Records Management in SharePoint 2010 Q & A


This webinar included several live demonstrations and discussed:


  • Developing Records Management & Retention Policies & Strategies
  • Archiving & Remote Document Storage
  • Planning activities including Content Inventory, Taxonomy, Governance & Infrastructure Assessment
  • Integrating Digital & Hardcopy Management Techniques
  • Best Practices & Avoiding Pitfalls

Webinar presented by:
SharePoint MVP Paul P. Stork
and
Senior ECM Architect Chris Riley


  • Question: Will a recorded version of the webinar be made available?

    Answer: Yes, it is available here
    Note, if you experience issues with the low-res recording, please try the hi-res version for best viewing.

  • Question: Will the presentation slides and demos be made available?

    Answer: The presentation is available here and the link to the recorded demos is provided above.

  • Question: How do I register for the next webinar?

    Answer: You can register for our next webinar on Best Practices for SharePoint 2010 Public Facing Sites here.

  • Question: Which features that we’re covered are in Foundation or specific to the Standard or Enterprise versions?

    Answer: In terms of Records Management all the features are specifically in the SharePoint Server 2010 Standard License or above. Foundation is focused more on basic document and information collaboration, not Records Management. But none of the features we discussed in the webinar require the Enterprise license.

  • Question: Are these functionalities/processes dependent on new SP 2010 capabilities or is most of this applicable to prior versions (specifically 2007)?

    Answer: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 included features like the Records Center site and Information Management Policies. However, this webinar focused on how those basic functions have been significantly broadened and enhanced in SharePoint Server 2010. For example, MOSS 2007 included a basic records center that could route content based on content type, but SharePoint 2010 includes both a records center and support for declaring records in place. The automatic filing capabilities in a SharePoint 2010 Records center have also been significantly enhanced.

  • Question: Do you have a Maturity model for Records Management? How can you measure if an organization is mature?

    Answer: The maturity of an organization with respect to records management is indicated by weather or not they have a Taxonomy, and a File Plan that details retention periods. Usually these organizations have a records manager or clerk on staff. A good place to look at maturity models is the organization ARMA.

  • Question: Can the site owner change the content type that was pushed from the hub?

    Answer: Published content types are “Read Only” in the site collections that have subscribed to them. A site owner can of course make their own content types that inherit from the same base, but they cannot change a published content type. The original site owner can make changes to the master content type and push those changes down to the site collections that subscribe to the content type hub.

  • Question: Can we now have more than one record center?

    Answer: You’ve always been able to have more than one site built with the records center site template. However, in SharePoint 2007 you could only point the web service used for submitting content without rights in the records center to one records center site. In SharePoint 2010 that limitation has been removed. You can now create multiple custom “Send to” locations that point at different records centers.

  • Question: How does SP 2010 handle event based retention times?

    Answer: Retention time in SharePoint 2010 is based on a value in a metadata field plus a specific time period. So, as designed, retention times are not event driven. However, you could write a workflow or event receiver that would fire based on a specific event and use that to change the value in the field used to control retention. By doing that you could have a retention period that was based on an event rather than a metadata value.

  • Question: How do you tie a Retention Code to a type of record? It seems like you are saying you only can have one retention code?

    Answer: There is a lot of flexibility around the creation of retention policies. You can create a default retention policy that will apply to all the records in a site, or create specific retention policies for each content type, or create retention policies that apply to an individual library or even to folders within a library. Each record will only have one retention policy applied to it, but that policy can be applied in a variety of ways.

  • Question: Can "move to another location" be configured to move the record to secondary storage?

    Answer: “Move to another location” is one of the built-in actions that can be used as a stage in a record retention policy. There is no built-in action that will let you move a record to secondary storage. However, with a minimum of custom programming you could write a workflow that could be invoked by a retention policy to move a record to secondary storage. You can also write and add your own custom actions to the retention policy.

  • Question: Can you tell us anything about interfacing SharePoint with other records management systems (such as iManage Records Manager - formerly CA Records Manager)?

    Answer: There are several mechanisms to do this. Ideally the records management systems supports the CMIS standard which allows for the proper interchange of content and metadata. If it does not, then SharePoint Business Connectivity Services could be used to communicate between platforms. This is best done if the records management system supports a standard such as ODBC. Otherwise the final option is to integrate with custom coding using both SharePoint and the Records Management systems API.

  • Question: How do you create a full-fledged Retention Schedule?

    Answer: Each retention policy can consist of multiple stages where each stage has a time period for when it will be invoked and an action to be invoked. Using the built in actions you can create a complex retention schedule process. For example, three months after a financial report is created it can be moved to an archive library, 9 months after that it can be moved to a records center, and then after a certain period of time in the records center it can be permanently deleted. There is no specific limit on how many stages you can have in a retention policy, nor how many retention policies you can create for different content types, lists, folders, and sites.

