November 30, 2008
Posted by Don Lueders under Introduction Leave a Comment
I’ve recently gotten a couple of comments I think I should, well, comment on. A few readers (not many, but a few) have posted comments critical of SharePoint in particular and Microsoft in general. I have chosen not to approve these comments for publication. This is not because I want to censor what these readers have to say or because I disagree with some of their concerns with Microsoft. I just don’t want to turn this blog into a forum for people who think Microsoft is the greatest company ever versus people who think Microsoft is the spawn of Satan. (For what it’s worth, there are already plenty of sites dedicated to the latter group. A quick check of Google will hook you up in no time.)
I sincerely hope everyone continues to read this blog and participates frequently. If I don’t post your comments, please don’t take it personally, I just don’t believe they fit into the narrowly defined parameters of this blog.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…
November 29, 2008
This is the first of a number of posts in which I hope to provide some basic lessons SharePoint Records Management functionality. I’ll call it ‘SharePoint Records Management 101′. These posts are meant for Records Management professionals who are looking to understand the fundementals of how to configure SharePoint to manage records. Today, I want to start with creating Content Types.
In general, it is safe to think of Content Types as templates for documents and records created in SharePoint. I explained Content Types in more detail in this post: http://sharepointrm.wordpress.com/2008/10/10/content-types-and-sharepoint-rm/.
Before you create a Content Type, you should make sure you know the metadata requirements for the document/record type you are creating. All of this should be the result of your business process analysis your organization did prior to implementing SharePoint. (You diddo a business process analysis, right?) You should create all the metadata site columns you need to include in new Content Type prior to creating the Content Type. (Creating new site columns is not difficult, but I’ll try to write up a post on the process soon.)
To create a Content Type, log into SharePoint as a user with site administration permissions. On the site Home page, click on ‘Site Actions’, select ‘Site Settings’ and ‘Modify All Site Settings’.
Under ‘Galleries’, select ‘Site content types’.
On the ‘Site Content Type Gallery’ page, click on ‘Create’.
Enter the name of the Content Type, a description, the parent Content Types and the Content Type Group. Click on ‘OK’ to create the new Content Type.
Within the new Content Type, you’ll want to add additional Site Columns (metadata fields). (These Site Columns should be created prior to creating the Content Type. I’ll try to include a post on creating Site Columns sometime in the near future, but it’s really not hard.) Click on ‘Add from existing site columns’.
Select the desired Site Columns and add them to the list. Click on ‘OK’.
That’s it. The new Content Type is created.
In coming posts, I’ll show you how to assign the post to a Document Library and base Records Routing on the Content Type.
November 16, 2008
I know it’s really late in the game, but I wanted to let anyone in the Reno, Nevada area know that I will be speaking at the local ARMA Chapter on SharePoint Records Management on Tuesday, November 18th.
If you are in the area and are not an ARMA member, this may be a good chance to stop by and attend a meeting. I’m sure they would be very excited to have you and I would certainly enjoy the opportunity to meet you and discuss what your organization is doing with SharePoint and records management.
November 15, 2008
Like all applications, SharePoint has its limits. If you are thinking about using SharePoint to manage your records, you should know what its limits are.
For the most part, if you are using SharePoint Records Center out of the box and haven’t made any big changes, normal SharePoint limits will apply to your records repository. There are a lot of places out there that provide descriptions of these limits, but here’s one I’ve used in the past and I think it’s pretty good:
It’s worth noting that these limits are not written in stone. They are really based on practical performance issues, rather than the notion that ‘a record library shuts down after you add the 2,000,001st record’.
November 7, 2008
I promised to talk about the DoD 5015.2 Resource Kit, so I thought I’d start by posting some general thoughts. In order to keep these posts brief, I’ll stretch these comments out over several entries.
So I’ll address the most obivous question first. Would I use it in a production environment? Um, well, yes. Sort of. I guess. (How’s that for fearless commitment?)
Let me say this, if 5015.2 certification is an absolute requirement (say you’re with a government agency or the DoD), then the Resource Kit is certainly worth investigating. It can be implemented successfully; the challenge is not in making the functionality work. The challenge with the Resource Kit is technical. As I’ve said so many times people have stopped listening to me, SharePoint is a platform, not an application. The Resource Kit is built on top of SharePoint. If you are going to use the Resource Kit, you need to make sure of two things.
One, you have to understand how SharePoint works. This won’t be easy, especially if you aren’t technically inclined. But you have to understand what SharePoint is capable of and what its limitations are before you can make applications like the Resource Kit work for you.
Second, you must have a good team (or at very least, one guy) who can develop custom solutions or configure the Resource Kit code to do what you want it to. This is essential, but it is not unique to SharePoint or the Resource Kit. I would say the same thing if you were using Documentum or Opentext.
With a personal understanding of SharePoint and some qualified technical support, you can configure the Resource Kit to perform some complicated Records Management functionality. But don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of problems using the Resource Kit, too. I’ll try to address them in my next few posts.