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Design the Records Center site (Office SharePoint Server)

SharePoint 2007

Updated: February 26, 2009

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2009-02-26

In this article:

To manage records in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, site designers and records managers plan and implement a Records Center site. This site, based on the Records Center site template, contains features you can use to implement your file plan and manage the records while they are being retained.

Design the Records Center site in four steps:

  1. Based on your file plan, plan the document libraries you need to store your records.

  2. Plan metadata for each record type, and define columns in the document libraries to contain and display the metadata.

  3. For each type of record, plan policies to define retention periods and auditing specifications that help meet your enterprise's regulatory obligations.

  4. Based on your analysis of active content that will become records, plan the record routing table, which maps each type of record to the appropriate library in the Records Center site. When a record is sent to the Records Center site, either programmatically or via the user interface, this table is used to determine how to classify the document within the file plan.

About the Records Center site

The Office SharePoint Server 2007 Records Center site template is designed to implement records management and retention.

By combining standard Office SharePoint Server 2007 features with specialized records management features, the Records Center site provides the following capabilities:

  • Record routing   When a document is sent to the Records Center site, either by using a default method such as the Send to Records Center command or by using the programmable interface, the record is routed to the correct document library based on its type. The correlation between incoming record types and their related document libraries is managed in the record routing table, as described later in this article in the section Planning the record routing table.

    When a record is sent to the Records Center site, other information is sent along with the record itself. This other information includes the record's audit history, which is stored in an XML file, and all of its metadata, which is stored both in an XML file and in columns of metadata in the Records Center site.

  • Policy enforcement   Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes the following policy features that are useful for records management:

    • Auditing   Logs events and operations performed on documents. In the context of records management, this is useful to record who is viewing and accessing information in the Records Center site.

    • Expiration   Specifies how long the record should be retained and provides an action to take when the retention period ends, such as initiating a disposition approval workflow. In the context of records management, the retention period usually starts when the record is stored in the Records Center site.

    • Barcodes   Provides each record with a unique barcode graphic and numeric value. The value of the barcode is stored and indexed along with the electronic version of the record. In the context of records management, barcodes are useful for retaining and tracking physical records. When the records in a library have hard-copy versions, barcodes provide a way to correlate the hard-copy versions with their electronic counterparts. See the topic Plan physical records retention for a discussion of physical records retention planning.

  • Programmable interface   A comprehensive records management solution enables records to flow into the records management system from all sources of records in the organization. The Records Center site's programmable interface provides a method to send a file, its associated metadata, and its audit history to the Records Center site as part of a business process. By using this method, any document management system can be configured to send files to the Records Center site. You can also add modules that extend the classification of incoming records — for example, to classify records based on their metadata values.

    In addition to extending the interface for moving records into the Records Center site, you can extend other aspects of the Records Center site. For example, you can design additional policy features that meet your enterprise's unique requirements.

  • Hold   The Office SharePoint Server 2007 Records Center site provides a way to suspend a record's expiration policy. It includes a hold feature that lets records managers create named "holds" that protect specified records from expiring and being destroyed. For example, in the event of an internal audit or a litigation, putting the relevant records on hold ensures that those records, which you may be required to produce, will be available until the audit or litigation is complete.

Planning document libraries for records retention

The easiest approach to planning document libraries for records retention — and the approach recommended in this planning guide — is to create a document library for each type of record in your file plan (see Develop the file plan (Office SharePoint Server)). For example, each record in the following sample file plan could be stored in a separate library:

Records Description Media Record category Retention Disposition Contact

401K plan

Description of employee benefit plan.

Web pages

Employee Benefit Plans

X years

None

Reshma Patel

Insurance plan

Description of employee insurance plan.

Electronic documents

Employee Benefit Plans

X years

None

Reshma Patel

Press releases

Releases about products and services.

Electronic documents

Public Relations Information

X years

Archive

Molly Dempsey

Newspaper articles

News about products and services.

Print

Public Relations Information

X years

Archive

Molly Dempsey

Worksheet action

To help you plan document libraries for records retention, list each record type and assign it to a document library. To record information about the library, such as what policies to apply and what columns of metadata to add to it, use the Document library for retaining records worksheet (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=73298&clcid=0x409) for each library.

Planning metadata

After planning document libraries for records retention, the next step is to determine the metadata to define for each library. There are two categories of metadata to consider:

  • Records metadata

  • Additional metadata

Planning records metadata

Records metadata is the metadata that is submitted along with a record when it is sent to the Records Center site. Determining what the optimal metadata for a type of record is depends on that type of record, and it may require discussions among records managers and the managers of the content on the active servers. Once you have determined that adequate metadata is being generated and stored for a record type, you can configure the destination document library for that type of record to retain the metadata along with the record. When a record is sent to the destination document library:

  • The names and values of each column of metadata associated with it are saved along with the record in an XML file in a hidden _properties folder that is created in the destination library.

  • The metadata values are copied to matching columns in the destination library.

For each column of metadata for a type of record, define a column in the destination document library that matches the incoming column's name and type. To specify that the column must be submitted along with the record and that it must have a data value associated with it, configure the column in the Office SharePoint Server 2007 user interface to require data. (Do this by selecting the Require that this column contains information option.) For example, if the source records include a "Department" column of type "Single Line of Text," define a column with that name and type in the destination document library.

