SharePoint2010 : Calculated Columns

SharePoint calculated columns often become very useful while doing simple or I should say not so complex calculations within SharePoint fields. I have had requirements which are not an easy one and not even so complex that I should be writing some kind of custom code to implement them, where I find the use of SharePoint calculated columns very useful. While implementing the calculations, I browsed many books, blogs and MSDN forums and found the below mentioned link very useful.

I am sure this post will encourage you more to use SharePoint calculated columns where ever required as they are easy to implement and no maintenance required. 

Happy SharePointing !!

SharePoint2010 : Creating Surveys

Creating surveys and recording response in SharePoint is a very useful feature of any intranet or internet facing site. Surveys can be recorded periodically every quarter or monthly based on organizations. This blog post shows how to create a survey and record responses from the audiences. 
  • You must log on to your SharePoint site with admin rights.
  • Click on View All Site Content and click on Create 
  • Select Lists from the left and select Surveys from the list
  • Enter the name of your survey and click on Create.

Now that our list is created, it’s time to enter the questions for the survey. 
  • Enter your question and click on Next Question until you finish entering all your questions one by one. While filling in the questions, you can select the field type for each question and proceed. You can also branch your users according to their responses, how to do that, we will see later in this post.

Now that you have finished entering all your questions, you should click on Finish which will take you to the list settings page where you can see all your questions listed. Now, you can click on the question you want to put branching on and enter the branching criteria. Finally when all this is done, you are good to test your survey. Click on the survey list from the left hand navigation which will take you to the survey list. Click on Respond to survey for filling in the answer to the questions and submit your survey. Now, if you want the audiences to have only the survey submission rights and they should not be able to view what others are submitting, restrict access to the library accordingly.

Hope this helps

SharePoint2010 : Setting Content Organizer Rules within Record Center

Setting rules within the Content Organizer is required to route your documents to send to their destination library. For the interim period they can sit within the Drop Off library, and based on the rules we set, they are routed to their destination library. As we activate Content Organizer within our site, the Drop Off library is created by default. This post describes how we can set the rules to route our documents which we send to Record center.
  • Go to Site Settings > Content Organizer Rules under Site Administration.
  • Click on Add Item.

  • Fill in the name for the rule.
  • Select the Rule Status and Priority
  • Select the Content Type (make sure you have added this content type to your destination library)
  • Most importantly, select the condition on which the routing should occur next.
  • Finally, select the Target library clicking on the browse button.

There you go, the rules are set now. You are good to send documents to your Record Center which will come to its Drop Off library and then routed to your destination library.

SharePoint2010 : Introduction to Record Center

The Records Center is intended to serve as a central repository in which an organization can store and manage all of its records. The Records Center supports the entire records management process, from records collection through records management to records disposition.

When we are implementing Document Management within our organization, and we have thousands of documents to maintain within a library whereas many of them are historic, and we do not use them very often, it makes sense to keep them separate and not clog your library with huge number of items. Hence, SharePoint gives us the flexibility for document retention using Record center. We can create record center and send our documents to it once they are approved and are in their final version. Sending to Record center can be of three types mainly: 

  • Copy the document to Record Center 
  • Move the document to Record Center
  • Move to the document to Record Center and Leave a link

As per the business case, we can implement any of the above mentioned way to treat our items within the library. 

Steps to implement Document Management through Record center: 

SharePoint2010 : Create Record Center

Creating Record Center is very simple. It is just created like any other team site within SharePoint. 
  • Go to All site Content. Click Create 
  • Select Site > Record Center
  • Enter the desired display name and the URL for the record center
  • Click on Create

There you go!! The Record center is created and ready to use.

You might notice the Drop Off Library is listed on the left hand navigation which is a part of Content Organizer is activated by default. 

This is the temporary placeholder library where all the items when sent to the Record center using Send To connection are stored. We will have to set rules to this library to move our items to their destination library within the Record Center.

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).

Create Custom Content Type in SharePoint 2010

Content Management is an integral part of SharePoint 2010. It helps organize your documents, items and records in a way you have control over its life cycle. We can define what fields we want to use in content types and their data types. Also we can apply validations on the fields within a content type. This blog post describes creation of a custom content type within the site collection and using it within the document library.
Step 1:Create a content type “Vouchers” with some metadata columns.
Go to Site Settings > Site Content Types (under Galleries) > Create.

Step 2:Create two additional columns within the content type.

Step 3:Create a document library named “Payment Vouchers”.

Step 4:Enable use of Content types within the library.
Go to Library Settings > Advanced Settings (Under General Settings) and select Yes for Content Types.

Step 5:Add our custom content type to this library.
Click on Add from existing site content types and select our newly created content type “Vouchers” from the list and click Add. Also, I will remove the Documentcontent type available in this library by default to avoid any confusion.

Once we add the Vouchers content type and remove the Document content type, the New Item ribbon button in our library will look like below:

Step 6:Now we can upload some documents to this library.
Click on Upload Documents and browse your file to upload. Once the upload is done, you will be asked to fill in the metadata for our content type Vouchers.

If you note, we made Voucher Date as mandatory, which is marked as a red asterisk. After filling in proper metadata, click on Save to complete the upload. Content types can be very helpful when you have thousands of documents in the same library and you have many types of documents in it, so creating separate content types for them and saving them under their appropriate values with their respective metadata values can be very helpful within the organization. Also, content types are very useful when you have a similar kind of documents within your site in different libraries, so you can create a content type and re use it in all the libraries. Implementation of Retention schedules also is one key benefit of using own custom content types.