Unmanaged and Managed Objects

External files that do not have M-Files metadata are unmanaged objects in M-Files terminology. You can view and edit them in M-Files, but the changes are saved only to the external repository, and M-Files Server does not keep a version history for these objects.
When you add metadata properties for an unmanaged object, it is promoted to a managed object in M-Files. Managed objects can be edited in the external system or in M-Files, but M-Files keeps a version history only of the changes made in M-Files. Because the external repository does not necessarily support version history, M-Files Server saves all object versions in M-Files and only the latest version in the external system.
Note: Unmanaged objects that are checked out cannot be promoted. Before you promote an object, make sure that the object is not checked out to you or someone else. For more information, see these instructions.

Reasons to promote objects to managed objects

You can use these essential M-Files features with managed objects:

Unmanaged objects are also not part of replication packages.

Creating objects with metadata

You can use the features given here to create M-Files objects with metadata. Make sure that you use only one of them. If you use more than one feature, the same content is migrated to the vault more than once.

Promoting Unmanaged Objects

To convert an unmanaged object to a managed object:

  1. In M-Files Desktop, locate and select an unmanaged object either by using the search or External Views.
    The metadata card of an unmanaged object looks something like the following:
  2. Make sure the object is not checked out for editing.
    • If the object is checked out to you, you can right-click the object and select Check In or Undo Checkout from the context menu.
      or
    • If the object is checked out to someone else, see the metadata card of the object to identify the user who has checked out the object, and then ask them to check it in.
  3. Use the Class drop-down menu to change the class of the object.
  4. Once you have changed the class, you may enrich the object with metadata as you see fit. The class that you select determines the default metadata properties of the object.
  5. Click Save to save your changes.
The selected object in the external repository has now been promoted into a managed object.