Document Sets are folder-like groupings of files and a great way to improve the organization of similar documents within your SharePoint environment for many different reasons – the most important being metadata.
The ability to leverage metadata is a prominent advantage of Document Sets over the traditional folder structure because metadata makes it exponentially easier to search, store, protect, and retrieve your files. Additionally, Document Sets are very customizable so that you can tailor them exactly to fit your needs. You can choose the specific metadata you want to assign to the Document Set itself to filter down to all documents within the Set and even customize further by adding document-specific columns you want to live inside the document set. More advanced customizations include features such as adding a welcome page, incorporating workflows, and assigning specific user permissions.
A typical use case within commercial real estate is organizing documents for Tenants. Each Tenant will have the same core set of internal documents, but utilizing Document Sets allows the user to easily create or archive Sets as needed. This can also be applied to construction projects or any other business area where the top level needs to remain flexible while maintaining the core document organization at lower levels. As document management systems continue to advance, Document Sets are a great way to bridge the gap between classic folder structures and modern metadata organization. They introduce a cleaner, more efficient way to integrate metadata into your system and help facilitate a transition for employees in mitigating drastic change.