Every document has a profile associated with it that includes attributes further describing or identifying the document. These could be attributes such as Client, Matter or Author. With NetDocuments Professional edition, as the Repository Administrator you can define a set of profile attributes to be used for each document in a cabinet in the repository. These Profile Attributes are important for effective document management and for added searching capability.
A profile attribute can also have pre-defined Profile Values – an essential element for controlled profiling and management of firm documents.
These tables are uploaded using a CSV file. NetDocuments provides a connector to connect to most time and billing systems to upload these tables automatically from the source. With this connector, client and matter tables can be automatically uploaded nightly or at regular intervals. Some organizations create their own automated process to upload the tables.
Standard vs Custom Profile Attributes
As explained above, every document has a profile, regardless of the account type your firm purchased. Standard or system-generated profile attributes are available on every document. Custom attributes can be created in professional editions.
Standard and Custom attributes are searchable as seen from the Advanced Search page. The following list of standard profile attributes is created for each document that exists in your account.
Standard Profile Attributes
- Document Name
- Document Creator
- Date Created
- Last User to Modify
- Date Last Modified
- File Extension
- File Size
- Number of Versions
- Document ID
- From (Email only)
- To (Email only)
Custom (definable) Profile Attributes are created by a Repository Administrator. A definable Profile Attribute can be a text, numeric, date, or notes type, and Administrators can choose to require users to enter information for a specific Attribute and can also define a set of Values for a specific Attribute for validation purposes. See Profile Attribute Validation for more information on setting this up. For a law firm, we generally recommend that you create attributes for Client, Matter, Author, and Document Type. Each of these would be required. We also suggest you create a Comment (text type) attribute to add any other notes for a document.
Defining Custom Profile Attributes
- If you are a Repository Administrator, click on the Admin link next to Settings at the top right.
- Click on Define Profile Attributes.
- Click Add to create a new attribute, or Edit to modify one created previously.
- Next, type a Name for your new attribute. Next select a Type. Generally this will be Text type. Numeric will only allow numbers 0-9. Date will create a date lookup in the M/D/YYYY format. Finally, enter a field character length. We suggest you use 50 for most attributes. Select the options you need and click OK.
- Link to Parent - allows you to connect an attribute to the previous profile attribute created such as a matters with clients.
- Dependency -
- Default from <attribute> Type - allows you to define a default value based on value(s) in another table. So if you wanted users to be given a default Office value based on the Author value they select, you could upload values into the Author Type column and then enter Author into the "default from" field. When an empty profile is completed with an Author value, the Office value would be entered automatically. Users could then leave the default Office value, or change it to another value. This only applies when completing an empty profile. If the Office had already been selected, then the default will not be filled in. It is also common to default Practice Area from Matter.
- Determined by <attribute> Type - allows you to define a specified value based on value(s) in another table. Unlike the above option, the defined value is not defaulted, but is forced. This means the Determined attribute cannot have a lookup table, or be a parent or child of another attribute.
- Use Lookup Table - check this box if a validation (lookup) table for a profile attribute is to be used. Learn more about creating lookup tables.
- Hide from External Users - if you do not want external users to see the table, select this. We recommend this be checked.
- Base Security on this attribute - if you want to use profile-based security, this must be checked.
- Link to users - this allows administrators to link a user to an Author value (or any attribute where it is enabled)
- Prompt if empty - requires Internal Users to enter a value for that profile field. If you have a table, we recommend that you check this setting to require a value. Note that External Users will not be prompted to enter values for required profile fields.
- Force uppercase - this option is generally NOT used when a lookup table is enabled. If enabled, users will be forced to enter values in upper case.
- Extend table values to X characters - can be used when you require leading zeros for client or matter numbers. This way, you do not need to always ensure you have entered leading zeros into your CSV table values.
- Read Only - check this box to make the field a read-only field. This means that the value will be locked after it is first filled out. Users cannot edit the value unless they are a cabinet administrator.
- Do not copy content - if enabled, the field's value will not be copied if the document is copied.
Enabling the custom Profile Attributes for Cabinets
Once a Profile Attribute is defined for the Repository, it remains "dormant" until enabled by a Cabinet Administrator for a specific cabinet. To enable all or some of these fields for a cabinet, go to the Cabinet Administration page for the cabinet. Each profile attribute is listed and can be enabled for that cabinet by checking the box next to it.
Identifying Required Attributes
A required Profile Attribute is indicated with an asterisk (*) on the Edit Profile page. Note that for folders, the asterisk shows even though a value does not need to be completed for each profile field.
An attribute with security associated with it will be marked with a # sign.