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Governance features in Office SharePoint Server 2007

Updated: February 26, 2009

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2009-02-26

This article reviews a set of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 features that your organization can use to help govern your Office SharePoint Server 2007 IT service or your enterprise’s information architecture. It also includes links to Web articles to help you plan and use each feature.

NoteNote:

For information about how to organize your enterprise's governing body, see What is governance?.

In this article:

IT service features

By offering an IT service that hosts SharePoint sites and by providing related services in the enterprise, your organization can more effectively control the proliferation of SharePoint sites, ensure cost-effectiveness, and maximize the benefits of collaboration. This section describes features in Office SharePoint Server 2007 that are useful in maintaining and governing an Office SharePoint Server service.

Site templates

Site templates are a set of customizations applied to a site definition. By using a site template, an Office SharePoint Server service can promote consistent branding, site structure, and layout in the sites that users create. You can create customized site templates for provisioning sites and use them instead of the templates that are included in Office SharePoint Server as part of your Office SharePoint Server service.

For more information, see Working with site templates and definitions (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=119281&clcid=0x409).

Quotas

A quota specifies limits to the amount of storage that a Web site can use. Quotas enable you to warn users when their sites approach their storage limit. This process prevents users from adding additional content when the limit is reached. For more information, see Manage site quotas and locks (Office SharePoint Server).

Locks

Locks prevent users from either adding content to a site collection or using the site collection at all. For example, you may lock a site that violates of a usage policy. For more information, see Manage site quotas and locks (Office SharePoint Server).

Workflows

Workflows are programs that implement business processes for users of a Office SharePoint Server site. They are associated with items in the site, such as documents, forms, or list items. Workflows have many applications as part of an IT service. For example, you can use a workflow to provision a new site, track a support issue, or take action when a site's quota is exceeded.

For more information, see Workflows in Windows SharePoint Services (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=119282&clcid=0x409) and Understanding workflow.

Features

A feature is a container for various defined extensions for Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, and is composed of a set of XML files that are deployed to Web servers. You can deploy a feature as a part of a site definition or a solution package, and you can individually activate a feature in Office SharePoint Server sites.

A site administrator can transform a SharePoint site's functionality by toggling a particular feature on or off in the user interface. Features make it easier to activate or deactivate functionality in the course of a deployment, and provide a means for administrators to easily transform the template or definition of a site. Features can be hidden, which prevents site users from manually deactivating them.

By having new site functionality implemented as features, you make it easier for administrators to control sites and enforce a governance plan. A technique named feature stapling enables you to attach a feature to all new instances of sites that use a given site definition without modifying the site definition. This lets you control the features that users of your service can access. For more information, see Feature Stapling (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=119283&clcid=0x409) and Working with features (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=105337&clcid=0x409).

Self-service site creation

You can enable users to create their own top-level Web sites by using the Self-Service Site Creation feature. Allowing workgroups to create and own unique site collections promotes better collaboration within the workgroups. Also, enabling self-service site creation frees IT resources for other tasks. A key decision in governing self-service site creation is to determine at which level of your service it is supported.

For more information, see Configure self-service site creation.

Records management

A record is a document or other electronic or physical entity in an organization that serves as evidence of an activity or transaction performed by the organization. Records require retention for some time period to meet legal, business, or regulatory requirements. Records management is the process by which an organization determines what types of information should be considered records, how records should be managed while they are active, and for how long each type of record should be retained. Records management includes the performance of records-related tasks such as disposing of expired records, or locating and protecting records related to external events such as lawsuits.

Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes features that can help organizations implement integrated records management systems and processes. To ensure that information workers can easily participate in your enterprise's records management system, 2007 Microsoft Office system applications, such as Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and Microsoft Office Word 2007, also include features that support records management practices.

For more information, see Plan records management.

Information architecture features

A portal Web site's information architecture determines how the information in that site — its sites, Web pages, documents, lists, and data — is organized and presented. Your enterprise can increase the return on its portal investment by creating a governance body that develops and enforces information architecture standards and policies. A well-governed architecture makes information in the enterprise easier to find, share, and use.

This section describes Office SharePoint Server 2007 features that are useful when you implement your enterprise's information architecture and govern its usage.

Content types

Content types enable enterprises to organize, manage, and handle content in a consistent way. They define the attributes of a type of list item, document, or folder. Each content type can specify metadata properties to associate with items of its type, available workflows, templates, and information management policies. Use content types to encourage consistent information management policies, metadata requirements, and other policies. To govern content types, consider associating event receivers and workflows with the forms that are used to modify the content types. As a result, changes to a content type are validated and approved.

