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Information Management Policy

SharePoint 2007

Represents a set of rules for a certain type of 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.

Real World Example

A software development team needs to mark all Microsoft Office Word documents relating to patents with a unique watermark that identifies who and when a given document is viewed or printed. They create a policy feature that uses a policy resource to produce the watermark, and they also develop client-side policy feature code that generates and shows the watermark in the client. They then install the features on the server and clients and have it associated with a patent content type they previously created.

Technical Details

Each information management policy is a collection of instruction sets for one or more policy features. Each policy feature, which is an assembly, provides a specific kind of content management functionality to Office SharePoint Server 2007, and possibly to 2007 Microsoft Office system documents in client applications as well.

Each policy is represented by an XML document. Each policy feature included in a policy includes a single instruction set, called a policy item. A policy item is an XML node within the policy that contains the settings for only one policy feature. Certain settings are required for all policy items, such as the ID and name of the policy feature. The policy item can also include a custom data element, which only the policy feature can parse. The same policy feature can be included in multiple policies; however, in each policy, the policy feature would still have only a single associated policy item.

A policy feature can use one or more policy resources. Each policy resource is an assembly that assists the policy feature by providing some functionality the feature needs. Each policy resource can be used by only one policy feature, however, a policy feature can use multiple different policy resources.

Policy feature definition conceptual structure

You must install policy feature or policy resource assemblies in the global assembly cache.

You must install any Web controls that the policy feature or policy resource needs in the following locations:

  • For required global controls, install in this path:

    %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\ADMIN

  • For item-level controls, install in this path:

    %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS

You must use code to add the policy feature or resource to the Office SharePoint Server 2007 installation, and you could include this in the feature definition by using a feature receiver.

For policy features, you should add the policy feature definition to the policy feature list by calling the Add method of the PolicyFeatureCollection class. This method adds the XML passed to it to the policy feature list as the policy feature definition for the policy feature.

For policy resources, add the policy resource definition to the policy resource list of the specified policy feature by calling the Add method of the PolicyResourceCollection class and passing the XML of the policy resource definition as an argument.

For more detailed technical content about information management policies, see Introduction to Information Management Policy in the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 SDK.

Support Details

If you create a policy feature to provide functionality that is integrated into 2007 Microsoft Office system client applications, you must create and deploy the custom code that enforces the policy within the applications onto the computers running the applications. The policy XML is demoted and stored in client documents, such as 2007 Office system documents, as read-only instructions for how to execute the policy. Office SharePoint Server 2007 does not handle the deployment of the code that enforces the policy within the 2007 Office system client applications.

Information management policy assemblies are installed in the global assembly cache, and therefore operate with full trust. Because of this, you should carefully examine them for security and performance issues.

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