Metadata not saving after editing properties - Document Metadata Error - SharePoint Development & Administration + InfoPath

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Metadata not saving after editing properties - Document Metadata Error

Metadata Error: Metadata not saving on item in Document Library after editing Properties

I came accross an issue in a Document library where i was unable to update the document metadata properties using the SharePoint interface.  The Edit Item page worked fine, and I was able to set the metadata to the values i required, but after pressing ok to save the metadata the new values weren’t being saved into SharePoint (reverting back to the previous value).  

The issue was on multiple documents, but not specific to a folder within the library or dependent on certain metadata properties.  The majority of documents in the library work fine when applying changes to metadata.

After troubleshooting the issue a little, I found that I was able to update the metadata when editing the document using Office 2007.  After saving the document (stored in SharePoint), the metadata would be applied as expected.  I was also able to replicate the issue in a separate document library, where documents saved in Office 2007 format were not able to have the metadata applied using the SharePoint browser interface.

Searching the Internet for information about the issue didn’t help a lot in the end, but gave me a few things to try.  Issues others were having were possibly related to managed content types resulting in multiple columns being referenced in a document, and the patch level of the SharePoint environment.  Some users with SP1 or later applied weren’t able to replicate the issue.  See the following for more info:

Possible Cause(s)
Office 2007 Document in SharePoint Library with 2003 Compatible template
Service Pack - Patch Level
Managed Content Types:
- Corrupt Document Template associated with Content Type
- Duplicate Columns (1 associated with library, one with content type)

Resolution / Workaround:
I was able to save the metadata properties to a document by updating the metadata using Word 2007 (haven’t tested using 2003). To allow document metadata properties to be saved using the SharePoint interface, my workaround was to convert the document to an Office 2003 compatible document (from .docx back to .doc).
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