  • Question: How is the RRS configured? Is it per site collection or farm? Can holds be pushed from a central location?

    Answer: I believe by RRS you are referring to Records Retention Schedule. If so this can be set up on a content type that is consumed by a library, or set up at the library level. Both are applied on a library level, but the content type publishing feature allows you to set up content types in one site and use them in other sites within the farm. In SharePoint 2007 you had to manually recreate content types for each site.

  • Question: How big do audit logs get?

    Answer: The size of the audit logs will depend on how many items you audit and how thorough an audit log you request. You should keep track of the size of these logs and make sure that you provide adequate disk space for the logs. You can also specify settings in the site collection to automatically trim audit logs after a certain period of time.

  • Question: Can moving items into a specified folder automatically assign any document put into that folder into a specific record without having to declare it specifically?

    Answer: A library or list can be setup to automatically make anything submitted to them a record; however this is done at the library level and not the individual folder level.

  • Question: Can record types be imported if we maintain these types and retention periods from a different system?

    Answer: There is no capability built-in to SharePoint 2010 to import retention policies. You could build such a system using the SharePoint API, but I’m not aware of such a product existing on the third party market yet.

  • Question: How does this information apply to Office365?

    Answer: Office 365 is currently in closed Beta test and covered by NDA. We will update this

    Answer as information becomes publicly available.

  • Question: Does SharePoint 2010 provide advanced search operations (e.g. date ranges, multiple terms, Boolean operators) when running an eDiscovery search for a hold?

    Answer: eDiscovery uses the standard features built in to SharePoint 2010. So, the

    Answer to this depends on how you have configured your Search Service and whether or not you are using FAST search. For managed properties, multiple terms, Boolean operators, and wildcards are generally supported. Date ranges are still problematic without custom programming.

  • Question: Does the Record Center still generate arbitrarily named folders when Records are sent?

    Answer: Folders can be created automatically by the Records center if you wish. But with the introduction of the Content Organizer feature you have much better control over where the records center places documents and what the names of the folders are that are automatically generated.

  • Question: For orgs with large, existing records collections (libraries), how will meta data and document IDs be applied if we create a new content management system?

    Answer: Document IDs are created automatically when a document is created in a document library. You can modify the formula used to create the document ID, but can’t set the document ID manually. If you are migrating content from an existing records center, the retention of metadata will depend on the method and tools that you are using for the migration.

  • Question: What is the difference between managed metadata and content types?

    Answer: A content type prescribes what metadata fields that will be collected for each document or list item. It can also be used to apply the same Information management policies like retention, auditing, barcoding, and labeling to a specific type of document or list item. The Managed metadata service application can be used to publish content types from a central hub to multiple, other, site collections. In this way the same content types can be made available everywhere in a SharePoint farm. The Managed Metadata service also supports the creation of centralized hierarchical term sets that can be used to implement taxonomy for classifying documents and list items. By controlling the vocabulary available in the term sets you can insure that everyone uses the same terms when filling out metadata fields.

  • Question: Is taxonomy available in MOSS2007?

    Answer: Taxonomy in MOSS 2007 is normally used to describe the architecture of sites, content types, lists and libraries in a SharePoint Farm. However, these taxonomies where limited to an agreement on how things information would be categorized. Although a key feature in MOSS 2007, they left a lot of room for error. For example, a metadata field called location might be created to record where a document was created. But some users might fill in a city name, or an office address. The introduction of the managed metadata service in SharePoint 2010 makes publication of a shared vocabulary possible which improves the effectiveness of these kinds of taxonomies. This was not possible in MOSS 2007

  • Question: Can you recommend specific online resources that describe best practices for taxonomy creation in SharePoint 2010?

    Answer: There are several taxonomy planning worksheets that will help you design a solid taxonomy available on the Microsoft Technet Site

  • Question: Can metadata be used as refiners in site search as well?

    Answer: Yes, the search refinements web part on the search results page uses existing metadata properties for refinement. The specific metadata properties available can be changed by editing the properties of the search refinement web part on the search results page.

  • Question: How do you add taxonomy to metadata?

    Answer: Once the managed metadata service has been configured you can add managed metadata columns to a list, library, or content type. Managed metadata columns use the terms stored in term sets in the managed metadata service.

  • Question: Can you link metadata fields or Information Management Policies to Taxonomy entries?

    Answer: Because a Taxonomy is applied as metadata, you can use that metadata in an information management policy as you can with any other metadata.

  • Question: What is the major difference between Taxonomy and FAST Search?

    Answer: They are two completely different technologies. Taxonomy is a categorization of content. Fast search is an enhancement to out of the box SharePoint Search. If you have FAST you will want to create a taxonomy so that FAST can use the taxonomy terms as facets.

