SharePoint 2010 : Record Declaration

Record Declaration is one of the many new things introduced within SharePoint 2010. When implementing document management, we always come across scenarios where the final document is ready and we should lock it down so that no one can tamper with it and the document remains safe within the organization until it reaches its retention period. Such documents can be Staff files within an organization, any property related papers, insurance papers or so on. So, once we decide that the final version of any item within our SharePoint site is ready and we want to keep it for certain period of time without giving anyone the ability to change its content, we would prefer to lock it down and make it a RECORD.
Record declaration can be done manually or can be done as part of the Information Management policy within the document library. We will see how to create any item as record in this blog post. 
  • Manual declaration of Records

As we click on the Record declaration settings, we see three radio buttons:

Use the site collection default settings: Do not allow manual declaration of records
This will not allow users to declare the items as records manually from the ribbon button within the document library.
Always allow the manual declaration of records
This will introduce a ribbon button within the Document section (highlighted in the figure), clicking on this button will make the item as record and no more updates will be allowed on it any further.

Never allow the manual declaration of records
As name signifies, we cannot make the items as records by selecting this.
Also, we see the check box for automatically declare items as records as they are added to the list, checking this check box will make the items are records with no functionality to update the item in the future. This is very useful as we deal with documents which have just one version i.e., the final version.
Now we saw that either we can manually declare items as records which is very simple or we do it programmatically. But we can also declare records as part of the Information management policy within the document library.
  • Schedule the record declaration

We can schedule the record declaration by enabling the retention on the items. See Retention in SharePoint 2010 post for more details on how to implement retention to SharePoint items.
There may be a case where we would want to automatically declare items as records after a certain period (say Created Date + 2 years). This can be automated by the following way:
  • Click on Information management policy setting under Permissions and management in library settings.
  • Click on the content type of the document, you want to declare records.
  • Check the Enable Retention checkbox
  • Click on Add a retention Stage
  • Select Time period as Created + 2 years
  • Select Declare record in the Action drop down
  • Click Ok and save your retention schedule for the particular content type.

Similarly, as we applied the rule on content types, the same can be done to the folders as well if you have folders in your library.

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