How to Create Permanent URL’s in SharePoint Using the Document ID Feature

On your SharePoint project homepage or on sub-pages, you placed hyperlinks to documents which are located in different document libraries. Now it can happen that documents are moved to other libraries on your site or are renamed. If someone wants now to access this document via the respective hyperlink, they receive an error message. I’ll show you in this article what you can do to prevent this from happening anymore with durable URL’s and the Document ID Service. Curious? Then read on quickly.

Renaming or Moving Documents May Cause Problems

Hyperlinks on your project home page, e.g. in your quick links web part, will take your users quickly to the most important or most used documents or folders. You know the rule: to get to the desired document quickly should be easy and fast via as few hyperlinks as possible. There should not be more than two hyperlinks to reach the desired document or information.

Before you proceed, you may want first read this: What is the Difference between an URL and a Hyperlink?

In your daily work, you will move documents to other folders or libraries on your site or you will rename documents. If now someone then wants to access this document via a hyperlink on your SharePoint site, they will receive an error message or get no response at all. This is called a broken link. Because the URL point to a document which is no longer there. You can prevent this by activating the Document ID Service feature in the Site Collection features. The Document ID Service assigns unique IDs and a permanent URL to documents that are uploaded to the Site Collection, which can be used to retrieve items independent of their current location. Here are the steps to activate the Document ID Service on your site:

  1. Go to the gear icon on the top right of your site and click on Site information -> View all site settings
  2. In the Site settings, look for Site Collection Features and the activate Document ID Service

If you now add a new document to a document library, the Document ID Service generates automatically a document id. To get the document URL with the ID, go to detail pane and copy the full URL with the ID in the Document ID section:

The URL with the document ID looks the like this:

How the Document ID looks can be configured in Site Setting -> Site Collection Administration -> Document ID settings. For example, you can specify a custom prefix for your Document IDs.

When you now place hyperlinks to your homepage, e.g. to to the quick links or on sub-pages, use the URL with the Document ID. This way, when the document is moved to another library or folder, you can still access and open the document with the URL mentioned above.

When the Document ID is Assigned

For newly uploaded documents, the Document ID is automatically assigned. Already stored documents receive a document ID as soon the Document ID feature is activated in the site settings.

Documents which have been already in the library after the Document ID feature has been enabled do not have a Document ID assigned (it is blank) and new documents uploaded may still carry an old Document ID prefix. Both issues are due to the fact that Document ID assignments and changes are not instant. There is a timer job that runs in the background that takes care of these changes. You might need to wait up to 24 hours.

What is the Difference between an URL and a Hyperlink?

It is useful to understand what the difference is between hyperlinks and URL’s. I always used these terms interchangeably, but it’s not the same.

A Hyperlink is a certain kind of clickable text or graphic on a web page that sends the user to a specific page or document on the internet when clicked. The hyperlink itself contains as an information for this the URL to know, where to go.

An URL (Universal Resource Locator) is the ‘address’ for your website to go. The unique address that identifies a web page. It includes the website’s name and location A URL is made up of three main components:

protocol://Domain-name/File-name e.g.:

I hope I can save you from future problems with linked content of your project website with this article. There may be a little more work to link content this way, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Here You Can Find More Knowledge

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