Today I'm making another SharePoint technical poster available for download. This one details the records repository functionality offered in Windows SharePoint Services V3 and Office SharePoint Server 2007.
(As always, it's the fine folk at Office Zealot.com who are doing the real heavy lifting by hosting the poster I have for download. Many thanks, guys. To check out the other SharePoint technical poster and namespace diagrams available for download, refer to this topic, and this one too.)
Just click the link below to download a full-color PDF of the poster:
And what are records repositories, you ask? Read on for a quick overview:
Now, everyone knows that SharePoint offers a great environment for collaborating on documents. But sooner or later, most documents are 'finished'; that is, they reach a state where you're not going to be making further changes to them. And you may want to store some of these documents, in their finalized state, for a long time. To facilitate long-term storage for such documents, SharePoint offers several features of interest to developers:
The Official File Web Service
The Official File Web Service, part of Windows SharePoint Services V3, is a Web Service that enables you to automate the process of moving documents into a records repository. Now, what exactly that records repository is is up to you: it could be a SharePoint site (which we'll talk about in a minute), or it could be an entirely different storage system. It's your choice. There's nothing inherently SharePoint-specific about the Web Service. Basically, the Web service enables you to pass a document, along with any metadata you want to package with it, to some document storage facility. You can also specify a record routing type, which is simply the name of a location within the repository where you want to store the document. How the document storage facility processes the document and its metadata internally is, of course, up to it.
When you send a file to the record repository, either manually or through the object model, you are sending a copy of that file. The original file is not altered in any way and contains no link to its copy in the record repository. However, the copy is submitted to the repository with a pointer to the location of the original file.
The Records Repository Site Template
Office SharePoint Server 2007 builds on the Official File Web Service by including a site template that has been optimized for use as a records repository. The Records Repository site template has been customized for use as a records repository. Site features that are not useful for a records repository, such as Discussions, have been hidden by default. Conversely, useful site components, such as Reporting, are prominently featured.
In addition to implementing the Official File Web Service, the site template includes several features that enable record managers to customize that implementation:
· A record routing type table, which lets record managers specify where different types of content are stored within the records repository.
· A record routing type entry in that table, called Unclassified Records, which is the default record routing type.
· A default document library, Unclassified Records, for storage of files assigned the Unclassified Records record routing type.
IRouter Interface for Custom Records Repository Routers
Lastly, Office SharePoint Server also includes the IRouter interface, which enables you to implement custom records repository routers. You can use a custom router to perform your own custom processing on submitted documents; either before SharePoint does its own standard processing, or to replace that processing altogether.
You can specify one custom router for a specific record routing type. When a user submits a file of that record series type to the record repository, the record repository calls the custom router to perform its custom processing before the records repository performs any of its standard processing. When complete, the router returns whether it succeeded, and if successful, whether the record repository should perform its standard processing and storage of the submitted file.
The custom router has the ability to edit the submitted document and its associated metadata, as well as update the location to which the submitted document is to be stored.
After you specify a custom router for a given record routing type, the records repository invokes the router whenever a file of that record routing type is submitted through any mechanism, including the user interface, object model, and STMP.
To read more about implementing custom routers, start with this topic.