FileHold Feature FAQ – Document Control Numbers

The standard features of FileHold offer incredible value and allow organizations to do things they might not have even considered so we present a FileHold Feature FAQ. Today, let’s talk about Document Control Numbers!

What is a document control number?

A document control number (DCN) is a unique number applied to a document, record, or offline document as defined by organizational need. The DCN ensures that only one item in FileHold can have that number. This is a requirement for some ISO standards or is common industry practice.

How is a DCN different than metadata?

Metadata is defined for each document according to the schema and can be edited later as needed. A DCN is fixed to document’s version properties and cannot be edited further after its first definition. If you believe you might need to edit a DCN later, FileHold would advise using a metadata field for this value.

How is a DCN controlled?

Like workflow, events, and auto-filing, DCNs are built from a template that can be applied to a document schema, or use type. However, unlike other templates, once applied, a DCN cannot be removed from the document so care needs to be taken in their creation and deployment.

Is a DCN limited to numbers, or can it also use characters?

As a standard feature, a DCN has a standard prefix, which can be letters, numbers, or punctuation, followed by the number, which can be up to 16 characters long. For example, ENG_0001, or SOP.QA.001. These numbers can be entered manually by the user when the document is added to FileHold, or automatically generated for each document, increasing by one each time. If you need a more complex numbering system that includes different characters or needs to be drawn from another system, this could be done through FileHold’s Professional Services as a custom solution.

Why should we use document control numbers?

Some ISO standards and industry practices require rigorous document numbering that must be unique and cannot be subject to human error. Each document must be unique and unrepeated elsewhere in the system as a DCN. FileHold provides a DCN module to ensure your documents can meet those requirements as a standard feature.

Can we add our own DCNs instead of having the system add a new number each time? How can we know that number is unique?

Yes, FileHold’s DCN template allows users to enter a number with the standardized configured prefix, and can ensure that the DCN is not used by another document in the system.

We have another software generating DCNs, can FileHold use these numbers?

Yes, but to ensure there is no data error in the entry, FileHold can manage the import of that number from the other system as a custom solution.

Can we use a DCN in the document name?

Yes. FileHold offers the ability to use document properties, version number, or metadata fields to rename documents automatically through the schema. You can format the DCN as a prefix to the existing filename, or completely overwrite the filename with a structured convention if needed.

Watch our quick tip video on DCNs below.


To learn more about how to use DCNs to control your documents, contact us at [email protected] to get a free consultation.

Chris Oliver

Chris Oliver brings his twenty years of experience in management in the entertainment industry to FileHold Systems as the Client Training and Retention Advocate. To learn more about how FileHold DMS can work for you, contact him at [email protected].