When we work by ourselves, we don’t spend much time thinking about how to find content. We tend to remember where we put it, or at least where to look, and once we’re finished with it, we tend not to need it very often thereafter.
Working across a large organization is different. Ever had to hunt down a document that someone misfiled in a traditional paper filing system? Nothing matches the frustration of opening cabinet after cabinet and rifling through dozens of folders only to discover that what you need is nowhere to be found. In some cases, it takes more time to find a file than it did to create it in the first place.
Fast and easy access to documents is just one of the many reasons why organizations use content management applications like SmartCabinet®. Time spent tracking down documents is time lost from getting things done. In an organization, a document created by a single individual might need to be accessed by many people, many times over the course of its lifecycle. These people may be located in different departments or even in different offices around the world. They may need to access documents any time of the day or night whether they’re in the office, at home, or traveling.
Easy Access to Your Files Via the Internet
If you can connect to the Internet, you can get the content you need using SmartCabinet®. Since you access SmartCabinet® through a web browser, it always looks and works the same no matter which computer you use. Accessing a document from home or on the road is just as easy as getting it at the office. Just point your browser to the correct URL, enter your username and password, and SmartCabinet®’s content management capabilities are at your disposal.
Browsing for Files Using the Folder System
An easy way to find a file in SmartCabinet® is to look for it in a folder just like you do on your computer. Clicking on the Browse Content tray gives you access to your SmartCabinet® content library.
The content library works just like the folder system on your computer: click the plus sign, or the name of the folder, to open it. As you open a folder, its contents are displayed in the right pane of the browser window.
Browsing for content is easy. But it can also be inefficient. If you weren’t the person who filed the content in the first place, you might have to open many folders to find it. As a general rule, use browsing when you know where a piece of content has been filed. If you’re not sure, one of SmartCabinet®’s search features might be faster.
Searching on Metadata
Remember all that metadata we created when we put a piece of content into the system? Now is when it starts to pay off. In addition to keeping track of your content, SmartCabinet® can also keep track of many things about it like title, creator, creation date, type, sub-type, and so on. And any of these parameters can be used to locate it.
Let’s say we need to find someone’s resume but we don’t know which folder it has been stored in. We can search for it using metadata by clicking on the Quick Search tray and entering the word “resume” in the Title field on the Criteria tab:
After clicking the Search button, our results show up under the Results tab:
Searching from the Search tray is quick and easy because the most commonly used parameters have already been selected for you. You can even combine several parameters to narrow your search.
More complex searches can be performed by clicking on the Advanced tab and bringing up the Expanded Search Form:
In the Full-Text Search section, you can tell SmartCabinet® to find documents that contain the word or set of words you enter. In the Query Builder section, you can create sets of search rules based on metadata fields. In the Results Options section, you can specify how many results you want to see on a page and how you would like those results sorted.
There are many parameters to consider here. If you’re wondering why anyone would need such complicated searching, consider the number of documents you might be working with across an entire organization.
Building a Search
When all we’re looking for is someone’s resume for an upcoming job interview, it’s not hard to figure out which folder it might be in. But what if we’re hiring dozens of people a month in offices nationwide? And what if instead of looking for one resume, we need to find all resumes submitted for accounting positions since the beginning of the year by people living in Maryland or Virginia? That’s when full-text and metadata searching come in handy.
In no time at all, your organization could put thousands of documents into SmartCabinet®. People you don’t even know could be placing them in folders you’ve never heard of. Searching for words like “resume” in the title of a document could bring up hundreds or even thousands of results. And all you want to do is fill a few accounting positions in Washington D.C.
In the Full-Text section, we’re looking for documents that include the names of the regions where we hope to find our candidates. But many documents in our system might contain these place names, especially if we have offices in these areas. To avoid getting too many hits, we need to narrow things down.
In the Metadata section, we’re using three metadata fields to further refine our search. First, we’re looking for documents originally categorized by sub-type as resumes. But we only want resumes we’ve received since the beginning of the year. Finally, we’re adding a search for any document (whether it was categorized as a resume or not) that contains the word “resume” in its title. This may help us pick up resumes that weren’t properly categorized to begin with.
Custom searches like this can take a minute or two to create but they can also be saved for re-use at another time.