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DocMan Day Seven: Photo Libraries

   Words by Paul McQuillan

   on 09/12/2019 08:00:00

imageWe’ve seen how DocMan can integrate Documents from SharePoint into Dynamics – however many industries also need to track galleries of photos to a Project, Case or Asset.

Photos and Images have a different form factor where simply viewing as a top-down list is less than efficient.

To do this better, DocMan provides a dedicated Photos Tab that links to a SharePoint Picture Library.

After adding DocMan to your Microsoft Cloud Tenant – we can see this in the initial configuration by opening a Case record in the DocMan App.

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Here we can see two tabs, Documents and Photos.

Clicking into Photos gives us a blank gallery that we can drag and drop Photos into.

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This provides a thumbnail view of the images that we have associated to this record in Dynamics.

Clicking on any image will bring up the expanded view for a deeper look.

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Images just as Documents can use Metadata in SharePoint to track attributes or tags about the Image.

We can initially see this via the ability to give each Image a Description that is tracked in SharePoint as part of the Metadata for the Image.

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This concept of Metadata for Images forms the basis for how Cognitive Services can be used to extrapolate meaning from images and embed this in the metadata of the image – to then allow Workflow or other Automation to be triggered based on the content of an image.  This is built into DocMan for Dynamics using Azure Cognitive Services and forms a more advanced use of DocMan that we will see later in this series of guides.

As with Documents, we have the option to directly view the folder or library in SharePoint that is storing the images by clicking LOCATION.

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This shows how the structures in SharePoint being used to divide and store photos – and these are defined in DocMan using the same Rules and Functionality as Documents.

Sets of Photos however use a Custom Entity in CRM for ‘Gallery’ and have a Gallery Record created for each Record that is tagged as been applicable for Photos.

This can initially be seen in the DocMan Entity Definition for Case in the App:

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Setting the Storage Types for an Entity in DocMan as either ‘Images Only’ or ‘Documents + Images’ will prompt the appearance of the Photos Tab in that Entity. (in this case, to track images as part of resolving an Incident)

This in turn uses the Gallery Entity as the definition for how the Images should be stored.

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This uses to same Site Rule, Parent Rule, Bucket Rule and Record Rule structure as we saw earlier in the first Day One DocMan Guide – allowing us to logically sort our Galleries between Sites, Image Libraries and Folders within SharePoint.

This ability to track Documents and Images separately can often be useful to companies looking to distinguish how different types of content are stored and made available via Dynamics 365 – particularly in the Property and Asset Management industry where records for an asset may be both contractual and visual.

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