How to Integrate SharePoint with File Share Documents

SharePoint is without a doubt the most popular Content Management System (CMS) because of its centralized administration searching, indexing, workflows, and other powerful and easy to use features. Additionally, SharePoint is most often used as a document repository by companies.

However, in medium to large size companies, SharePoint is usually not the only document management system. There are many others being used including File Share, Documentum, eRoom, and more. By File Share, I mean all those situations in which documents are directly stored in the file system and made accessible through a network file sharing.

This creates islands of information instead of connecting everybody with each other. One reason is because users are only trained in their own document management system and tend to shy away from learning too many of them. Another issue is that more and more companies want additional features on their document repositories, features that SharePoint provides today. So, accessing those File Share documents from SharePoint becomes a necessity.

Now, it would be ideal if everybody moved their documents to SharePoint but as we know that is very unlikely in a large company. So, while migration may not be an option for you, the next best thing would be to integrate SharePoint with other document repositories and access all of them directly from within SharePoint.

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What I propose is that you first give SharePoint users access to other document repositories through SharePoint. They continue to use SharePoint and just see other repositories as special document libraries. This will at least ensure that SharePoint users are no longer disconnected from other repositories. Then, you can try to convince others to use SharePoint as their main document management interface even though their documents still reside in other non-SharePoint repositories.

So, how to achieve this integration of SharePoint with other document repositories? Well, StorageEdge provides a flexible SharePoint integration with File Share. We’re working on adding other document repositories to this integration but for now I’ll discuss File Share.

StorageEdge is SharePoint plug-in software that resides on Web Front End servers. It integrates File Share documents with SharePoint by importing their information or meta data into SharePoint content database. This enables SharePoint to index all of those documents so SharePoint users can then search them as if they were native SharePoint documents.

All File Share documents can be accessed from SharePoint as a document library and in this document library you can upload new documents that are then saved in the File Share. Similarly, any changes made to these File Share documents by third party applications are immediately reflected in SharePoint. Thus File Share documents are always synchronized with SharePoint.

In SharePoint, documents are maintained in a document library. Therefore, for integration StorageEdge configures an integration profile for each Document Library.

Select the SharePoint Document Library for integration with File Share.

Specify the File Share device to integrate with the Document Library.

And final step is to schedule synchronization job.  This job will synchronize document library with your File Share. And all your documents will be available in SharePoint Document library.

Once you configure StorageEdge, it will take care of all the rest for you and you can enjoy your SharePoint experience. In this manner you can improve user experience and your company document management with least bit of effort and worry.

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