Defining information management policy
Video: Defining information management policyNow although SharePoint's document libraries do keep track of some information about what happens to a document such as who it was modified by and what date it was last modified, that's usually not enough for a major corporation. We need a little bit more information than that. You can do that by defining wants called information management policy, which is a fairly complex phrase for something that's really not that bad to set up. I can do this on an individual library. I am actually going to go my library settings and I have got a section here called Information Management Policy Settings. Clicking that will take us to this page that will tell us a bit of information about retention, schedule, and content type policies.
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In SharePoint 2010 Essential Training, author Simon Allardice demonstrates the full feature set in SharePoint 2010 and the necessary skills to be a SharePoint site administrator. The course shows how to use SharePoint, create sites and site collections, and plan and design sites and portals. It also covers Office integration, security and permissions, and advanced features such as document management and business intelligence.
- Understanding a SharePoint team site
- Navigating lists and libraries
- Creating Document Workspaces
- Using versioning and check-in/check-out
- Integrating with Office 2010 applications
- Adding and deleting users
- Creating workflows
- Working with server site templates
- Creating a wiki and a blog
- Working with rich media
- Managing documents and other content
- Sharing information with charts and status indicators
Defining information management policy
Now although SharePoint's document libraries do keep track of some information about what happens to a document such as who it was modified by and what date it was last modified, that's usually not enough for a major corporation. We need a little bit more information than that. You can do that by defining wants called information management policy, which is a fairly complex phrase for something that's really not that bad to set up. I can do this on an individual library. I am actually going to go my library settings and I have got a section here called Information Management Policy Settings. Clicking that will take us to this page that will tell us a bit of information about retention, schedule, and content type policies.
We really have no policies at all on this. The idea is we can define different rules on documents or folders or any other content type you would define on this library. I am going to select Document, and after this, what I really get is an administrative description, a policy statement and then a series of checkboxes. Retention, Auditing, Barcodes, and Labels and this is essentially what information management policy is all about and you can use any, none, or all of these.
I would say the most obvious ones are these two the Retention and Auditing. For example, if I turn on Auditing, it's going to ask, what you want to audit, opening or downloading documents, viewing things in list or viewing properties, editing them, checking them out, moving them, deleting or restoring them? Let's say all of that. Click OK. I now have Information Management Policy turned on on this library. All documents will be audited; everything that happens to them will be audited. Now I will show you in a moment where we actually get that information.
If I want to go back into that, I click the word Document again and I am going to Enable Retention. You can add several retention stages, and to add one here, and we base them based on for example, when this document was last modified +1 year. Well, what are we going to do? We could move it to the Recycle Bin or we could permanently delete it, we could transfer it to another location, we could start a workflow, we could declare it as a record, delete all previous drafts, all sorts of things here.
Let's say I will select Move to Recycle Bin. I am thinking this is a fairly casual document library, but of course you could move to another location, such as Record Center, you could start a workflow to do disposition, which is basically the end of life cycle. Perhaps send an email to point out to someone, hey this document hasn't been modified in a year, what do you want to do with it? It's completely up to you. Now what I am going to do up here is actually add a policy statement. Let's say we want to make sure that people know that there is an auditing policy on this document. So I am going to put a little phrase in here.
And I will show what impact that has in just a moment. So right now I have Information Management Policy just defined on this library with Retention and with Auditing. Now obviously we can't really see the impact of the retention policy right now, but I should be able to see the impact of the auditing policy. I am going to go back to my Shared Documents library and I am going to open up a couple of these documents, edit that one in the browser, make a simple change to it, go back to my document library, perhaps a view properties of another document, all of which will be causing audit log events to be recorded.
Now the question might be, prove it. How would you actually track what was going on? Well, to actually see the information about that I am going to go to my Site Actions, Site Settings page and go down to my Site Collection Administration Settings which has Audit Log Reports. That allows me to run reports on content modifications, content viewing, deletion, custom reports, expiration and disposition, policy modifications, all sorts of stuff. So let's see if this has been tracked. I am going to hit the content modifications, give it a location to save to.
