SharePoint 2007 supported only the Records Center site template for records management, and did not provide support for records management for individual libraries on non-Records Center sites. The fact that SharePoint 2010 now has this in-place capability does not do away with the need for the Records Center site template. You would continue to choose the Records Center template for the following scenarios:
- A centralized approach to records management is preferred to simplify auditing and reporting tasks.
- The need exists to perform records management on entities other than document library members, such as email messages or SharePoint list items.
- The need exists to organize archived material without requiring human intervention on submitted items.
When using the centralized approach of the Records Center site, it is likely that multiple libraries will be needed for archiving records, particularly in a case that will include many thousands of documents. There are three particular problems that must be overcome in such a case:
- Thousands of documents must be routed to the proper library to support a well-organized site, but the routing must be carried out without the burden of human intervention.
- Users must be blocked from ignoring the routing mechanism and choosing their own destination libraries.
- The archive site must be organized in such a way that folder content does not exceed recommended maximum capacities.
The Content Organizer feature, which is automatically enabled for Records Center sites, is designed to address these very challenges. The Content Organizer creates a special library named the Drop Off Library. This library is the central location for submitting documents to the Records Center site. Documents submitted to this library are routed to another library based on defined rules. When you author these rules you specify the following:
- One or more conditions to determine if a submitted document matches the rule.
- A destination library where matching documents are routed.
- A priority value, to indicate which rule should be applied in a case where more than one rule matches a document.
If a document is submitted that does not match a rule then the submitter and the owner of the site are notified. In addition, the document remains in the Drop Off Library until the site owner intervenes with a new rule.
In addition to applying rules for routing, the Content Organizer feature also provides the Folder Partitioning capability. Folder Partitioning provides an automatic mechanism to ensure that folders do not contain an excessive number of items by automatically subdividing a folder once it reaches a certain threshold.
While you can create your own destination libraries in the Records Center site, there is a library already created for you named Record Library. The significance of this library is shown in Figure 1: Documents added to this library will automatically be declared as records.
Figure 1. The Record Library automatically declares a document as a record.
In Place Records Management permits a user to manually indicate that a document is a record and subject to records management rules. In the case of the Record Library, the declaration is automatic: simply placing a document in this library implicitly declares that it is a record.
Managing the Records Center
While all of the settings for the Records Center site may be configured via the Site Settings page, the Records Center site template includes a dedicated page (see image below) for convenient access to site management tasks such as defining rules, organizing libraries, and generating reports.
The Records Center Management page provides
convenient access to standard configuration tasks.
This post is an excerpt from the online courseware for our Microsoft SharePoint 2010: Enterprise Content Management course written by expert John Underwood.
John Underwood is a technical evangelist for a SharePoint consulting company, with 30 years of programming experience, including 20 years on the Microsoft platform and 10 years with .NET. John also has extensive experience using, configuring, and programming SharePoint.