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  1. #1
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    Advice on Management of Files

    I'm looking for advice on the possible ways to handle hundreds and hundreds of Word 2000 documents that will be accessed from our intranet.

    As a hospital, we have literally hundreds and hundreds of Word 2000 documents containing our policies and procedures. Currently a relatively small portion of those documents are available via our intranet. We simply use a table with the policy names and numbers with corresponding links to the Word documents. We aren't using ASP pages or a database to do this. We are now ready to move many more of those documents on-line.

    The first problem we have is that there is only a small number of staff at our facility with web skills. Those of us who do web development have many other responsibilities, too. So we need an easy-to-maintain process for displaying the policy title and number and linking to those Word documents. (We don't want to convert the policies to HTML for reasons beyond the scope of this discussion.) Obviously this could be done with a database and ASP page.

    This is where it gets more complicated. Policy names typically are NOT descriptive enough to locate the appropriate policy or procedure. So, we need to find a decent search method. As we all know, the tricky part of searching for information is knowing the correct word on which to search. A search for the word "nurse" would not bring up a file on "nursing education" if the word "nurse" was NOT in the file. Obviously, this is a very simplistic example.

    In an HTML file, I would be able to use META keywords tag to help in searching. Since we are linking to Word documents, relying on HTML keywords is not going to work. I played briefly with typing keywords into a Word document, making them "hidden" and then searching on those "hidden" words. It didn't work - I was unable to do a search and locate the document.

    Other than creating a database with policy titles and numbers and numerous fields for "keywords", I'm not sure what options are available. I should state that the software we have available for use is very limited. While not my preference, FrontPage is the web editor we are allowed to use. We do have the FrontPage server components available. We utilize IIS on our webserver. If I find software that isn't expensive and could be easily shown to be secure, I might be allowed to get additional software.

    Any advice on this task would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Management of Files

    FrontPage has a built-in indexer. It's not that great, but it might be good enough. Here's what I'm thinking. Create a macro that opens each of your policy documents and builds a web page consiting of: the document name with a link; some kind of title, perhaps whatever is the first line or first few lines of the document; and a "plain-text" dump of the contents of the document as an invisible blob of text in the page. The FrontPage Server Extensions then should index and let you search across all your documents. This isn't going to be efficient if these documents are large, but if they're only a few pages each, it should be fine.

    Most serious, hardcore text indexing products (e.g., ISYS:web) probably are too expensive for you, but it doesn't hurt to inquire.

    It might be possible, using a copy of Microsoft Office on the server itself, to use Word's built-in FileSearch feature. This will find keywords that you type into the File>Properties screen, and might also be able to find words in the body. The difficulty is that this is one of Word's less intuitive and slower features, so while it's well tailored to Word documents, I'd consider it a last resort for an application that needs to be spry or will get heavy use.

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Advice on Management of Files

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll post back the results of what we did.

  4. #4
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    Re: Advice on Management of Files

    I just thought I would update on what we finally did to solve this issue. We went to using Microsoft's SharePoint Team Services. It works perfectly for what we need. I've given just a few staff members the ability to upload the Word documents. So, they didn't even need web design skills. The searching works wonderfully, too!

  5. #5
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    Re: Advice on Management of Files

    HI Loretta,

    Sorry to reply to such an old post but I just wondered how your sharepoint implementation is going 6 months down the track. In particular do you still keep copies of documents on your file server or are they totally in Sharepoint.

    Cheers

  6. #6
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    Re: Advice on Management of Files

    Karen,

    It's been working fine and we're quite happy with it.

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