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In Place vs Send To Records Center: Different ways of declaring records

[ 5 ] May 17, 2010 |

There has been a lot of talk regarding the best approach when implementing a Records Management scenario with SharePoint2010. In Place Records Management has been pushed hard by Microsoft but does it really stand up to the test, well lets take both for a spin and find out!

In Place Overview

Injecting Records Management in the Content Creation Experience

In-Place Records Management really is the ability to define records in the same location that a document was created. In addition you can also mix records and non-records within the one library. In Place RM should really help users to participate in the RM process and has been touted by Microsoft as the way to ensure that RM becomes part of the authoring experience. So what are some of the advantages and disadvantages?

Declaring an item in place

In Place Advantages

In Place Disadvantages

Great User Experience

The main thing about In Place RM is the fantastic user experience, click on a link and the document is declared a record.

In addition you can also declare many items as records through the interface in one hit.


Cannot declare Document Sets in Place

This is a real shame since it really limits the use of Document Sets. You can’t actually declare a document set as a record in place, in must be sent to the Records Center.

User Encouragement

Since Records Management is now part of the way that users interact with SharePoint there is likely to be much more uptake by users. Previously in 2007 the interface was clunky, but now with the new features to declare and view records users should be less hesitant to declare records. The encouragement to get users to participate comes both in the ease of declaring records and in the ability to see which documents are records.

Complexity in Retention Policies

Since you cannot create retention rules at the content type level based on metadata it makes creating retention policies time consuming and complex.

Imagine you have a Contract content type that is to have a different retention policy based on a metadata option. In an traditional RM scenario you cant set up folders that define these retention rules and then route documents to the folder, thus inheriting the retention.

With In Place this is not possible so you either create separate content types (which is painful) or override retention based on location for each document library (which is complex).

Logical Place for users to find records

Of course the best place to find records would ideally be where users have always worked! In Place offers that exact possibility where users can always find records because the records are exactly where they left them.

Lack of reporting for Compliance details

There is currently no easy way to report on disposition rules across sites or site collections. So if In Place is used you will have to write custom reports in order to see file plans and retention schedules for instance.

Send to Records Center Overview

Modelling traditional Records Management Systems

The ‘Send To Records Center’ option is the traditional way of sending an item to the Records Center. This is the way that records were treated in MOSS 2007, although if you look at some of the articles on this site you can see that this has been greatly improved.

So what are some of the advantages and disadvantages?

Send To Records Center

Send To Records Center Advantages

Send To Records Center Disadvantages

Models Traditional Records Management Systems

Really this is a no brainer now. Create content types, create file plan, assign routing rules, assign retention and you have  full fledged Records management system going on.

Very easy for both users and administrators of existing RM systems to configure and use.


Like Traditional Records Management

How can this be both an advantage and disadvantage you ask? Well is the traditional way of managing records the best way? Why can’t items remain in place? Do retention rules really need to be as complex as we are making them?

Easy To Create Complex Rules

Since Records can now inherit retention from folders it is easy to create multiple folders that define retention on items and simply use a Content Organiser to route the documents into the specific folders.

What is hard however is to declare different retention rules based on a single content type but dependent on metadata. In this case you have to create individual content types for each possible metadata value which can be very, very laborious and cumbersome.

Items Gets Moved From Original Location

Since you have to move the items from the original location there is a major disconnect from the users perspective.

Since items aren’t where they are supposed to be where the hell are they? And if they are in a file plan in a RC does that mean anything to anyone apart from the Records Manager?

Now there are some things that you can do in the case of create links and so forth but I think that from a users re

More Than One Send To Location and Additional Options

Previously in MOSS 2007, when you declared a record the content declared wasn’t actually sent to the record center, but a copy was sent leaving users rather confused!

Now you have two major improvements, firstly you can have more than one send to location (and thus more than one record center) and you now have options to what happens when a item is moved to the record center as well as can be seen below.

Some what should you do then? Well you will have to stay tuned to find out :)

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Category: General

About Michal Pisarek: Michal Pisarek is the founder of Dynamic Owl Consulting and a Microsoft SharePoint MVP. View author profile.

Comments (5)

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  1. Great post – good to know all the pros and cons of different options before you start deploying things. Great blog by the way!

  2. Thanks Greg! Much appreciated.

  3. Vinod says:

    Hi,

    Can we create hold on a record without moving the record to RM site ? If so, could you pls explain how ?

    Thanks,
    Vinod

  4. Hey Vinod!
    You can create a hold with moving simply by activating the Hold and eDiscovery feature on the site and then manually add items to the hold that way.

    If you hang on for a couple of days I will do a blog post about this to explain further otherwise feel free to contact me.

    Cheers

  5. David Eddy says:

    I need some process instructions. I need the ability to select records from multiple sites and copy them to another location and put them on hold at that separate location. I need them to show up in the Record hold Reporting. I have 24 litigation searches in process at this time. I have search terms available to select the records. I can also have them put into the DropOff Library within the specific site. I need to know how to copy them to my Records Management Site and into a library that has been designated for that litigation search. My approach is to create a separate library for each Litigation. I would also like to put those document on hold when they are moved into their specific library.

    I can make the inplace hold function, but users want the ability to edit their documents on SharePoint. Once a inplace hold is applied, the document can no longer be edited.

    An assistance with the process would be helpful.

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