Document & Records Management in SharePoint 2007 and 2010

Post date: Jul 12, 2011 12:41:26 PM

I was inquired about the difference between document management and reocrds management features in SharePoint 2007 and 2010 so I decided to write a blurb about it. Enterprises think about enhancing the records management capabilities and often get flummoxed with the OTF products like TRIM and customized EDRMS solution built on SharePoint platform. This is not about recommending one or the other but pointing out the capabilities built into SharePoint.

Document Management feature of SharePoint Server for enterprise provides the capability of creating workspaces and repositories to securely store documents along with the meta-data information. Depending on the enterprises' documents storing needs and the information architecture, a solution that compliments the enterprise infrastructure must be designed with the following key components;

Content Types, Team sites, Document libraries, Workflows & Document workspaces

The state of the art SharePoint enterprise search capability provides the means to crawl and index the content within the documents along with the meta-data to be easily searchable by the users.

SharePoint document libraries offer highly customizable framework to storing documents and can be configured to manage document versioning history, content approval and workflows.

Records Management feature of SharePoint extends documents management capability and sets the focus on identifying information stored in document libraries and workspaces as records. SharePoint enables organizations looking to manage and archive their enterprise records through a document management system (eDRMS) by allowing them to store information in Records Center sites. These Record Centers are set to execute business rules that adhere to the records management policies in the organization by maintaining the electronic filing process, labelling, history, audit trails, routing and disposition of these documents. The routing & disposition workflows provide a framework to create custom retention policies.

Records Management has come a long way since the initial launch of SharePoint in 2003. There was a very limited functionality in terms of identifying the records and applying retention policies to them. It is only after MOSS 2007 when the Records Center was introduced with routing & disposition workflows and built-in audit functionality. SharePoint keeps track of all the events and changes that occur within the system which enables managers and administrators to report on activities performed by a business user in terms of how they interact with the system. However having to design the RDMS system involved customizations of the SharePoint objects for implicit Records Management capabilities for the end users.

Today Enterprises need fast, user-friendly, secure & reliable records management system which coheres to the organizational policies of record keeping and auditing. To name a few, DCAA, ISO, and CMMI are some of the standards which are being used as baseline by these enterprises and SharePoint 2010 assures to comply with them by introducing the following capabilities which will help these enterprises on a massive scale to achieve their goals.

The document & records management capabilities are greatly enhanced in the latest version of SharePoint (SP2010) which offers many useful features OOTB including:

Corporate taxonomy & term stores; enables enterprises to manage groups of hierarchical corporate terms

Meta-data publishing / content hub; provides means to manage global document templates and content types that can be shared across departments & functional areas. This helps implement business classifications and filing policies for record keeping

Content organizer; exhibits the ability to manage routing/retention/disposition workflows across document libraries and workspaces per business classification

Document stores; renders conceptual boundaries around documents across business areas

Meta-data navigation; simplifies navigation by enabling users to browse information based on business classification, location and custom meta-data.

The above capabilities provide extremely efficient way to manage records and enable enterprises to design & implement a highly effective and customized eDRMS.