Making Documents Unique – Part 2

How to Implement Document IDs

As mentioned previously, the Document ID Service is set at the Site Collection level so once you are in a site, you need to go to Site Actions and then click on Site Settings.

Click on Site Collection Features (If you are in a sub site you will have to go to the parent Site Collection level by clicking Go to top level site settings).

By default the feature is not activated, unless you are using a Document Centre or Records Centre, and must be activated here.  To activate it simply click on Activate and the status will change to Active as shown below.  At this point make sure you are aware of which Site Collection you are in as you will need to know this later on when setting up the timer job.

Document ID Feature

Once the feature is activated then you will have a new option under Site Collection Administration called Document ID Settings.

Site Collection Admin

Click on the link and you will be presented with a Document ID Settings form.

Document ID Settings

This form allows you to do the following:

  1. Click on the first tick box to turn on Document IDs for the Site Collection.
  2. You can enter a 4 – 12 character prefix which will appear before the numeric part of the Document IDs.  I recommend that you use a different prefix for each Site Collection.
  3. Click on the second tick box to force all existing Document IDs in the Site Collection to be reset with the new prefix.  This assumes that you have already set up Document IDs and are coming into this form in order to amend the prefix.
  4. You can specify which search scope to use when performing a Document ID search

However the work doesn’t stop here.  You will need to jump into SharePoint Central Administration to check on a couple of timer jobs.  Within Central Administration, click on the Monitoring link in the left hand navigation panel to access all of the monitoring functions.

Timer Jobs

Under Timer Jobs click on Review Job Definitions and you will be presented with a list of all the timer jobs that have been set up in SharePoint.  If you scroll down the list you will see a group of Document ID jobs.  The number of entries here will depend upon the number of Site Collections that you have that are set up to use the Document ID feature.

Timer Job List

The first thing that you need to do is locate the Document ID enable/disable job for the Site Collection that you used to activate the feature; the site collection is shown in the second column.  The purpose of this timer job is to make changes to the underlying Document and Document Set content types for those Site Collections that have the feature enabled or disabled; it adds three new columns to the content types i.e. DocID, PersistID and Static URL.  The purpose of these fields will not be covered in this article but note that if you deactivate the feature, the columns remain and the existing document IDs are preserved although no new ones will be added.  Even though the IDs remain, you will no longer be able to search on them once the feature is deactivated.

Click Document ID enable/disable job for the relevant Site Collection.

Enable DIsable Job

You just need to make sure that this job is configured to run at a suitable interval for your organisation.  Click on Run Now if you want to kick off the job immediately.

The next thing you need to do is set up a schedule for the Document ID assignment job.  Similar to the above, locate the timer job for the relevant Site Collection and set up a schedule.  This job assigns the Document IDs to the content.  Again, click Run Now if you want to run the job immediately.

Assignment Job

Each new document (and every existing document if you checked the reset check box above) will now be assigned a Document ID when added to that Site Collection.

Note that the Document IDs may take a little time to initiate so don’t worry if they are not instantly visible.  Once you add a document it will be automatically assigned a Document ID which will be visible on the View Properties form.

Document Properties

In the next article we will look at how to use the Document ID.


About rearcardoor

Chairman and founder of ImageFast Ltd, a leading UK ECM consultancy business and Microsoft Gold Partner. Over 20 years experience delivering successful ECM projects utilising scanning, data capture, document management, records management, workflow, BPM and SharePoint.
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4 Responses to Making Documents Unique – Part 2

  1. yash says:

    I followed the steps as mentioned above, but still ‘Document Id’ column is not added to the library.
    Any hints, why this might be happening?
    Thanks and Regards,

    • rearcardoor says:

      Hi sorry about the delay in replying but I have been on holiday. Have you checked the timer jobs are enabled and what their schedules are? Often it can take a little while until the column appears. It may be that since making this comment you have got it working. Good luck.

      • yash says:

        Thanks for the reply.

        Yes, I did everything as mentioned above.
        The problem is that the Document ID assignment does not happen in the site collection which already exist. If I create a site collection (after the timer jobs are run), then the Document IDs are assigned successfully.


      • rearcardoor says:

        Ok. Are you checking the reset box to force existing documents to be stamped with the Document ID? You will have to edit an existing doc before the Doc ID is assigned if you don’t force the reset. Other than that it should add the column unless the eventReceiver ‘Document ID Generator’ was not deployed correctly – maybe deactivate and then activate the feature again. There are powershell scripts that you can run to check if the eventReceiver has been deployed. Note also that only documents based on content types that inherit the out of the box Document Content Type may have unique IDs.

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