What is a docId?
“docId” is one of the “magic” Content Control tag names. A docId is an alphanumerical ID (e.g., “R01-01-C00”, “R01-11-100”, “R01-11-410”, “R01-30-100”) that uniquely identifies and sorts documents (e.g., Schedule C, Exhibit 1, Attachment 4.1, Appendix 1) within a larger set of documents, e.g., all documents belonging to (a) a specific RFP or (b) the set of contracts between a first party and a second party.
What should a docId look like?
Since the docId is used to “uniquely identify and sort” documents, it makes sense to use a hierarchical key with groups of alphanumerical characters (A-Z, 0-9) separated by a hyphen (“-“). In fact, a docId should include a hyphen, because, when creating a DocumentTracker, DokuMate will interpret the initial sequence of characters of a file name up to but excluding the first space (” “) or underscore (“_”) as a docId if that sequence contains a hyphen. For example, in the file name:
R01-30-100_Appendix 1 (Applications)_2018-05-22_v1.0_@ABC_[RFP].pdf
“R01-30-100” will be interpreted as the docId. This is helpful because, other than for Microsoft Office documents, such metadata can’t be stored in arbitrary documents (e.g., PDF) and so must be encoded in the file name.
In this example, the docId consists of three components:
- “R01”, a code for “the larger set of documents”, e.g., a specific RFP;
- “30”, a code for a subset of documents within that larger set of documents, e.g., the information documents (as opposed to instruction, contract, and response documents) within one RFP; and
- “100”, a code for the document within the subset, e.g., Appendix 1.
What are design considerations?
How you design the docId is your own choice. Apart from using at least two components separated by a hyphen, the main recommendation is to use a syntax that produces the desired sort order in a DocumentTracker as well as in the file system and on SharePoint (or your DMS of choice). For example, using “400” for Exhibit 4 and “410” for Attachment 4.1 makes sure that Attachment 4.1, which is part of Exhibit 4, comes after and not before Exhibit 4 when you list the documents. Should you have an Attachment 4.1.1, its code would be “411”, meaning that it also appears in the right place.
When defining your own docId syntax, we recommend you test how Excel, the Windows File Explorer, and your DMS of choice (e.g., SharePoint) would sort the file names using your docIds as a prefix. You might find out that the sort orders are different.