The information your organization generates doesn't necessarily stay relevant forever. Which is why it's important to have an information management strategy. SharePoint 2010 includes some improvements in the area of managing information using Retention Stages.

SharePoint and Information Lifecycle Management

With hundreds or thousands of employees generating information on a daily basis, there’s bound to be a buildup of ROT (content that is “Redundant, Outdated or Trivial”). When left unattended, this content can quickly evolve into a negative user experience, particularly in search as users are forced to sift through pages of irrelevant results.

Automating processes that address the review, archival and/or disposition of information in the organization on a regularly scheduled basis can ensure both the relevance and timeliness of information.

The implementation of retention schedules in SharePoint 2010 can be associated with specific types of content through the application of information management policies. Retention Stages are defined within the settings for a content type.

SharePoint 2010 - Retention Stages

Selecting the option to add a new Retention Stage offers the ability to establish events, actions and recurrences for the chosen content type.


Definition of the event that needs to take place in order for the Retention Stage to be carried out. Typically based on the passing of a defined time period since document creation or modification.



Definition of the action required to take place once the event has been triggered. Some types of content may require immediate archival or just a standard review, while others are to be permanently deleted. More often than not, an associated workflow will be kicked off to notify an individual or group responsible for the item.



Definition of how often the Retention Stage is required to be repeated. Typically based on the passing of a defined time period since the activation of the last Retention Stage.


SharePoint 2010 makes the automation of retention schedules a fairly straightforward activity. The majority of the work behind the definition of retention is sure to take place outside of the technological environment, as part of the organizational information management, records management or legal compliance strategy.

Taxonomy and Metadata in SharePoint 2010

This was part six of a series on Taxonomy and Metadata in SharePoint 2010. The first five posts in the series — if you haven't read them — are:

Up Next - Administering Taxonomy Using Term Store Management