SharePoint 2010 includes the option to send a document from the site where it was stored to the Records Center (Records Centre in Australia), and other locations. The option is set at the Central Administration Web site under General Applications – Configure Send to Connections. See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee424395(v=office.14).aspx for the details of how to configure this option.
The ‘Send to action’ list offers three options when a document is sent to the Records Centre (options which are then available across the farm):
- Copy the document (which simply makes a copy)
- Move the document (which appears to remove the document entirely. Microsoft state that ‘users will no longer be able to access the document from its original location’, suggesting it is not actually deleted from the original location)
- Move and leave a link (see below)
Microsoft state (in the link above) that this option will ‘… delete the document from its current location, move it to the destination repository, and leave a link at the current location indicating that the document has been moved’. If Document IDs have been enabled, the Document ID will disappear next to the document icon, which then shows a hyperlink ‘hook’ to the document in the Records Centre. A user clicking on that link will be advised that the document has been moved.
The impact of versioning, and metadata, on ‘Send to’ moves
There are a number of issues, and potential problems, with the ‘Send to ‘ move option that need to be understood. Some of these might be sufficient to decide against using the Send to Records Centre option (or even using the Records Centre).
- Versioning. If versioning has been applied to the document library, and versions exist, only the most current version will appear in the Records Centre. The Document ID will be the same as the current version. However, any previous versions remain in the original library. In one sense, it is good to show previous versions, however any of these previous versions can be restored. When this happens, the version that is restored now appears, with the original document number (and a ‘hook’ still on the icon). The logic of this appears to be that, if a previous version is restored, the version that has been sent to the Records Centre is no longer the current version. However, it remains – with the same Document ID – in the Records Centre.
- Metadata. Any additional, local metadata that has been added to the Content Type in the original Site Library will disappear when the document is moved. Metadata in Content Types stored in the Content Type Hub will remain.
- Created date. The ‘Date Created’ field in SharePoint is the date the document was created in SharePoint. When the document is sent to the Records Centre, it is assigned a new ‘Date Created’. The date created field on the original document remains unchanged.
- Permissions. Any permissions that may have been applied to the document, via inheritance from the Library or Site, are removed and the document inherits the permissions of the relevant library in the Records Centre.
The implications for ‘Send to Records Centre’
The issues documented above could affect planning and decision making regarding use of the Records Centre and the ‘Send to’ functionality. Some issues to consider include:
- Loss of versions when the document is moved
- Ability to restore a previous version (and confusion about which is the current version)
- Loss of metadata applied locally to content types
- Changes to access permissions
If any of these are concerns for the organisation, consideration might be given to leaving documents in place where they were stored and managing them in that way. The Record Centre could instead be used to archive and apply retention policies to content from network drives.