SharePoint continues to expand its use as an enterprise content sharing platform. Microsoft provides an open API and encourages third party developers to supplement its functionality. Titus Labs has responded with a very useful set of functionality that provide some needed features to SharePoint. I recently spoke with Charlie Pulfer and Sandra Catana of Titus Labs on their new release. Titus Labs was founded 4 years ago and has been providing email and document classification for MS Office. It has over 800,000 licensed users within 150 large clients. There are three main components to the new SharePoint release: Metadata Security, Document Marking, and PDF Control.
Titus Labs Metadata Security for SharePoint allows administrators to build access rules based on the document’s assigned metadata properties. These metadata rules can then be assigned to a document library or content type. Metadata Security can automatically produce specific permissions for each document in the library, without having to do tedious item-level permission assignment. Here is a close up of the permission setting screen.
The idea is to focus security at the document level rather than the library level. This allows for documents with different security access to be in the same library. It avoids the need to set up separate libraries for each security level that can be an administration and version control nightmare. Because per-document security is much easier to set up, administrators can easily create a Document Library that different groups of users can share. The metadata can be within the document application such as Word or entered within SharePoint. The Titus Labs application works behind the scenes and uses Microsoft’s Active Directory.
Titus Labs Document Marking for SharePoint automatically adds labels to Office documents as they are added to a SharePoint library. Labels can be added to the document header, footer, and/or watermark. The label content is completely configurable by the administrator, and can be based on text strings or derived from the document’s metadata. Administration is handled through the regular SharePoint administration interface, using a custom policy. For example, you can add a confidential watermark to enhance security and compliance. Here is a document with a watermark and header added.
Document Marking for SharePoint makes it possible to label hundreds or even thousands of existing documents in a SharePoint document library. Administrators simply assign a label or watermark policy to an existing SharePoint document library. The next time a user opens a document from the library they will see the document labels. Charlie walked me through the process and it is very intuitive. Here are four demos of the new tools.
Titus Labs PDF Control for SharePoint automatically creates PDF versions of Microsoft documents as the documents are added to SharePoint. This is difficult to do if you have a MS Office version older than 2007 as many do. The PDF conversion takes place transparently in the background, and requires no additional software on the user’s desktop. If the source document changes in the future, the PDF is updated automatically, which ensures that the PDF version is always up to date. Here you can see the process for creating PDFs.
Administrators can control the permissions on both the source document and PDF in SharePoint, so that some users can access the original documents, while others can see only the PDF. Both versions are stored in the same SharePoint Document Library, which makes document management easier.
I like all of these enhancements and can easily see the value. They are certainly functionality that should be within SharePoint. As SharePoint usage grows it makes sense that these tools will get a wider following.