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Enterprise Document Management Overview

SharePoint 2007

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides a set of client and server document services to help users manage and work with the growing volumes of content today's business processes generate.

Control

Office SharePoint Server 2007 has several features that provide improved control of access and versioning of documents:

  • Enforce check in and check out   You can now enforce mandatory check in and check out of Office SharePoint Server 2007 content.

  • Check out to local   This feature lets a user check out a document and open it for editing on their client computer by using one option button.

  • Minor versioning   Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports minor versioning. Based on settings the site administrator specifies, users can also have the option to choose whether to increment the major or minor versioning when they check an edited document back into a document library. Users can also add version-specific comments when checking in the document.

Document Information Panels

Often in document management systems, users are asked—usually at the point when they are saving their documents—to provide metadata (properties) for their documents. In many cases, users do not give the request any serious consideration, perhaps because of the placement or timing of the request. Document information panels are designed to enable users to specify all the properties on a document at once, in one place, at any point when they are working with that document.

A document information panel is a form that is displayed within the client application, and which contains fields for the document metadata. Document information panels enable users to enter important metadata about a file anytime they want, without having to leave the Microsoft Office system client application.

For more information, see Document Information Panel Overview.

Content Reuse and Distribution

Office SharePoint Server 2007 has features to support the distribution and reuse of content.

Important among these is the concept of live copies. A live copy is a document a user has copied to another SharePoint site location, but that retains a pointer to the original document. When the original document is edited, Office SharePoint Server 2007 notifies the user, who has the option of updating the copy with those changes as well.

In addition, Office SharePoint Server 2007 offers rendition support, which enables users to locate the same content that has been saved in a different file format.

Document Converters

You can offer content in a variety of formats through the use of document converters.

A document converter is a custom executable file that takes a document of one file type, and generates a copy of that file in another file type. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes an extensible framework for you to enable your own custom document converters for the document libraries in a given Web application.

For more information, see Document Converters Overview.

Draft Item Security

Draft item security gives a site administrator the ability to review submitted content before making it visible on the site. This feature employs the improved versioning Office SharePoint Server 2007 now offers: Administrators can elect to review content submitted as minor or major versions before making it visible.

Adding Custom Rights-Managed File Formats

The extensible architecture of Office SharePoint Server 2007 enables developers to create their own rights management converters for additional file formats beyond those natively supported by Office SharePoint Server 2007. Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports the rights-managed file formats for Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office Excel, and Microsoft Office PowerPoint.

Using this extensible architecture, developers can create pluggable rights management converters that convert custom file types to rights management formats when the user downloads them, and then convert those files back to non-encrypted file formats when the user uploads them for storage in the document library.

Implementing rights management requires two things:

  • A file format that has rights management built into it.

  • An application that understands rights management and can display the file format with the various access levels determined by rights management.

Maintaining Content with Records Management

Records management is concerned with maintaining a company's most important information in the most organized way. Information technology creates an abundance of information, and we need to invent new ways of managing those electronic documents. We must ensure we have everything we need, as well as ensure we get rid of everything we do not need.

Records management addresses the long-term storage and management of items of value to a company. In such a context, a record represents something important to a company, be it a document, list, or other item of information.

Defining Policies for Handling Content

An information management policy is a set of rules for a certain type of important content. Policy enables administrators to control and evaluate who can access the information, how long to retain information, and how effectively people are complying with the policy itself. The most common creators and enforcers of policy are compliance officers, records managers, IT staff, and members of similar professions.

With Office SharePoint Server 2007, you can apply policies that enable you to manage your content according to your business processes. While Office SharePoint Server 2007 contains several policy features you can customize for your needs, it also contains a range of extensibility tools that enable you to create, customize, and deploy your own policies and policy features.

The predefined policy features contained in Office SharePoint Server 2007 include the following:

  • Retention

  • Auditing

  • Document bar codes

  • Document labels

For more information about the information management policy framework, see Introduction to Information Management Policy.

Document Storage Using the Record Center

Windows SharePoint Services provides an intuitive, robust environment for document collaboration and storage. However, many corporations have records management and regulatory compliance needs that necessitate maintaining separate servers that are used to manage official business records and other highly regulated material. This presents a challenge to records managers: how to easily, and consistently, move documents from the SharePoint collaborative sites to the more strictly controlled environment of a records repository server. Windows SharePoint Services provides functionality designed to enable records managers to automate the process of moving documents into a records repository.

Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides powerful tools to help records managers move their important documents, and related metadata, into a regulated records center:

  • Records Center Web Service   Records managers can use the Records Center Web service to automate the process of moving documents from SharePoint sites into a records center, be that another, more strictly regulated SharePoint site, or a third-party repository.

  • Records Center Site Template   The Records center site template provides records managers with a records center solution right inside Office SharePoint Server 2007. The site template fully implements the Records Center Web service, and is customized for use as a records center.

Document Processing Using Search and Process

Search and process operations enable you to use Office SharePoint Server 2007 to perform a search query, and then perform a specific, custom action upon each list item returned by the query. For example, you might need to identify a certain set of documents, based on specific document metadata, and then move those documents into a records repository.

In addition, you can specify a list of people who are sent an e-mail message with the results of the search and process operation.

For more information, see Search and Process Overview.

Records Management Reporting Tools

Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides tools for both audit and policy reporting. Audit reporting enables you to track events that occur on documents within a site. For example, you could track which user deleted a given file. Policy reporting enables you to gather information on how policies are being implemented within a site. Policy reporting examines an entire site and returns information concerning what policies are in use, and the percentages of use for each policy. You can then take this information and compare it against what you thought the policy use would be, or compare to see who is using policies in different percentages from the overall averages.

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