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SharePoint Blog

June 17
Tumble-Weed Town No More: SharePoint 2013 Site Policies

Within highly collaborative organizations having the ability for end users to create and manage their own team or project sites is a benefit. The users get what they need, or want; they manage their own sites reducing calls to IT - and everyone is happy. Then, all is quiet when the project concludes.

Think of those old Western movies after nearly everyone has left town, there’s just a couple of guys and horses left as the tumble weeds roll on through clogging up the streets making them cumbersome for anyone to pass. The same is true for your SharePoint environment – after the users have left the project, those old sites can become your own data version of tumble weeds as sites will persist when they are no longer needed. These sites require storage space and may not necessarily be wanted for compliance reasons.

Site policies are a tool to use to help control a site’s life-cycle. A site policy defines the life-cycle of a site by specifying when a site will be closed or even when it will be deleted. When a site is closed or deleted, any sub-sites are also closed or deleted. 

SharePoint 2013 offers “site closure.” When a site is closed, you designate that the site can eventually be deleted according to a schedule. Closed sites, aka the tumble weeds, do not appear in other places where sites are aggregated and clutter up the view for example, Outlook, Outlook Web App, or Project Server 2013. Users can still modify a closed site and its content by using the URL to reach the site.

Tame the tumbleweeds

A site policy specifies the conditions under which to close or delete a site automatically. There are the following four options:

1. Do not close or delete the site automatically. If a policy that has this option is applied to a site, the site owner must delete the site manually.


2. Delete the site automatically.  If a policy that has this option is applied to a site, the site owner may close the site manually, but the site will be deleted automatically. A policy that deletes the site automatically specifies a rule for when to delete the site, and has the following options:

  • What action triggers the site to be deleted, and how long to wait after the trigger occurs before deleting the site. The trigger can be either site creation or site closure. For example, you can create a policy that deletes a site three months after the site is closed, or a policy that deletes a site one year after the site is created.
  • Whether to have SharePoint 2013 send a notification email message to the site owner a specified amount of time before the site is scheduled to be deleted.
  • Whether to allow site owners to postpone deletion of the site.

 

3. Close the site automatically and delete the site automatically. This option gives the same choices for how to delete the site automatically, and also requires you to specify how long after its creation time the site will be closed.


A site owner can re-open a closed site by going to the Site Closure and Deletion page from the Site Settings menu.

4. Run a workflow to close the site, and delete the site automatically. This option gives the same choices for how to delete the site automatically, and also requires you to specify a workflow to run. When the workflow finishes running, SharePoint 2013 closes the site. You specify the name of the workflow, how long after the site is created to run the workflow, and whether to rerun the workflow periodically until the site is closed.


A site policy can also specify that if it is applied to the root site in a site collection, when the root site is closed, the root site and all sub-sites become read-only.


Within these four options, you are likely to find a fit with the needs of your user community and begin to tame the tumble weeds, or prevent them from arriving in the first place. For more information on site policies visit Technet.






 

 

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