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There's a few words that get used so much in SharePoint that when you hear them you have to pause for a minute and think, what exactly are we talking about here? Publishing is one of those words. There's the Publishing feature, Publishing Portal, publishing site, and document is another one of those words. We have documents in SharePoint. We have document libraries, Document Workspaces, document sets. There's something called a Document Center, and the idea of document management. Now, surely, we've been doing this already.
I mean, if we have versioning turned on and check-in/checkout required and workflow, surely we're doing some kind of document management. Of course, yes, we are, but we can take it even deeper than that. First, we can describe the kinds of documents that we have, so that instead of working with a generic document, we work with a resume or a software specification or a business plan. To know what type of content that we have is called a content type. If you work with structured groups of records, say you need to group together contracts, budgets, and plans in a formalized way in SharePoint, that can be defined as a document set.
In SharePoint, we can also have an audit trail of who creates our documents, who edits them, who even looks at them. We can control things like expiration, to say, for example, one year after this document is last edited, delete it or move it to another location. Things like auditing and expiration are referred to as your information management policy, and you can have different IM policy on different libraries, or even different kinds of documents. Using information management policy in SharePoint, you can even inject barcodes into your documents.
So, if you have printed versions of your documents, there's a correlation between the printed version and the document in SharePoint. Next, there's the idea of a record in SharePoint. Some people talk about documents and records as generic, almost interchangeable terms. Not as far as SharePoint is concerned. In SharePoint, you can take a document and treat it as a record. A record is special. It's important. It's trackable. There are different rules on records than there are on regular documents. So, what is a record? Well, it could be anything.
Financial report, intellectual property, health information, policies, almost anything could be a record. SharePoint doesn't care. SharePoint needs you to tell it what a record is. It's always going to be different per company. You might have legal requirements or regulations that you have to deal with. Now, when you have records, sometimes you might want a special site where all of your records go, a repository, and we actually have a template for that. It's called a Records Center. Sometimes, you might just want to go into one of your regular document libraries and name one document as a record, so that it can be deleted.
SharePoint can let you do all of these things. We're going to talk about these one by one.
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