M-Files data management really shines when it comes to the alignment of metadata. That may sound strange, but proper metadata management is essential for enabling documentation to be accurately filed and easily located when it’s needed. Reliable metadata is vital for all your business workflows and processes.
Inconsistent metadata can cause document chaos! When metadata between systems is not aligned, users will not be able to find the information they need. Some examples of issues that may arise are:
- Metadata classes may need to be combined or split to reduce vault complexity and improve usability
- Text-based properties may need to be moved to lookups
- ValueLists need to be cleaned out and realigned with objects
- Objects and ValueList internal IDs may need to be reset when moving from one external data source to another
- Object owners may need to be reset for different document types
There are many more instances when metadata may need to be realigned. Fortunately, MFSQL Connector can help tame the chaos and improve the usability of your M-Files data management system.
Realigning External Data Sources
When you use an external file connector or M-Files Importing Tool to import files from external sources, the data may not be correctly aligned with M-Files metadata. Data from external sources will be easier to analyze and align by using the power of SQL with MFSQL. Correlating external data with M-Files Metadata is transparent, while setting document control and maintenance are much more efficient.
For example, switching to a new ERP may require all objects to have new unique object IDs to support M-Files ODBC external connector. Resetting these could be cumbersome and result in data loss. MFSQL allows for aligning data between the old and new and reset object IDs.
Understanding the metadata and how it fits together is half the battle when the need for realignment is eminent. MFSQL Connector can be used to extract M-Files into SQL Server databases for reporting, troubleshooting, or analysis and data cleansing. The special views in MFSQL allow you to explore the multiple dimensions of the metadata structure and then use metadata to identify redundancy, errors, and omissions. After realignment, the data can be updated back into M-Files.
Another example is the realignment of ValueList items owners. For instance, a document type may be associated with more than one class, with a different different ID for each item. This could lead to confusion for the users and a need to realign these items.
In this scenario, consolidating across multiple classes, moving some documents to new classes, consolidating document types, and verifying that the correct document type is used in each class may be necessary.
With the MFSQL Connector, ValueList items can be aligned with different owners by either combining or splitting classes, which reduces M-Files vault complexity while improving usability.
Comparing and Assessing Data
Identifying duplicates in M-Files can be hard. This may be the result of third-party integrations going wrong or user error. Identifying the appropriate item to remove can be even harder. Searching for something in M-Files that does not exist, such as missing data or files is a real challenge. Using SQL with MFSQL to get hold of the data, analyze it, and then to take appropriate action, can be a life saver.
M-Files Data Management Improves Data Usability
M-Files metadata is the real value of the system. Incorrect or incomplete metadata reduces the value exponentially. Improving the usability, accuracy, and alignment of M-Files metadata is no longer a chore. Use MFSQL to extract M-Files information from your documents to automatically analyze how users add metadata such as important dates, numbers, patterns, key organizations, and names of important people. The more you use it, the more you will discover the real value of having M-Files metadata at your fingertips to improve the usability of your data.