unique ID that, regardless of its location, remains the same.

This means that when you move or rename a document this ID will not change. So you end up with a static or permanent link to your documents. You will see later in this tip how this unique ID is used in a special URL to access the document.

Let’s see how you can configure and use Document IDs in SharePoint 2010.

1. Browse to your SharePoint site and navigate to the site settings page. Click on the Site Collection Features link located under Site Collection Administration section. Locate the Document ID Service and click Activate.

Figure 1

2. Browse to the Site Settings page and click on the Documents ID Settings link located under Site Collection Administration section as shown below.

Fig 2

3. On the Document ID settings page you can put custom characters in a text box (as shown below) which will be added in the start of Document IDs. If you are using them, make sure they are unique and are not repeated. For the search scope — which lets you select the search scope that will be used to search for documents based on their IDs — leave it to default (unless you want to use another scope).

Fig 3

4. You are done, but SharePoint 2010 will start assigning the IDs to the documents once it runs the relevant time jobs. If you look at the figure in step 3, there is text in red mentioning this point.

To get IDs assigned immediately, you have to run the jobs manually and then schedule them with the frequency that suits your needs. To do this, run Document ID assigned job and Document ID enable/disable job, browse to SharePoint Central Administration’Monitoring’Review Job Definitions and click on each of these links (one at a time and click Run Now).

Fig 4

Run Now

You can also change the schedule of this timer so that it meet your needs, although in the figure above it is set to run after one minute. But this may not be the ideal setting for production environments.

5. Browse to your site collection and upload a document into a document library and verify that the document is assigned with a Document ID. You can view the document properties as shown in the figure below.

Please note that your ID will be different.

ID Run Now

6. The document ID field is in the form of URL, if you click on it or see the properties of the link (as shown below) you will notice that document id itself is passed as a query string to a SharePoint page DocIdRedir.aspx.

Document ID


Now you can pass this link/URL to the users and they can access the document and this link/URL will remain valid even if you rename or move the document.

That’s pretty powerful, isn’t it? Your IT department and your customers will thank you.

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