OneDrive Mobile Upload to SharePoint – Metadata Things to Know!

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A recent blog post on the Tech Community site by the OneDrive team titled Top 5 benefits of the OneDrive mobile app piqued my interest. I’m a SharePoint person so I was particularly interested in using the OneDrive mobile app to upload to SharePoint and tag metadata directly from the app. I had tried this feature a while back and no properties showed up – this time I thought I’d dig in a bit deeper to determine if there was anything I needed to configure differently on the SharePoint side in order for the properties to appear in the mobile app. It turns out, I do! This post covers my observations on how the OneDrive mobile app and SharePoint interact with each other.

The image below shows where you’ll see the SharePoint metadata properties when saving a scanned document into a SharePoint library. In this example, I’m saving a document called ‘Bought coffee for potential client’ into a document library called ‘Raw Receipts’ with 4 pieces of metadata in a SharePoint site called ‘NexNovus Books’.

General Behaviour

Both optional and required columns will appear. If you don’t fill out a required column, it won’t stop the upload from proceeding.

If you make a column change in SharePoint (add a new column, rename a column), you don’t have to close and re-open the Mobile app. The change will be picked up the next time the Save As screen is opened.

SharePoint column types matter. I went thru the column types I most commonly use in SharePoint and I’ve identified whether they’re available for tagging in the mobile app below.

If you have a mixture of allowed and disallowed column types, the allowed column types will appear and the disallowed ones won’t. That is to say, it won’t prevent the allowed ones from appearing on the screen.

Allowed column types: single-value choice, number
Disallowed column types: multi-value choice, lookup, managed metadata, person, date, hyperlink

Allowed Column Types

These column types will appear in the OneDrive Mobile app when uploading to a SharePoint document library if they’ve been defined. I’m sharing my observations on each one after testing the column settings in SharePoint and the behaviour in the Mobile app.

This is as of April 2019 – when these change, I’ll update this post.

Choice

  • Either the Drop-Down Menu or Radio Buttons column choice style will work, although the look is the same in the Mobile app
  • if you have fill-in values allowed, it will still show the property in the Mobile app, but it doesn’t allow you to enter a ‘fill-in’ value – it will force you to pick an existing value thru the app
  • the app will show the default value specified

Number

  • doesn’t recognize decimal position (you can’t enter 5.25, it comes out as 525)
  • if you have a rule on the column (E.g. Between 1 and 30), this is not enforced
  • it will show the default value if you have one specified

Disallowed Column Types

As of April 2019, these column types will not appear in the OneDrive Mobile app when uploading to a SharePoint document library if they’ve been defined. Once this changes (and I’m confident it will over time), I’ll update this post.

Column Types not Visible in OneDrive Mobile Upload

  • Multi-select Choice
  • Lookup
  • Managed Metadata
  • Person
  • Date
  • Hyperlink

If any of the above columns are detected on the library, you will receive this message directly below the properties you can fill out:

To edit or input additional properties, please visit this Shared Library on the web


What does the “Remember” toggle do in the app? If you toggle this to the ‘on’ position, it sets the metadata values as you have them selected for subsequent saves to this library. The next document you scan (whether single or multi-page) into this library, it will show these values by default on the ‘Save as’ screen.

I see this being a useful setting when you are scanning in multiple photos at an event, multiple receipts at once, etc.


My thoughts…

I’ve been using the OneDrive Mobile app to scan receipts for my business for quite awhile now. It saves me a lot of time and is an easy way for me to stay organized. On a few of my libraries, I’m planning on switching some of the metadata to choice (currently a lookup) for the time being so I can leverage this tool. I realize this isn’t always going to be an option across the enterprise, but in some cases it will be. If you have a library with a lot of content being uploaded from a Mobile app, consider making the switch.

Thanks for reading.

-JCK


Credit: Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

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