What is Enterprise Content Management?
Enterprise Content Management can refer to all kinds of sources, including electronic documents, scanned images, e-mail, and web pages.
The act of sharing a site collection’s content types with other site collections in the farm is referred
to as content type syndication. Content type syndication enables an administrator to specify a single
site collection per managed metadata service to act a content type hub. If a site collection is specified as a content type hub, the managed metadata service will use this site collection’s content type gallery as the source for publishing the content types contained in this gallery to the other site collections that have a connection to the managed metadata service application.
Content type syndication enables an organization to have a consistent taxonomy by allowing the same content types to be used within multiple site collections. This eliminates or reduces the need to define content types within each individual site collection and greatly simplifies the management of content types.
Configuring a Site Collection to Be a Content Type Hub
In order to configure a site collection to act as a content type hub, you must enable the content type syndication hub feature. To do this, perform the following steps.
Navigate to Site Settings for the root site in the site collection.
Within the Site Settings window, under Site Collection Administration, click Site Collection Features.
Next, to Content Type Syndication Hub, click Activate.
Determining Content Type Hubs for a Site Collection
To determine the content type hubs being used to publish content types to a specific web application, perform the following steps, as seen in Figure 3-10:
Navigate to Site Settings for the root site in the site collection.
Within the Site Settings window, under Site Collection Administration, click Content Type Publishing.
The service applications publishing content types to this site collection will be listed, along with a link to the content type gallery for the designated hub.
SharePoint Server provides a feature that allows multiple documents to be managed as a single entity. It accomplishes this through what is referred to as a document set. Much like folders, document sets are items containing documents that can be added to a document library, but they also behave like a document in terms of the functionality they provide. A typical usage for a document set is to manage a group of documents that represent a single workable product. For example, imagine a loan packet for a bank loan. This packet may consist of multiple individual documents. Using document sets, rather than managing each individual document separately, it is possible to manage the entire packet as a single unit.
Using Document Sets
In order to use a document set, the Document Set feature must be enabled within Site Collection Features. After the feature is enabled, the Document Set content type is added to the site’s content type gallery. This content type can then be used to create custom document sets by creating content types that inherit from the Document Set content type. Any of these content types can then be added to individual document libraries.
Creating a Custom Document Set
The following procedure demonstrates how to create a custom document set content type:
From the Site Content Type Gallery, click Create.
Provide a name and description for the content type.
Select the Document Set content type to inherit from.
The Audit Trail
An important feature of any document management system is its ability to track usage information for the system, as well as its content. SharePoint Server provides an audit log for exactly this reason.
Administrators can configure the information that is tracked by SharePoint through the Audit Log Settings page located within Site Settings. The settings page allows the following information to be configured for auditing purposes:
Opening or downloading documents, viewing items in lists, or viewing item properties
Checking out or checking in items
Moving or copying items to another location in the site
Deleting or restoring items
Editing content types and columns
Searching site content
Editing users and permissions
WORKFLOW AND ECM
Any ECM system worth its salt has some kind of workfl ow capability. Workfl ow in the context of ECM is commonly used in the following capacities:
- Content approval
- Content development
- Content disposition
- Custom business processes
The association phase describes the application of a workflow definition to a list, document library, content type, or site.
Workflow initiation describes when an already configured workflow association is starting and in the process of creating a new workflow instance.
The last broad phase is fairly self-explanatory. During the execution of a workflow, the workflow is either actively processing input from users in the form of tasks or other events or sleeping and waiting for the next burst of execution based on external input.
A running workflow instance can also be manually terminated by a user who has appropriate rights.
Users can also view information about running workflows, such as when an instance was started, the last time it was interacted with, or the list of tasks and history items associated with a specific workflow instance.
Configuring the My Site Host Site Collection
In order to configure the My Site Host site collection, perform the following actions:
- Within Central Administration, under the Application Management section, click Create SiteCollections.
- Select the Web Application that will be used to host the My Site Host Site Collection. It is recommended that a new Web Application be used.
- Enter a Title and Description for the site collection.
- Enter the Web Site Address that will be used to host the site collection. This is simply specifying the URL that will be used to access the site collection.
- Select the My Site Host template from the Enterprise tab.
- Enter the Site Collection Administrators for the site collection.
- Click OK to create the My Site Host site collection.
- Within Central Administration, under the Application Management section, click Manage Web Applications.
- Select the Web Application that is hosting the My Site Host site collection. Then, within the Ribbon menu, click Managed Paths.
- Add a new path that will be used to host personal My Site locations and ensure that the type
- of Wildcard Inclusion is selected. The path “my/personal” is recommended. Adding this managed path will allow sites to be created using the URL specified as a prefix when My Sites are dynamically generated.
- Click Add Path and then click OK.
- Ensure that the Web Application is still selected within the Manage Web Applications screen and click Self-Service Site Create in the Ribbon menu.
- Select the On option to enable Self-Service Site Creation.
- Click OK.