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November 19
SharePoint 2013 in Place Records Management Overview

The Case for a Records Management Plan

There are many legal and financial reasons to be concerned about the proper management of company records. The increasingly complex regulatory environments that organizations operate in require them to retain certain documents for a set period of time; many times these documents require special security. On the other side of the spectrum the cost of storing unimportant information indefinitely range from wasted dollars to serious financial and reputational damages during litigation. SharePoint 2013 provides the backbones for a Records Retention Strategy to be automated in a way that is consistent and incorporates controls to protect valuable information.    


Record Center vs. In Place Records Management

SharePoint 2013 offers two robust options for automating the records management process. A Record Center is a central location where users can upload a document, declaring that document to be a record. The system will then route the record the appropriate library based off the information provided by the person uploading the document. In Place Records Management allows users to declare a document as a record where it sits in SharePoint, allowing users to easily reference a record while ensuring its fidelity.  The rest of this blog will focus on setting up In Place Records Management and options for implementing your Records Management Plan.


In Place Records Management Set Up

The In Place Records Management functionality is a Site Collection Feature that must be activated on every site that will be declaring records; you will need Site Collection Administrator permissions to do this. Take the following steps to get started:

1.       Go to Site Settings -> Site Collection Administration -> Site collection features

2.       Activate "In Place Records Management" feature

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Once In Place Records Management has been activated you can set up the Information Management Policy Settings for your Content Types


3.       Go to Site Settings -> Web Designer Galleries -> Site content types

4.       Create required content types, for each CT you can set up an individual Records Management Policy

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5.       Go to Information Management Policy settings-> Retention; Enable Retention

6.       Configure the retention stage for records and non-records as required:

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7.       This will give you the option to set up the retention period for a document. You will also have the following actions available: Send to recycle bin; Permanently delete; Transfer to another location; Start a workflow; Skip to the next stage; Delete previous drafts; Delete all previous versions.

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8.       By selecting “Start a workflow” you open up all of the options that are available to SharePoint workflows giving you the flexibility to assign review tasks, create reports or even move a document to a more secure location.

​Auditing a Record

The Information Management policy settings screen also provides the ability to define Audit Reports for a record. When you enable this functionality you can determine all of the events related to an item that are to be recorded:

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Declaring a Record

When a user accesses a document library with a Content Type that has a record management policy on it they will be given the option in the ribbon to declare a selected document to be a record.

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Selecting this option will tell the system to start the record retention policy defined above for that document. The system will wait for the defined amount of time until taking the action that you set. A good example would be a compliance document waiting for 48 months before a review workflow to determine if the document needs to be deleted.


The compliance details of the document can be viewed from the context menu:

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This will show you all of the important information about the record as well providing access to view the Audit Log defined above.​

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