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If you require a more formal document management than just the typical document libraries give you, you should know about a few new features for managing documents in SharePoint 2010. For a start if you have important documents that you move from library-to-library or even site-to- site based on things like workflow, you should know that we can now assign a unique document ID to each document. There is a new feature that must be activated on Site Collection called the Document ID Service. So you do need to be at least a Site Collection Administrator for this, although you don't need access to central admin.
Once this feature is activated, it will go through the existing documents in that site collection and create a unique document ID for each one, and also do this for any new documents that you upload to that site collection. And when this feature is activated, you also find a Document ID settings choice in the Site Collection Administration where you can do things like decide to begin IDs with certain characters. Now the first time you turn this on, this process can take quite a while.
It doesn't immediately work. It will actually run in the background. And on this particular site collection it's giving me a message saying that it's still to be completed. While this can be useful on any site collection, it's used on the new Records Center site template. This was a site template that existed in SharePoint 2007 and it's used as a records repository if you will, but it's much more feature-rich in this version. The idea is that if you have a document with a document ID, you can paste in that document ID in that site collection and immediately go and search for it.
And in this case it's opening up this document in the Microsoft Excel Web Application. The Records Center itself is a bit more accessible in SharePoint 2010. The 2007 version wasn't all that easy to configure. If you have a Records Center created, you'll find a new action in your Site Actions menu called Manage Records Center. This will actually give you the steps that you need to complete to actually make this useful. The whole point of a Records Center is you're going to be sending in multiple documents from potentially multiple locations.
They're going to be arriving from different site collections. They could be being e-mailed into this location. They could be going into this location through workflow. So step one is that you create your content types in this Records Center. You're then creating libraries to hold them. So perhaps you're creating libraries for intellectual property or Sarbanes-Oxley documentation or resumes or whatever it is you have. And then what you're using is something called the Content Organizer. This is a new piece of SharePoint 2010.
Right now I'm looking at an empty content organizer list, but if I decide to add a new item, it's going to step me through the process of defining rules. where I get to say that if content is arriving based on a particular content type, it could be a document content type or even a document set content type, I can then ask a few conditions of it. When it was created? Who it was created by? And then set a target location for this to go. So it's essentially the replacement of the old Record Routing list in SharePoint 2007, but it's a bit more accessible.
And indeed if you find this functionality useful, you can go into other SharePoint sites, or if you look at the Manage site features section, you can actually activate the Content Organizer for any other SharePoint site, where you can define those rules for this site. So if content is being e-mailed into this location, you can set up a bunch of rules to make sure that it goes to the correct library. And in essence taking away some of these things that you would have previously only done in a Records Center and moving that so they're available on any other SharePoint site.
And in fact you can take it one step further than this. New in this version of SharePoint is the idea of not requiring your documents to have to go to Records Center in order to be managed as records. If we can have document IDs on them, if we can have the Content Organizer making sure that they are arriving in the right location or being moved to the right location. We can also use things like auditing and expiration that have always been available in SharePoint. But if you're a Site Collection Administrator one more thing you can do is turn on a feature for your site collection called In Place Records Management.
And that's the idea that you don't have to move documents to a Records Center to have them counted as records and to have that formality over them. You can actually have that on any document library. Once that feature is activated, you will find another choice in your Site Collection Administration called Record Declaration Settings. The idea here is that if you have a document and you declare it as a record, you can do things block editing and deleting. So that begs the question how can you tell the difference between a regular document and something that's a record? Well, you have to be able to name a document as a record.
By default the setting is that you can only turn a document into a record, you can only say hey! This is a record that needs this formality. You can do that with policy. You can do it with workflow. You can also turn on the ability to do manual record declaration in your lists and libraries. And then below that you can actually control who gets to do this. If I turn that on and then go back to a document library, what I then have is a new option in my Ribbon.
When I have one of my documents selected I can say declare this as a record. Yes, I'm sure and that itself will then restrict me from deleting it. Of course this doesn't exclude the fact that I can still have information management policy on this. I can still have workflow on this. The idea of course is that rather than just having this one location that you have to move all your documents to in order to get this formality of Records Management, we can do it all through SharePoint.
It doesn't mean you'll be turning on In Place Records Management for all of your document libraries. I'd find that extremely doubtful. But the benefit is if you do have SharePoint sites that kind of become repositories after being used for a number of months or even years, that you can then add on this extra functionality to actually manage those records in the library itself.
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