Setting Up SharePoint Records Center

2 minute read

I recently went through the exercise of setting up a SharePoint Records Center site from scratch as part of a proof of concept exercise for a client.  Since some of the bits and pieces of the process were scattered around the Web, I recorded all of the steps in case it might help someone out there.

Create the Records Center Site

  • From the home site, Create Site, and use the Records Center template from the Enterprise tab.
  • For this example, I created http://litwaredemo/trc (Test Records Center)

Create the Policy

  • Go to the top level Site Settings
  • Click on Site Collection Policies
  • Create a new policy, giving it a name and a Policy Statement, and then choose any of the options (expiration, auditing, etc.) that you want the policy to enforce.

Create a Content Type with the Appropriate Columns

  • Go to the top level Site Settings
  • Click on Site Content Types and create the Content Type.  In this example, I created a Content Type called "Order".

Create a New Library in the Records Center

  • Create a new Document Library, giving it a name and description.  I called mine "Orders".
  • Add the Policy you created to the library by going into the library’s settings, selecting Information Management Policy Settings in the Permissions & Management column.

Created a new Record Routing

  • On the Records Center site, create a new Record Routing.  Mine looked like this: 
    Title: Orders
    Description: Routing for orders.
    Location: Orders (Document library in the Records Center – must exist in order to create Record Routing Item.)
    Aliases: Order
    Default: No

Set Up a Connection to the Records Center

  • Go to Central Administration, then Application Management, and click on Records Center under External Service Connections
  • The URL must point to the officialfile.asmx file, so in my case it was http://litwaredemo/trc/_vti_bin/officialfile.asm, display name “Test Records Center”

Create a Document Library

  • Elsewhere in the Site Collection, create a Document Library that will contain items that you would like to submit to the Records Center
  • Change the Document Library’s settings to accept the Content Type you created

Test the Records Center

  • Create an item in the Document Library you just created with the proper Content Type
  • From the Document Library, choose the "Send To" option from the context menu, and choose the name of your Records Center (mine was "Test Records Center")
  • Check the Records Center site and make sure that your item is there and has routed into the proper Document Library based on the Record Routing that you created.



  1. I got a message on this today, but for some reason having to do with communications settings I can’t write back, so I’m posting the questions and my reply here in the hope that Dawn will see it.
    I think you’re talking about several things here.  Content Types allow you to "wrap" documents with metadata that is relevant and unique to a certain set of content (Proposal, RFP, etc.).  Records Center is a sort of "vault" into which you can send content, whether to archive it or to provide a permanent record.  Depending on your business needs, Record Center may or may not be what you need.
    My advice would be to build your Site Columns and Content Types first, then apply them to the libraries into which you will be putting content. Then apply whatever security is needed.  Once you have some real content in place to use to think things through, *then* start to have the discussions about retention policies, etc.  The requirements that you capture at that point will tell you whether you need to use Record Center or take some other approach.
    Make sense?

    From: Dawn
    Sent: February 12 3:03 PM
    To: Marc D Anderson
    Subject: RE: Your blog entry "Setting Up SharePoint Records Center"

    Hi, Marc.  I’ve been trying to weeks now to get my head around creating a SharePoint Records Center for the state department I work in.  Keep getting confused by rights and hierarchy (partly due to how our tech support area thought it should be structured), but mostly I’m struggling with our retention policies in terms of content types…and related to the security/hierarchy of how we should set things up.  Had a conference call last week with Microsoft (our local reps), but I still find content types confusing.  Would love to talk to you if you’re still using a SharePoint Records Center – Dawn
  2. Thanks for sharing the configuration layout. I would also suggest expanding the scheme by adding to the list an item that would describe steps to configure access permissions. Microsoft published a nice follow-up on this topic. The deal is that you still need to put a lot of work into making it implementable. That however is not as easy as it sounds. As it often the case with building plans, creating a layout is different to what it takes to implement this layout in the real life. I found it nearly a killing task to manage security settings in sharepoint. It received a enhancements in functionality but I don’t find it useful spending time to configure this functionality. Recently, though, I’ve found Scriptlogic’s tool for managing windows security. One of the features they include in their Security Explorer tool is level permissions management for sharepoint. The tool however is not limited to a simple create/add permission operations only and provides a feature that allows searching for the certain permission through the site or site collection. Yet another feature I found to be valuable for the management as a whole is group management. We started to write our custom management solution for the group management but I think we’ll postpone it as it seems Scriptlogic’s tool is more than enough for that and it does include a bunch of other management functionality.


Have a thought or opinion?