For more information, see Plan content types (Office SharePoint Server).

Content approval

Content approval is the method by which site members with approver permissions control the publication of content. A document draft awaiting content approval is in a pending state. When an approver reviews the document and approves the content, it becomes available for viewing by site users with read permissions. A document library owner can enable content approval for a document library or Web pages library and can optionally associate a workflow with the library to run the approval process.

Use content approval to formalize and control the process of making content available to an audience. For example, an enterprise that publishes content might require a legal review and approval before publishing the content.

For more information, see Plan versioning, content approval, and check-outs.

Versioning

Versioning is the method by which successive iterations of a document are numbered and saved in Office SharePoint Server. As a governance tool, versioning prevents users with read permissions from viewing drafts of documents.

For more information, see Plan versioning, content approval, and check-outs.

Site Content and Structure page

The Site Content and Structure page in the top-level site in a site collection manages the content and structure of a SharePoint site collection. Because site navigation in Office SharePoint Server is based by default on the hierarchy of sites and subsites, this feature can also be used to configure site navigation. When porting a Web site to Office SharePoint Server 2007, you can use the Site Content and Structure page to restructure the site to match your enterprise's needs.

For more information, see Work with site content and structure (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=107711&clcid=0x409).

Information management policies

An information management policy is a set of rules for a type of content, or for a location where content is stored, where 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 it could provide document auditing. Information management policies enable you to control who can access your organizational information, what they can do with it, and how long the information should be retained.

You can associate a policy with a list, document library, or content type. When you do this, any document associated with the library, or any document of the content type, includes the information management policy. The relationship between a document and its associated information management policy is maintained even when that document is opened in a 2007 Microsoft Office system client program. For example, if a policy prevents a document from being printed, that policy can be enforced even when the document is opened in a 2007 Office system client program.

When you configure an information management policy, you can optionally write a policy statement that is displayed in 2007 Office system client programs to inform document authors about the policies that are enforced on a document. This is a recommended best practice.

Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes the following information management policy features:

  • The Auditing policy feature logs events and operations that are performed on documents and list items. You can configure Auditing to log events such as editing documents, viewing them, or changing a document's permissions level.

  • The Expiration policy feature helps dispose of content in a consistent way that can be tracked and managed. You can set content of a specific type to expire on a particular date, or within a calculated amount of time after some document activity (such as creating the document). After the document expires, you can determine the actions that the policy control will take. For example, the policy can delete the document, or define a workflow task to have Office SharePoint Server route the document for permission to destroy it.

  • The Labeling policy feature specifies a label to associate with a type of document or list item. Labels are searchable text areas that Office SharePoint Server generates based on metadata properties and formatting that you specify.

  • The Barcode policy feature enables you to track a physical copy of a document. You create a unique identifier value for a document and then insert a barcode image of that value in the document. By default, barcodes are compliant with the common Code 39 standard (ANSI/AIM BC1-1995, Code 39), and you can use the object model of the policies to plug in other barcode providers.

To track how information management policies are being used in each Web application in your solution, you can use Office SharePoint Server Central Administration to configure information management policy usage reporting. Information management policy reports help you monitor how consistently your organization uses policies. Because information management policies are often implemented to help an organization comply with regulations, frequent monitoring of policy usage can help you ensure that your organization is compliant.

Information management policy features are extensible. For more information about how to create custom information management policy features, see the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Software Development Kit (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=119284&clcid=0x409). For more general information about information management policies, see Plan information management policies.

Information rights management

Information Rights Management (IRM) enables content creators to control and protect their documents. The contents of documents that use IRM are encrypted and supplied with an issuance license that imposes restrictions on users.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports IRM for documents that are stored in document libraries. File formats of documents that can use IRM in Office SharePoint Server 2007 include:

  • Microsoft InfoPath

  • Microsoft Word

  • Microsoft Excel

  • Microsoft PowerPoint

  • Word Open XML

  • Excel Open XML

  • PowerPoint Open XML

To add other file types, an administrator must install protectors — programs that control the encryption and decryption of documents that use rights management — for each new type of file.

For more information, see Plan Information Rights Management.

Blocked file types

You can restrict files from being uploaded or downloaded to a server by basing the restriction on their file name extension. For example, you can block files that have the .exe extension, because such files can be run on the client computer and may contain malicious software.

By default, many file types are blocked, including file types treated as executable by Windows Explorer. For a complete list of the default blocked file types, see Manage blocked file types (Office SharePoint Server).

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.

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