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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Applying Retention Policy to SharePoint 2010

Records Management is one of the very important aspects of SharePoint 2010 along with document management. Retention can be set either on content types or on folders depending on business case. In this post, I will explain how to set retention on any SharePoint library.
To start with applying retention to your library items, let us create a content type and then we will apply the retention to the content type which will drive the documents throughout their life cycle.

Now that we have our content type ready, document is in the library with valid value in the metadata field, we can proceed to apply retention to the content type.

Step 1: Click on Library Settings > Information management policy settings (under Permissions and Management)

Step 2: You can see the Vouchers content type listed along with the by default Folder content type. Click on Vouchers content type.
Step 3: Check the Enable Retention check box and click on Add a retention stage
Step 4: To trigger off the retention, our custom column (Voucher Date) which we added while creating the content type will be listed here. Select Voucher Date from dropdown and put 2 years (for the sake of this post). This is where you will put in your business case and fill in the value you want.
Step 5: Once we selected the Voucher Date and entered the number of years, now it’s time to select the kind of action we would want to perform on the item. The Action dropdown will list the available actions to choose from.
Let us declare the item as record after 2 years (for sake of this post).

Select Declare Record and click on OK.

Now you will be directed to the previous page with your event described as below. If you want you can add another stage of retention based on your organisation policy. For example, you would want to delete the item after keeping it for another 5 years after you have declared as a record. So you can add another stage here. Also, you may want to send the record to Record Centre after certain period, you can add that here by adding a new stage.
And we are done. We have now successfully applied retention to our content type.
You can follow the similar way to apply retention to any folder; the process is exactly the same, so I am not mentioning it in my post.

The SharePoint job which works in background to make the retention work is Information management policy job and Expiration policy job. They can be scheduled as per your organization policy going into the Central Administration > Monitoring > Review job definitions (under Timer jobs).