Posted in Electronic records, Exchange 2013, Products and applications, Records management, Retention and disposal, SharePoint 2013

Recordkeeping functionality in SharePoint 2013 – What’s New?

By all accounts so far, SharePoint 2013 does not have a lot of new records management functionality, but the new functionality it now has is an important step forward.  It includes:

  • Records management in the cloud, but a parallel universe to existing on-premises deployments of things like the Records Centre, Content Type Hub, and Managed Metadata.
  • The ability to apply retention policies to entire sites.
  • Better integration with Outlook, including site mailboxes.  All other email will still need to be managed.
  • Better support for eDiscovery.

Records management features in Office 365

It will now be possible to do most on-premises records management activities online in Office 365 (i.e., in SharePoint 2013 online). This includes the ability to create and use Records Centres, Content Type Hubs, Managed Metadata, and in-place records management. (See Don Lueders’ interview with Adam Harmetz from Microsoft here for more information.)

However, as Mike Alsup from AIIM points out here, on-premises and cloud-based environments will remain completely separate. It will not be possible to send records from Office 365 to the on-premises Records Center, and vice versa.

Retention policies for entire sites

This is a welcome feature as the only realistic alternative in SharePoint 2012 was to make a site read only and then ‘archive’ it.

See Microsoft’s introduction and overview to this issue for more information.

Better integration with Outlook

This is a very interesting move by Microsoft who have made it very clear that they believe content should be kept where it belongs – email in Exchange and documents in SharePoint.

In SharePoint 2013, teams can have a site mailbox that is visible from Outlook as well as the site. Documents attached to emails can be saved easily to a SharePoint document library. With retention applied to an entire site, this means that the emails in the site mailbox will be kept – in its business context – along with the rest of the relevant content.

This leaves ‘Messaging Records Management’, a feature that has not changed in Exchange 2013, to cater for all other emails.

Better discovery

SharePoint 2013 includes new eDiscovery sites. Some might say this is not a records management feature but a feature for lawyers. In any cases, both are likely to find this new feature compelling.


I am an experienced information management professional based in Melbourne, Australia. I have had close to 40 years of practical working knowledge across the full spectrum of information, records and content management issues, and direct and practical experience with contemporary and emerging business and information and enterprise content management systems. My product knowledge includes SharePoint 2010/2013/Online and OneDrive (SharePoint Administrator), Office 365 (including as a Global Administrator), Yammer, Sway, TRIM Context (R6.2 & 7.1), ECM Documentum, Alfresco Share; and other online systems.

4 thoughts on “Recordkeeping functionality in SharePoint 2013 – What’s New?

  1. Hey we only upgraded to SP 2010 this week – I feel like I should be nagging IT to upgrade to SP 2013 now! Better integration with Outlook is great and I can see our FOI people being a little excited about the e-discovery site.

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