Are you using SharePoint as little more than a browser-based file share? Does it seem like you just replace network file folders with document libraries? If so, then you’re missing out on a lot of the power that SharePoint Server 2010 provides to your organization.
Much of the information you and your coworkers work with every day are documents: Invoices, Purchase Orders, Quotes, Requests for Proposals (RFP), Contracts, Statements of Work, Policies, Procedures, Project Plans, etc… When you create systems for managing documents in SharePoint—instead of just storing documents in SharePoint—you leverage the power to:
- Simplify document creation, organization, and discovery for end users
- Control and improve document distribution
- Improve regulatory compliance
- Decrease costs and increase efficiency
- Take SharePoint to the next level in your organization!
This course begins with exploring an existing document management system built in SharePoint Server 2010. Then you will design a well thought out Content Model for some common types of business documents. You’ll use that model to first build de-centralized document management systems that use single location sites, libraries, metadata, and document sets. You’ll then build centralized document management systems that utilize automatic routing, workflows and customized search pages. Finally, you’ll integrate Records Management for full regulatory compliance with your governing authorities’ requirements.
This four-day course is designed to provide the hands-on experience you need to take advantage of the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) features in SharePoint Server 2010 to begin developing systems for managing documents in your organization. After taking this class, you can be assured that you will be prepared to work with documents in SharePoint in the most effective way possible.
Student learning will be facilitated through a combination of instructor presentations and hands-on lab exercises. A sample company will be used in the labs to teach students how to integrate these concepts and SharePoint 2010 features to design and build systems for managing document-centric processes.
(Note: This Course Outline is subject to minor changes and refinements based on student feedback and instructor experience.)
Module 1: Using SharePoint Document Management Systems
Every component of a document management system is designed to meet particular business needs. And every ”system” has its own methods and peculiarities that are unique to it. In this module, you will learn the common business needs that systems for managing documents in SharePoint 2010 can meet. You will also learn about the experience end users will have when they are creating content and working within the system on a daily basis.
In the lab, you will explore how end users work with documents in a SharePoint 2010 based document management system that has already been set up.
Module 2: Dissecting a SharePoint 2010 Document Management System
After you understand how the system works within the business, it’s time to begin looking at the technical components of the system. This module provides a general overview of the individual elements you will be setting up and configuring in the later modules.
In the lab, you will explore the various components of a SharePoint 2010 Document Management System to see them at a high level and see how those pieces fit together to enable the end-user experience.
Module 3: Developing a ”Content Model”
Before you begin setting up anything in SharePoint, it’s important to spend some time gathering the business requirements and planning what you will be building. We call this the ”Content Model” and it will serve as a method of discovering where you are now with your documents, where you need to go, and the best path to get there. You’ll discover or define document templates, metadata required for particular types of documents, workflow processes, roles and permissions of authors and other users, if the document is an official record for regulatory compliance purposes, and understand the document lifecycle.
In the lab, you will work through the process of developing a content model for several types of common business content in the context of a fictional company.
Module 4: Preparing Sites and Libraries
The core foundational building blocks in SharePoint are always Sites, Lists, and Libraries. Although it’s possible to build very simple document management systems using nothing more than sites, lists, and libraries, that doesn’t leverage the real power of SharePoint Server 2010. In this module, you’ll learn to create and configure Sites, Lists, and Libraries as a starting point for more powerful document management systems instead of an end product that is just a simple replacement for network file shares.
In the lab, you will create and configure the initial sites and libraries that will be used in the systems you will be building in the rest of the class.
Module 5: Defining Site Columns and Content Types
Site Columns and Content Types are two of the most powerful, yet under-utilized features in SharePoint. Site Columns allow you to define, manage, and control the metadata that is used throughout your business. Content Types allow you to define, manage, and control the types of content that will be utilized in your document management systems to achieve better scalability, reuse, control, and automation. In this module, you’ll learn how Site Columns and Content Types work and how to define and create them.
In the lab, you will create the initial site columns and content types that will be used in the document management systems.
Module 6: Administering Managed Metadata
Managed Metadata provides a way to create sets of metadata terms that can be centrally managed and used across the organization. Terms are easy to select, even if there are thousands of them. They can contain synonyms, and users can suggest additions to terms sets or they can be used for social tagging of information. In this module, you’ll learn to create and manage the Managed Metadata Term Sets that you will use in the document management systems you’ll be building.
In the lab, you will create, configure, and populate terms sets in the Managed Metadata Term Store, and utilize those term sets in the content types you created in the previous lab.
Module 7: Working with Document Sets
Document Sets is a powerful way to treat multiple documents as though they were a single document. This can be very helpful whenever a particular business process centers on multiple documents such as a loan document packet, request for proposal (RFP), or other project. In this module, you will learn how to create, configure, and use your own Document Set content types to be used within your document management system.
