Centralizing Project Detail Page Information: Centralized Document List

In the last two posts, I have been exploring a simple, common usage model with Project Detail Pages that allow users to store centralized information in environments where not every project within Project Server 2010 may map to a specific project site.  Some potential use cases for this functionality may include:

In this post, I plan to further develop that concept with a centralized document repository.  Why would you want to develop a centralized document repository?  Perhaps the project approval document must be posted to the PM Information System before the project workspace is provisioned.  Perhaps some projects will never have their own dedicated workspaces and will exist only as document libraries on a shared site.

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In this example, I will walk through how to create a central repository for approval documents.  Before going any further, I would strongly recommend reading this post on creating custom lists consuming PDP parameters within Project Server 2010.

As I developed this solution, my first thought was to create a document library, then add the ProjUID field to the document metadata.  I’ve successfully done this with External Content Types (ECT) and Business Connectivity Services, but received feedback that the ECT solution was too “clicky” for some end users.  (I’ll cover that as a potential solution in a future blog post.)  The challenge I discovered is that SharePoint 2010 document libraries do not allow customization of the main form using InfoPath. 

So I decided to go with an alternate approach.  Instead of using a document library, I would just use an attachment-enabled list.  Effectively that would deliver the same functionality as a document library and met all of my requirements.  The only minor hiccup was my apparently erroneous understanding that list attachments are not indexed by the search engine.  After a little research, I determined that this is somehow a commonly spread misunderstanding dating from SharePoint 2007.  Either it’s always worked and folks didn’t realize this….or it started working with a patch somewhere.  So let me set the record straight on this one….documents will be indexed within SharePoint even as attachments to list items.

To create the list, follow the same instructions as in the previous post, but create a custom list.

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Add custom fields as appropriate.  Here again, I add the ProjUID field.

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Modify the InfoPath form.  In this form, I add a default value to the Title, modify the Attachments label, delete all extraneous rows, and add a Submit button.

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From there, I add it to a new PDP using the same technique as in the last post.  The end result is an interface for loading and reviewing approval documents for each project.

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Centralizing Project Detail Page Information: Centralized Document List

7 thoughts on “Centralizing Project Detail Page Information: Centralized Document List

  1. Mohammad Al-Shoubaki says:

    I will be using this in my governance workflow, but what I am thinking of, is to move the document to the Project’s document library on its own workspace after the project reaches specific stage like”Execution”. and this can e done easily using sharepoint workflow activities “CopyItem” and “DeleteItem”

  2. Watch out for a post which I’ve got scheduled towards the end of next week that presents an alternate method of creating a centralized document library. That may work better for your needs.

  3. Thomas says:

    Hello thank you for the post, am working on a project that requires project initiation document to be uploaded before the project can move to the next stage for approval. Please how can I go about this.

    1. Easiest way I’ve found is to give a specific Admin Assistant permissions to change the workflow….then create two EPT: 1 for proposals and 1 for projects. When the document is uploaded, have the Admin Ass’t change the EPT from proposal to project.

  4. Great post! This is exactly what we need in my organization! However I seem to be getting some strange behaviour from the Query String Filter Webpart. I have no problem connecting to the Infopath webpart, but when I try to send the filter values to the custom list I have created I just get a blank dropdown list in the Choose Connection dialogue box. Any ideas?

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