Last Friday Brad Teed (CTO of GimmalSoft) and I discussed whether or not SharePoint could be regarded as a records management system. We recorded the discussion for the ECM Talk podcast series.
Click on the play button below to hear the podcast. If the play button is not showing in your browser (it needs Flash) then you can get the podcast from here or from i-Tunes (search on ‘ECM Talk’). The podcast is around 45 minutes minutes long.
Brad said that SharePoint 2010 could be regarded as a records management system with the caveat that it did not do things in the way that traditional records management systems did them.
I conceded that SharePoint 2010 had records management features (such as holding and applying retention rules, holding a hierarchical classification, locking documents down as records) but I did not think that these features were brought together in a coherent enough way to justify calling SharePoint a records management ‘system’.
SharePoint 2010 offered organisations two different approaches to records management – the in-place approach and the records centre approach. Brad and I described and critiqued these two different approaches . I said it was a choice between ‘a rock and a hard place’ because both approaches had serious drawbacks:
- The in-place approach left records scattered around team sites under the control of local site owners without providing any reporting capability to give a records manager visibility over them all
- The records centre approach had the advantage of bringing records together into one place that the records manager could control. However it brought with it the complexity of managing the routing rules necessary to get documents from SharePoint team sites to the record centre
Brad and I will be debating the issue of records management in SharePoint live at the SharePoint Symposium in Washington DC on 2 November 2011.