Find success with these foundational taxonomy best practices

If you are an OnBase user or administrator, you know there are few best practices more important than your foundational taxonomy. After all, classifying your data gives you a systematic way to capture, manage, and access it.

Don’t yawn! Optimizing your taxonomy is essential to provide end users with an easy-to-use solution while ensuring compliance with retention policies. It can also ensure long-term success by allowing you to make the most of solutions like records management, loan document tracking, and core integrations.

Follow the best practices outlined below and you can help support your organization with simplified solution administration while building an enterprise-wide foundation that can help grow and expand your OnBase solution.

Document type groups and names: Keep it simple

Keep the groups and document type names simple. An easy way to do this is to think of the business process associated with the document for document type groups and use a named associated with the process.

Or, you could allow the business process or department to choose prefixes. Prefixes are used for easy type-ahead searching and administration. For example, member documents or consumer loans might be prefixed “MEM” or “CL.”

Then get specific with the names. “MEM – Driver’s License” or “CL – Application” makes it easy for users to search. It also allows for a more organized solution and more streamlined custom queries.

It should also take away the fear of breaking up your big document packages.

Keyword groups: A whole new world

You can group keywords in OnBase just like document types.

There are two group types: multi-instance keyword groups (MIKGs) and single-instance keyword groups (SIKGs). Using multi-instance keyword groups allows you to link keywords together and add more than one set to the document.

For example, tying “account number,” “first name,” and “last name” together allows you to link those values. If you happen to have more than one customer on the document, the names stay tied to their true account number.

Single instance keyword groups are a bit different, but they still allow you to group keywords. In this case, however, you can’t add more than one to a document.

The use case for SIKGs, then, is retention.

For financial services organizations, we typically recommend a single instance group containing loan-level information, like the loan number, loan type, and closed loan date. Restricting one of each of these values on a document ensures that you can retain it (and subsequently purge it) according to your retention policies.

Without using a single instance setup, the application could potentially have two loans for retention, and the system could destroy the incorrect one.

An additional benefit of using MIKGs and SIKGs is that they help you update data in your system in a relatively straightforward way. You can update multi-instance keyword groups nightly through an autofill. You can also update the single instance quickly and easily through other means, like keyword updater or workflow.

For the database admins out there, keyword groups also streamline queries to the database, increasing performance.

How to get started

So now that you know a few foundational best practices, what do you do about it?

For new OnBase customers, it’s as simple as using the recommendations below:

  • Multi-instance keyword values
    • Customer/Member Number
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • SSN
  • Employee flag (to restrict access)
    • Single instance keyword values
    • Loan Number
    • Loan Type
    • Closed Loan Date

For others, there are many ways to migrate to this setup. If you aren’t using keyword groups at all, you can simply use the “Migrate to Keyword Group” button within configuration.

If you are using groups, but are not following these best practices, workflow can map any existing keyword to a new keyword through a few simple steps. If all else fails, Hyland Global Services or Tech Support are always ready to help.

For more helpful tips and tricks for OnBase users, visit or join the Hyland Community.

Mike Reinoso

Mike Reinoso

Mike Reinoso is a financial services technical consultant for Hyland.

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