I am just going to save it to my Shared Documents library after this has generated. I can just click OK and go back to my Shared Documents library where we see the report here. It should be pretty small. But if I just click on it, I am opening this up in the web version of Excel, the Excel Web app and I have just got obviously a couple of things here being audited, some information about what document did I touch. If I want to look at the individual pieces of it, I even have very specific information. Who is the user, what was the document library, what time did it occur, what event was it, a copy or an update.
So very formalized auditing information if that's what you are interested in. I am going back to this document library. I am going to go back into my library settings and back to those information management policy settings and going back in here we are saying documents in this location, have that information tracked on it. There are a couple of other options you can select. These are rarer but can be done. Barcodes and Labels. Barcodes is really only relevant if you want to have printed versions of all your documents, where you need to have something on the printed version that will correlate back to the actual document in the document library. Of course you still are expecting a barcode reader and probably some little application to tie the two together, but I can certainly turn this on. And we could also turn on what I call labels which is not quite as formalized as barcodes.
What a label does and it's a very interesting idea. It allows you to take some of the extra metadata that you might have for that document such as a title, such as a status, or anything else that you may have defined and really inject it into the document itself. That sounds a little vague, so I will show you what I mean. I am going to create a Label here that says "The title of this document is," and I will do a /n to represent a new line and then I am going to put in the word Title surrounded by curly braces.
Now Title is a piece of metadata. I know that is attached to the regular Document content type, so this should work, I am going to select a font here, let's just do it in Arial and size of let's say 18 points. I could even hit the Refresh button to do a little preview of that and that looks fine. It looks like it might be a little bit too wide for the fonts. So let's shrink that down a little bit and refresh it. Okay, looks good. So I now have as complete an information management policy as I could possibly have.
I have retention on here, I have auditing, I havebarcodes are enabled and labels are enabled and think about that phrase. Enabled, not enforced. I am going to click OK. And next I am going to show you that impact. I am going to go back to my document library and I am going to find a simple Word document such as this Hiring Procedures and open that in Microsoft Word. Remember where I added the audit policy description here? This is what pops up. We will get notified, hey there is Information Management Policy on this document and whatever I put, there is an auditing policy active and we track all activities with it. Well okay.
I can still use Word the way I would always do, making changes, but one of the things that I have done because I enabled barcodes and labels is when I go to my Insert tab, I will see a section over here that will have Label and typically has Barcodes too. We will see that being generated in just a moment. I am going to hit the Label entry here, and it's telling me some information required to complete this label is missing. Okay that makes sense. I will click OK. Why? Because I don't actually have a title on this. I had not added one to this particular document.
I just entered in a title and I hit Save, and you will see how this label basically is injecting the content there. Now this is clickable but it's not changeable. Now I have done a very simple example but we could imagine that you could have multiple pieces of data that has been sent from outside the document, being set by editing properties in SharePoint, and you can have all that data whenever this document is opened, printing out on say a cover sheet. I am going to save this and close this down. And go back to this Hiring Procedure and instead see it from another perspective where I am going to go in and view properties.
Notice that we have a title here called Two Trees Hiring Procedures, we have a label text, and we now actually have a barcode. Now essentially if you turned on Barcodes, after you have already had this document library full of documents, you may need to save the document once or make an edit to it before the barcode is generated, which also means before you can insert the barcode. But what I could I do with this? Well, there is one other perspective. Let's say I edited those properties directly from within SharePoint, and change the title to Our New Hiring Procedures, hit Save, then go back into editing this in Microsoft Word.
That label information automatically updated with the metadata attached to our document, audit policy message showing up here, and if I wanted to, we should at this point, have on the Insert ability to do a barcode. 5093200913. I save that. Just to double check that I see that on Hiring Procedures I view properties. It is that same barcode that ends in 00913.
Not everyone is going to need barcodes, not everyone is going to need labels. in fact note everyone is going to need the information management policy at all. I have worked with a couple of companies, title organizations for example that have to have printed copies of everything, and the barcode feature is very, very useful in correlating documents back to their electronic versions. But this is the way that we can set up IM policy on a document library, but interestingly too that's not the only way you can do it. If, for example, you are making good use of your own content types, you can go back to your site content type gallery, find for example a custom content type that you had created, and define your information management policy settings there.
It's all the same options. Retention, Auditing, Barcodes, and Labels. So you can tie information management policy to a library, you can tie it to a content type and by doing so really start to impact and add that next level of document management to the content in your libraries.
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