Blog Listing header image


Resources for Document Control & Management
All Posts

Metadata Based Software Improves Document Organization

Document Organization and Control is at times an overwhelming task.

There are many approaches to storing data that have worked well in the past. In today’s highly interactive and collaborative environment we find it is critical to not only manage and store data, but also to provide rapid retrieval, controlled access to documents based on approval levels, and assurance that revision levels are accurate.  


Metadata Based Software Improves Document Organization

Data Management Models Vary By Industry

The data management model you choose will be different depending on the various contexts your business operates in.

For technical documentation in construction projects the data models are typically based on industry-specific coding and numbering manuals such as:

  •  NORSOK (Z-DP002) for oil and gas
  •  EN 61355 for the process industry
  •  EN 15380 for the Rail industry
  •  SFI for maritimeoffshore ships

For other types of documentation such as corporate documents, contracts, human resources other data models will be needed.

The data model, in its simplest form, can be described as the metadata that you wish to use when you tag your documents. Companies have traditionally done this by using folders and various folder structures.


Metadata Based Software Improves Document Organization


Metadata Based Software Has Document Organization Advantages

In many organizations it is difficult to determine how to organize documents that are produced by engineering, consumed by sales, may belong to multiple projects and may need to be shared across organizations all while maintaining revision control and secure access.

Traditional folder structures were designed for the storage of static documents, and the document organization scheme forced you to choose one path to access the document. There may be many logical paths, but only one will retrieve the needed document.

Users must be trained in how documents are organized, and individuals need to be highly disciplined to maintain a usable storage structure. All too often we see that this is not the case and people start creating their own folders and as a result the structure breaks down.

The risk organizations face is that people do not find the document they need. Other times they may find and use an outdated revision. Both risks can be damaging and costly to your organization.

Metadata-based data models allow you to link documents to multiple data categories and easily retrieve it later using virtual folders or search.

The advantage is that users can use their logic and context.

There is no need for extensive training or rigid enforcement of the structure.

Metadata-based data models are easy to govern and maintain.

Chaos is reduced.

Time wasted trying to find and verify the correct documents are significantly reduced.

The ability for document collaboration across functions and even between companies is dramatically improved when on-line internet-based software options such as Proarc are utilized.


Access Control:

Being organized also means controlling who can see, modify or approve the documents.

Traditional solutions may be limited to defining access control thru the folder structure. This drives content to be defined and managed by access and not by the logical description of the data. This approach drives a complex and unmanageable amount of special folders inside the logical folder.

The advantage of metadata-based data models is they enable you to abstract the access control to metadata resulting in a document control model which is more flexible and easier to maintain.


Revision Control:

Being in control means knowing that you are working on the latest revision with visible trace ability of previous revisions, changes, and approvals. With traditional document control systems, there may be some risk of working with an outdated revision.

Collaboration across organizations requires assurance that revisions are documented and communicated in real time.

Efficient organizations demand a level of confidence that the system will automatically trigger revision updates based on approval workflows or other events.

Proarc metadata-based document control software does an exceptional job of revision control. Features you will find on Proarc software include:

  •  Functionality to define revision codes & set access rights on revisions
  • Compliance with the strict standards and requirements for construction projects
  • Use of standard revision codes or functionality to define your own, whether global or per project
  • Automatically update revision codes based on workflow status or other triggers
  • Use controls to make sure you are distributing the right revision to the client
  • Control access by defining who can see which revisions, for instance allowing some users to only have access to the latest revision.
  • Keep a log on all actions and events performed on the revision level


Search & Navigation:

Finding the documentation you are looking for becomes easy with a Metadata-based software model such as Proarc.


Search Advantages:

  • Use metadata search or full-text search.
  • Create shared or personal queries
  • Use sort, filter and “group by” functionality in document lists
  • Use "Favorites” and “Recent documents” to quickly access most used documents


Navigation Advantages:

  • Create shared or personal virtual folder structures based on your Proarc information model
  • “Place” documents in multiple folders by linking to metadata, i.e. a contract can be in both the project folder, contract folder and customer folder.
  • Create multiple virtual folder structures

Total control with Proarc means Document Control, Process Control and Progress Control. If you have an questions feel free to reach out and contact us!


sign up for a free consultation

Axel Elvik
Axel Elvik
Axel leads the Product Management team at Proenco AS helping to deliver requirements for new product development, product strategy, roadmaps, and backlog management.

Related Posts

Proarc Release 7.3 – Mass Update, ProView, and More

Proarc Release 7.3 provides many new features that will help teams improve efficiencies when managing technical engineering documentation and processes. The following highlights some of the features included in this release. Please contact Proarc for complete information on Proarc 7.3.

  • 2 min read
  • Sep 30, 2021 2:57:25 PM

Proarc Releases 7.2 Feature Pack 3 – Mobile EDMS & Document Organizer

Proarc is pleased to announce the release of Feature Pack 3 for version 7.2. This new release includes the Proarc EDMS Mobile and Document Organizer modules. These new modules have been designed to improve flexibility and efficiencies for users who need to access documents within Proarc while away from the office network– such as when in the field or working offline. Highlights of these new modules are included below. Please speak to a Proarc representative for complete Feature Pack 3 information.

  • 3 min read
  • Apr 16, 2021 2:11:21 AM

Proarc Release 7.2 Feature Pack 2 – Advanced Search & Copy Documents

Proarc Release 7.2 - Feature Pack 2 provides many new features that will help teams improve efficiencies when managing technical engineering documentation and processes. The following highlights some of the features included in this pack. Please contact Proarc for complete information on Feature Pack 2.

  • 4 min read
  • Mar 24, 2021 2:07:22 PM