Sharepoint 2010 : Administering Enterprise Content Management - Document Management (part 2) - Versioning , Information Management Policy

2/10/2014 3:15:48 AM

1.2 Versioning

Versioning is useful if you want to track the changes made to a document—at the document level—throughout the life cycle of the document. For example, if multiple people will be working on a document together, you may want each person to check in the document as a new version. In a file system environment, this usually means creating multiple copies of the same document and designating each as a version within the document name. This is difficult to manage and can be cumbersome. SharePoint 2010 allows you to specify if you want to keep only major versions or major and minor versions of a document.

If you choose to keep only major versions of a document, then every time a document is checked in, it will be a published version. If you decide to keep both major and minor versions of a document, SharePoint will provide an option during check-in that allows you to choose to check in the document as a major version (publish) or a minor version (draft).

When versioning is enabled for a document library, you can specify additional options such as the number of major versions to keep in the history and how many minor versions to keep for each major version, as shown in Figure 3. It’s tempting to keep all prior versions of every document, but doing so can create additional unnecessary stored content, and this may violate potential compliance rules as well as impact library performance. Consider setting limits on these settings that will meet your requirements without making the limits so high that too many versions are saved.

Adjusting versioning settings for a document library

Figure 3. Adjusting versioning settings for a document library

When versioning is enabled, you can view prior versions of a document by accessing its version history. Version history is available from the Edit Control Block menu of an individual list item, or from that item’s View Properties page.

Requiring Check-in/Check-out and Content Approval

By requiring document check-out before editing, you can ensure that multiple people do not attempt to upload different local copies of a document, thereby overwriting each other’s changes. Check-in/check-out are particularly useful in conjunction with versioning. When you check in a document, you have the option of checking it in as a minor draft version or publishing it to the next major version.

Content approval ensures that any published major version of a document will remain in draft as pending approval until it has been reviewed and approved by a member of the Approvers group or an individual with approval permissions. This publishing workflow automation is built directly into the library by default and can be enabled from the Versioning Settings page, which can be found in Library Settings.

Draft Item Security

You may not want all readers within a library to see all documents that are stored in the library as drafts. Draft Item Security provides the ability to trim the listing of a document within the library based on the document’s state in the publishing workflow. For example, if the document is in draft, you can set the library options so that only approvers and the author of the document have item visibility, or you can set the option so that all contributors within the library have draft item visibility. A third option lets you set the security level to allow all viewers the ability to see draft documents. Figure 4 shows the three options available for Draft Item Security within the Library Settings area.

Adjusting draft item security for a document library

Figure 4. Adjusting draft item security for a document library


Draft item security is not retroactive to documents that already exist in the library.

1.3 Information Management Policy

Information Management Policy (IM Policy) allows list administrators to define specific policies for content stored within the library. These policies ensure content adherence to corresponding compliance rules that have been defined for the library. An IM Policy optionally defines settings for the following items.

  • Retention Schedule how content is managed and disposed by specifying a sequence of retention stages.

  • Auditing Specify the events that should be audited for documents and items subject to this policy.

  • Barcodes Assign a barcode to each document or item. Optionally, Microsoft Office applications can require users to insert these barcodes into documents.

  • Labels Add a label to a document to ensure that important information about the document is included when it is printed.


Retention settings let you schedule how content is managed and disposed by configuring a sequence of retention stages. Each stage that is defined has an associated time period or retention formula that determines when a specific action occurs. The following actions are available for each stage.

  • Move to Recycle Bin

  • Permanently delete

  • Transfer to another location

  • Start a workflow

  • Skip to next stage

  • Declare record

  • Delete previous drafts

  • Delete all previous versions

Multiple stages can be defined for each policy, with each stage specifying a different time period. Each stage will occur only once unless Recurrence is enabled, after which that action will recur forever until the next stage is triggered. When records management is enabled within the site, separate retention schedules can be configured for record and non-record content. Figure 5 shows the setup options for each stage as they appear within the Stage Properties dialog box.


If the Library And Folder Based Retention feature is active, list administrators can override content type policies with their own retention schedules. To prevent this, deactivate the feature on the site collection.

Creating a retention stage within an IM Policy

Figure 5. Creating a retention stage within an IM Policy


Auditing specifies the events that should be audited for documents and items that are subject to the IM Policy. When the specified event occurs, an entry is written to the audit log for the site. This log can then be reviewed at a later time by administrators. IM Policies allow for the following audit events to be logged.

  • Opening or downloading documents, viewing items in lists, or viewing item properties

  • Editing items

  • Checking out or checking in items

  • Moving or copying items to another location in the site

  • Deleting or restoring items


Barcodes are supported within SharePoint 2010 at the document level. By enabling barcodes with an IM Policy, users are able to associate a barcode with all documents subject to that policy. Optionally, you also may select to prompt users to insert a barcode before saving or printing a document.


Labels provide a way for you to ensure that important information about the document is included when it is printed. To specify a label, type the text you want to use in the Label Format box. You can use any combination of fixed text or document properties except calculated or built-in properties such as GUID or CreatedBy. To start a new line in the label format field, use the \n character sequence. You also have the ability to enforce font and style formatting for the label text as an option, as well as the ability to prevent changes to labels after they are added.

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