Why Folders are the new "F" word

By Chris Riley, ECMp, IOAp posted 06-21-2011 15:23


Why are folders the new F word?  It’s not because I promote disorganization.  Quite the opposite.  Folders only give you the perception of organization.  Real organization happens with meta-data.  In the below video blog I talk about why folders are bad.  The key points are that folders are:

-        Very limiting

-        Poorly maintained

-        Setup on the fly

If you truly want to organize your content, meta-data allows you to slice and dice information in any way you need at any given time.  I reference specifically some implementations in SharePoint such as views, managed-meta data, and content types.  But the principles are true throughout the ECM world.

There are times when there does need to me additional high level containers be it a root folder, site collection, site, library, cabinet, database, whatever you want to call it.  But it’s not for the purpose of organization.  Creating additional new root containers should happen based on:

-        Size limiting factors

-        Security requirements

-        Back and Recovery SLA

-        Performance

Search will never be the 100% answer to finding content.  Organization of content is key in case search is not used, and to even improve search results and experience.  While folders may give you the perception you are organizing content, it’s really just a bad habit.

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