2.2 Understanding Metadata

Metadata is the set of information associated with a document at the time the document is uploaded to Oracle I/PM and is specified by the application used to upload the document. Metadata is different for each type of document because each type of document is uploaded using a different application. The metadata defined in each application is different because it is determined by the business need and agreed upon by the people responsible for the business process. Metadata can be visible to you, such as the information you enter when uploading or searching for a document, or it may be invisible to you, such as security settings allowing access to the document, or a workflow that must be initiated when the document is uploaded.

2.2.1 Visible Metadata

Metadata can include invoice numbers, dates, company names, and any other information required by a business process. For example, invoice numbers may be tracked for invoices, but not for vendor contracts, job applications, or loan applications. The person creating the application determines the metadata fields used throughout the Oracle I/PM interface. This visible metadata is displayed on forms used when uploading documents, or on search forms used for retrieving documents. For example, the Accounting and Shipping departments for Corporate Car Rental may agree that lease metadata should include the following information which will allow both departments to access the required information to complete their jobs:

  • Lease number

  • Car Delivery Date

  • Lease Expiration Date

  • Amount Due

You would fill in values for these fields on a form used to upload lease documents, and the metadata can be indexed and used to search for and retrieve documents from the repository.

2.2.2 Invisible Metadata

An application definition also includes information that you cannot see when uploading or searching for a document, but is necessary for the document to move through a business process. Such metadata includes permissions to retrieve and view a document, information regarding the document storage and archiving, and whether or not the document must go through a workflow. This metadata is not something you control, but is defined in the application by the person creating the application based on the needs of the business process for which the application is being used.