  • Question: Can you select multiple taxonomy items for a single document/record?

    Answer: Managed metadata fields can be created to hold either a single or multiple values. So yes you can create a field that will take multiple values. But since the point of a taxonomy is to create a clear categorization system, you normally only want to use single value fields.

  • Question: Is workflow history for original documents kept when documents are sent to record center?

    Answer: Workflow history is not transferred with a document when it is sent to the records center.

  • Question: Is using the managed metadata/ taxonomy features over content types preferable? In the example the taxonomy classified the document as a non-disclosure agreement but the content type was still 'document'. When should content types be used?

    Answer: While there is overlap between managed metadata/taxonomy and content types they service two different purposes. Content types are containers of metadata and often where retention schedules are applied. Too many content types can complicate user experience. Taxonomy tends to be in upwards of 40 terms, and is not only the terms themselves but their relationship to others, a hierarchy. Taxonomy is the proper way to classify content and content types are one of the proper ways to enforce retention.

  • Question: You can update term values via the taxonomy manager, does this reflect in the audit trail of the item?

    Answer: You can add terms to taxonomy similarly to how we did in the demo, by going to Term Store Management and “Create Term” in the proper position. The changes made to the managed metadata service are not reflected in the content audits. You should allow a very limited number of individuals that can create or edit terms.

  • Question: Is there a way to force Word and Excel to only save files to SharePoint?

    Answer: There is no mechanism to FORCE Word and Excel to only save to SharePoint, but there are several methods to make it easier for your users to do so. The method used depends on your version of Office and if you would like to use an application such as SharePoint Workspaces.

  • Question: The DocumentID service does not work across site collections - correct?

    Answer: The Document ID service is scoped to the site collection. If a document moves from one site collection to another that also has Document ID enabled, it will assign a new ID with that site collections schema. Customization can be written to overcome this boundary if it is required.

  • Question: What is the difference between taxonomy and creating views based on metadata?

    Answer: Actually Taxonomy can assist views. Views take metadata to modify the UI of a library in a way that should help a user consume content. Taxonomy is simply a piece of metadata that is now applied to the documents; it shows up as a column, and can be used in views and filtering.

  • Question: Please define RFID.

    Answer: RFID stands radio-frequency identification. Its technology that allows you to place an REFID on a physical item, and track it anywhere it’s signal is readable.

  • Question: So, you * have * to have an electronic record (i.e. image the physical record) in order to track the physical record? So, if I have 75,000 files in my file room, I have to upload 75,000 electronic records?

    Answer: In the demo we showed an example of both physical and digital records. In the slides we explained a method of not imaging or creating a digital version of the physical record rather creating a SharePoint list that allows you to create items representing the physical items. This is another way of tracking the physical documents without recreating them digitally.

  • Question: Can you apply a specific number to a barcode?

    Answer: Out of the box the Barcode value is generated by SharePoint. You can write customization to control the generation of the code.

  • Question: What is the purpose of rating a document?

    Answer: The rating of a document allows users to visually isolate the most relevant content. It requires large organizations for it to be used effectively, so that the right number of ratings is applied to documents. When proper rating is done it can help someone decide for example which template is considered the best to use for an NDA or other document type, as an example.

  • Question: If you save a copy of a record and re-upload it, you will end up with 2 electronic records with the same barcode – correct?

    Answer: I’m not sure I understand the

  • Question. If you were to print a document with a SharePoint generated barcode, and instead of referencing the document re-upload it as a new document it would generate a NEW barcode, but the original barcode would be a part of the document already. This is why governance and planning is required for this feature.

  • Question: Is it possible to automate the barcode being added within the document?

    Answer: Out of the box, the process of opening the document and inserting the barcode is required however, customization can be done to automate this.

  • Question: What is the purpose of declaring if a document is a record? That almost seems like an unnecessary step.

    Answer: It is not a requirement for all organizations, but many organizations for legal reasons need to protect certain documents and stamp them in time, place and content. Records allow an organization to ensure the integrity of a document that will not be edited or updated.

  • Question: Which OCR was used?

    Answer: For the demo we choose one of the 4 top OCR engines to demonstrate this approach. If you would like to know more about the product we used and how we configured it please contact us.

  • Question: Are barcode numbers random? Can you establish a scheme?

    Answer: The value of the barcode is not random, but it is automatically generated by SharePoint as a unique number in the site collection. Out of the box you cannot change the scheme. You can however use the Labels information management policies and use the Document ID, or use customization to modify the barcode values.

  • Question: How do you track a physical record to an Employee or a Location so you can keep custodial history?

    Answer: There are several ways to accomplish this; it’s usually by tying a metadata field or barcode value to employee id or code. This would depend highly on your requirements. We would be happy to discuss the possibilities in more detail please contact us.