In the lab, you will create a custom Document Set Content Type, configure it, and add it to a library to be utilized in your document-management process.
Module 8: Creating a Centralized Document Repository and Archive
It is typical for the documents in organizations to be spread out in many different libraries in many different sites. Although this makes it easy for the people closest to the information to create their own systems for creating and managing the information, it can make it difficult to find critical information later. A Centralized Document Repository can bring the most important documents together in a single location for managing, storing, discovery and archiving. In this module, you’ll learn how the sites created from the Document Center site template can serve as a powerful centralized document repository for your organization’s most important documents.
In the lab, you will create and configure a site from the Document Center site template, and configure it to serve as a Centralized Document Repository and Archive for all important documents.
Module 9: Setting Up the Content Organizer
One of the biggest challenges in any document management system is getting users to upload content to the right location. The Content Organizer feature of SharePoint 2010 provides a way for you to use a centralized ”drop off” location for users to upload all content and tag it. Then, rules will look at the metadata tags the user provides and automatically route the document to the correct location for storage. In this module, you’ll learn to set up the Content Organizer and write rules for automatic routing of documents to appropriate storage locations.
In the lab, you will configure Drop-Off Libraries to provide convenient locations for adding documents into the system. Then you will configure Rules in the Content Organizer to properly route content to the Document Repository as needed.
Module 10: Configuring ”Send To” Locations
Another method of getting content into a centralized repository is to set up ”Send To” locations in Central Administration. This adds an option on the context menu (or edit menu) for a user to quickly move the document to the appropriate location, or send a copy of the document to the appropriate location, or move the document but create a link in the existing library to the new location. In this module, you’ll learn how to set up custom ”Send To” locations to accomplish this.
In the lab, you will access the Central Administration web site to set up Send-To locations and then you will test the functionality by using it to manually route documents to the central document repository.
Module 11: Writing Workflows
Workflows provide a powerful way of either managing a business process, automating a business process, or both. There are a few out-of-the-box workflows in SharePoint Server 2010 that meet very common business needs such as getting approval and collecting feedback. However, much more powerful workflows can be written using SharePoint Designer. In this module, you’ll learn the basics of writing your own workflows using SharePoint Designer 2010 to manage and automate processes in your document systems.
In the lab, you will use SharePoint Designer 2010 to write and customize simple workflows that meet common needs in systems for managing documents.
Module 12: Configuring the Enterprise Search Center Experience
Although a well-designed document management system will leverage its own taxonomy and the built-in navigation to make it easy to find documents, many users will prefer to utilize search, and in some cases search will be the best way to locate particular documents. The Enterprise Search Center site in SharePoint 2010 provides for a very customizable search experience. In this module, you’ll learn how the Enterprise Search Center site can be customized to improve and enhance your document management systems.
Module 13: Records Management Primer
To many business professionals, Records Management is a field with which they have limited background and understanding. With the 2006 Amendments to the Federal Rules for Civil Procedures, the U.S. court system established that all electronic records are subject to eDiscovery during a lawsuit. This has resulted in much more widespread interest in having capable records management functionality in electronic document management systems like SharePoint.
In this module, you will receive a "primer" on records management terminology, regulations and best practices. The subject will be approached from a layman's perspective so all students in the class can walk away with a practical understanding.
Module 14: Establishing an Official Records Site
SharePoint offers significant records management functionality and one of the most popular ways to implement it is by establishing a centralized site for storing and managing official records. In this module you will create an Official Records site using the Records Center template of SharePoint 2010.
Once the site is created, you will begin by creating a File Plan for each of the records libraries in the site. You will then configure the content types that are needed and set up the Content Organizer rules that are needed to implement your File Plan. Finally, you will learn best practices for centralized records management in SharePoint 2010.
Module 15: Using SharePoint to Declare and Manage Official Records
With the centralized Official Records site built out, you will configure Information Management Policies on Content Types and Libraries and Folders. Information Management Policies are used to specify retention stages for a content type, library or folder. Information Management Policies can also be used to enable audit trails for content types, libraries, and folders.
With Information Management Policies in place, you will test the declaration of records and the routing of records from libraries where they have been authored to the centralized Official Records site. You will also learn about the in-place records management functionality of SharePoint which is useful in situations where a centralized records site is not practical or desirable.
Module 16: Performing eDiscovery and Managing Legal Holds with SharePoint
The payoff to establishing and maintaining a sound records management system is being able to efficiently and accurately respond to eDiscovery requests during a lawsuit. SharePoint offers tools to assist with finding all of the records related to one or more subjects of a lawsuit and then establishing Legal Holds on the records to suspend the retention policies until the lawsuit is complete. In this last module of the course, you will learn how to properly configure and use these capabilities.