NoteNote:

If a record is submitted for retention and required metadata is missing (either because no value is supplied or because the column is missing entirely), the submitter will be prompted for the missing metadata. If the metadata is not provided, the record will not be accepted for retention. If the document is sent programmatically (rather than from the user interface), the file is placed in a temporary holding area, and information is sent back to the calling program that must be handled programmatically to supply the missing column of information before the record is added to the destination library.

Worksheet action

In the Document library for retaining records worksheet (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=73298&clcid=0x409), record the name and type of each column of records metadata that you want to store along with the record, and specify if the column should be required.

Planning additional metadata

Along with displaying columns of metadata associated with retained records, you may want to add other columns of information to display in your records management document libraries. For example, you may want to add a "Records Manager" column to display the name of the person on your team who is responsible for managing the records stored in the document library. Note that, as with columns submitted along with records, if you specify that these additional columns are required, the record submitter will be prompted for the missing metadata and the record will not be accepted unless that metadata is supplied. If you do not want the submitter to be prompted for the values of additional metadata, do not configure the columns to require data.

NoteNote:

You can define columns for use in multiple document libraries. To do this, you can create them in the Column Templates gallery associated with the Records Center site.

Worksheet action

In the Document library for retaining records worksheet (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=73298&clcid=0x409), record the name and type of each column of additional metadata that you want to store along with the record, and specify if the column should be required.

Planning policies

An information management policy is a set of rules for a type of content. Each rule in a policy is a "policy feature." For example, an information management policy feature could specify how long a type of content should be retained or which actions on the content should be audited. Information management policies enable you to control who can access your organizational information, what they can do with it, and how long to retain it. Policies in a records management system should be configured by records managers to reflect the enterprise's regulatory obligations.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes the following policy features that are useful for managing records in the Records Center site:

  • Auditing, to demonstrate that records are being managed properly.

  • Expiration, to control how long records are retained in the Records Center site.

  • Barcodes, to track physical records.

Depending on your records management needs, you can also acquire or develop your own records management–related policy features that are not included in Office SharePoint Server 2007, such as policies that digitally sign records or convert them to a fixed format.

There are two recommended options for planning policies for records management:

  • If the same policies will apply to multiple record types — for example, because they are in the same record category — create a separate site collection policy for each set of record types. Associate each site collection policy with the relevant document libraries.

    Worksheet action
  • If a record type requires a unique set of policy settings, associate the relevant policy features directly in the document library for that record type and configure the policy features appropriately for that library.

    Worksheet action

    In the Document library for retaining records worksheet (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=73298&clcid=0x409) for a library, record your decisions about policy configuration:

    • To associate a site collection policy with the document library based on the record category of the content stored in the document library, in the Policy section of the worksheet, record the name of the policy template for that record category.

    • To associate unique policy features directly with the document library, in the Policy section of the worksheet, enter each policy feature along with configuration notes for that feature.

Planning the record routing table

The record routing table is a list in the Records Center site that lists each type of record that might be submitted to the Records Center site and specifies the library in which to store it. When files are submitted to the Records Center site by using the Send to Records Center command or the programmable interface, this list is used to route the incoming file to its proper location.

Each entry in the record routing table is a record series list item specifying:

  • The title and description of the record series. The name of a record series indicates a type of item that can be submitted to the Records Center site for the current record series. If files are submitted to the Records Center site from a server based on Office SharePoint Server 2007 or Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, the name should match a content type name in the library containing the active record. If the files are submitted from another source, the name should match the type of document that can be submitted from that file source using the programmable interface.

  • The location (a document library) in which to save the records for the current record series.

  • A list of record types, called aliases. These are other names for the records that can be submitted to the Records Center site for this record series. For example, if your organization has multiple departments that use different names for the same underlying record type (such as "contracts" and "agreements"), you could define aliases for each name used for the same record type.

    If the records are submitted to the Records Center site from a server based on Office SharePoint Server 2007 or Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, the aliases will be content types. If the records are coming from another file source, the aliases should match the types that can be specified for that record source in the programmable interface.

One record series in the record routing table should specify the default document library. When a Records Center site receives a file that does not match an alias in the record routing list, the file is moved to the specified default location where it can be manually filed by a records manager. The Records Center site template includes an Unclassified Records document library and record series as the initial default location; it is recommended that you keep this record series as the default.

A good approach to planning your record routing table is:

  1. For each document library that you created in your Records Center site, plan to create an entry in the record routing table.

  2. Give a record series the same title as the primary type of record to be retained using that record series.

  3. Based on your analysis of active documents in your enterprise, obtain a list of all the content types or other record types that could be submitted for the current record series; these should be listed in your file plan, and they will be the aliases for the record series. For example, if, in a human resources Records Center site, you decide to retain all pension plans, insurance plans, and 401k plans in an Employee Benefits Plans document library, you would specify all these record types as aliases in the record series entry for the Employee Benefits Plans document library.

  4. Determine which record series should be the default.

Worksheet action

Use the Records routing table worksheet (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=73303&clcid=0x409) to record your decisions about each record series you plan to create in the record routing table. Note that there should be a record series for each document library in your Records Center site.

Worksheets

Use the following worksheets with this article to help plan your deployment:

Download this book

This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Downloadable content for Office SharePoint Server 2007.

See Also

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