  • Question: We found that the document IDs were not necessarily unique and could change. How could you use this for linking physical and electronic records?

    Answer: They are unique and do not change. The only reason the document ID would change is if you give someone site collection administrator access and they modify the scheme. After they do this a timer job will be run to update the document IDs. It is not recommended to allow users to do this after the Schema has been chosen and used.

  • Question: I can see a new icon against the list items in the library, looks like a search icon, what is this?

    Answer: This is a third-party image and document viewer. If you would like more details please contact us.

  • Question: Would there be disadvantages to using this as a repository for reports?

    Answer: At a high level using SharePoint for reports is a common use case. It would take a further exploration of your requirements to see if it is a fit or not. We have not yet run into a scenario where SharePoint was not a fit.

  • Question: How do we go about retrofitting the 1000's of documents we already have to fit them into the new taxonomies and managed metadata in 2010 (we are currently in MOSS)?

    Answer: There are several approaches to migration, and it is quite a large topic. You can choose day-forward approach, or migrate all content. There are many ways to upload your existing content and properly tag them with the correct metadata.

  • Question: Could you please provide a ball park estimate of what the license cost would be for 1,000 users, 5,000 users, and 10,000 users per year?

    Answer: I’m not sure what licensing you are talking about. Everything we demoed was for SharePoint out-of-the-box, so depending on your SharePoint version and your agreement with Microsoft this will impact the license cost. Please contact us to arrange a call to discuss your specifics.

  • Question: What kind of overhead (disk space, processor...) impact does ECM add?

    Answer: This is highly dependent on the overall volume and the transaction volume you have. These are the basic considerations, but there are other things to consider when looking at performance on both he database and the web front ends.

  • Question: To capture the barcode to link a physical records to its digital counterpart, do you have to print out the document and scan it?

    Answer: The barcode would need to find its way to the physical document some way or another via printing or using a barcode label. It does not need to be a full document scan, it can be a process of using a hand-held barcode scanner.

  • Question: Is it CRITICAL to set a generalized RM and IM Policy/Governance over the entire enterprise vs. particular lines of business before deployment? If not, how does this affect the over interoperability of the SP site throughout the Enterprise.

    Answer: Excellent

  • Question! This depends on the size of an organization. For larger organizations it is not uncommon to create a RM and IM Policy per functional unit. Consider in your organization where your records managers and clerks lie in the organization chart. This could be a good indication of the dividing lines. If you would like to discuss in more detail please contact us.

  • Question: Does SharePoint provide any "out of the box" resources for warehousing physical records (establishing storage areas, bin locations, etc.)?

    Answer: SharePoint is a platform, so this application has to be created, but there are out-of-the-box features to accomplish this. This would be one of the approaches discussed but not demoed. If you would like to talk about this in more detail please contact us to discuss how you would accomplish this with SharePoint Lists.

  • Question: Can you convert electronic data and images from another document imaging system?

    Answer: As long as the system can output the images, in a standard format of PDF or TIFF then yes. Please contact us and we can look at your specific details.

  • Question: Can you do records center mgmt within SP 2010 and using Office 2007?

    Answer: Yes. While the functionality is greater with Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010, there is still a very tight integration between SharePoint 2010 and Office 2007.

  • Question: Is SharePoint 2010 or the records management component DoD 5010.2 certified?

    Answer: It is not. You would need to integrate SharePoint 2010 with a DoD 5010.2 compliant backend. There are third party solutions nearing release that would make SharePoint 2010 DoD compliant.

  • Question: Is it possible to declare an artifact a record as it is evolving (i.e. before finalized)

    Answer: There are several approaches to this. A document that is evolving is generally not considered a record; however you may consider major versions of this document a record. This would be one approach is to consider major versions as a new document in a library and declare that version a record while there is a living version of the document that is continually updated. This is an example of one approach.

  • Question: Where do you see records management being implemented in the enterprise - part of first release, or in later deployment of SharePoint rollout?

    Answer: Very often you see records management being a primary driver so utilized at the very first phase. If any document management is being considered, then records management planning should be a part of it if nothing else then to rule it out. If it is going to be used, but used later, planning needs to happen during initial deployment for records center, taxonomy, etc.

  • Question: Are scanning and barcoding OOTB?

    Answer: Barcoding is an OOTB feature for SharePoint Standard and above. SharePoint 2010 has features that facilitate scanning, but for document scanning you still need scanning software and hardware. Please contact us and we can help you choose the best solution.

  • Question: How do you get Metadata into the system? For example, I'm in contract management, and I need to tag everything with a Contract #, Contract Type, Sub-Vendor Name, Create Date, Audit Date. How do you get this information in?

    Answer: First a content type needs to be created with these metadata fields. When you upload a document you will be asked to enter the data. If you have imaging automation or a custom upload script, you can populate these fields automatically. Please contact us for more information.