Site Collection Features - In Detail

In this post I’ll explore each of the Site Collection features in more depth. Note that I’m not planning to cover all of the functionality for each feature, as a lot of the actual functionality will be covered in separate posts. This is purely exploring what happens when you activate each feature, and broadly what each of them does.

Rather than tackling these features alphabetically, I’ll try to put them into some sort of logical order!

HP TRIM Records Management

As explained, this is one of the core features of the integration and it, or HP TRIM Site Management must be activated in order for the integration to work. It forms the basis for all management and capture of content from SharePoint. The difference between the two features? Simply that HP TRIM Records Management is for individual list items, and HP TRIM Site Management provides the ability to capture and manage whole sites. Both can be activated and used together.

When activated, this feature:

  • Creates Site Collection Administration pages
    • Default list management options
    • Default site management options
    • HP TRIM Site Collection Integration Settings
  • Creates Site Administration pages (Added to all existing and new sites & sub sites)
    • Records Management Options
    • Expose HP TRIM Records
  • Creates Site Collection Galleries
    • Map site columns to HP TRIM fields
    • Map HP TRIM Record Types to Content Types
    • Map Content Types to HP TRIM Record Types
  • Creates timer jobs to support the integration (More on timer jobs in a later post)
    • HP Integration Currency Checker
    • HP Configuration Propagation
    • HP Timer Service cache Manager
  • Creates new integration specific site columns under a new HP TRIM Integration group 

 

See all new pages marked on Site Settings here:

Site Settings - Showing added galleries & pages

Activation of the feature also connects to the HP TRIM dataset defined in the Web Application Integration Settings (WAIS) and creates two new integration specific Record Types (Unless they are already there):

  1. SharePoint Site
  2. SharePoint List

These two record types are purely used to capture and understand the makeup of a managed site, recording which lists belonged to which site, and which content belonged to which lists, along with some supporting information. These record types are not used to store content. More on this in a separate post focused on the Site Collection Integration Settings page.

HP TRIM Site Management

One of the core features of the integration, if activated after HP TRIM Records Management, this will just enable the capture and management of sites. If this feature is the first to be activated on a Site Collection, it will perform the same actions as those performed by activation of HP TRIM Records Management.

Why are both features provided, instead of wrapping them up into one? This is simply to provide some licensing or usage flexibility if required. It is possible just to license site management only, individual items only or both together. Pretty much all organizations use all of the functionality, but the flexibility exists to mix it up to suit more specific requirements.

HP TRIM Common

This is a hidden feature. It is automatically enabled when either the HP TRIM Records Management or Site Management features are activated. It provides common functionality that is used by both the management features. It is not possible to interact with this feature directly.

When activated automatically, this feature:

  • Creates a new content type - Integration Exception 
  • Creates a number of common site columns (mainly to do with error tracking) under the HP TRIM Integration group

This feature is automatically deactivated when both the HP TRIM Records Management and Site Management features are inactive

HP TRIM Records Management Menus

This feature enables menus across all sites in the Site Collection for manual, user-initiated management of list items and documents. It requires the ‘HP TRIM Records Management’ feature to be activated.

This is what end-users will see once this feature has been activated:

Ribbon Menu – Documents & Items

Ribbon Menu – Lists & Libraries

Context Menu – Documents

HP TRIM Site Management Menus

This feature enables menus across all sites in the Site Collection for manual, user-initiated management of sites. It requires the ‘HP TRIM Site Management’ feature to be activated.

This is what end-users will see once this feature has been activated:

Site Management Menus with HP TRIM actions

HP TRIM Asynchronous Processing

This is a new feature, introduced in Version 7.2.1. In summary it addresses two issues that were raised in earlier versions when managing large volumes of content:

  1.  User experience
  2. Performance

Activating the feature means that all user-initiated actions that have potential to take some time are automatically queued and processed asynchronously in the background. I’m not planning to go into detail here, as the scope of this article is to describe the features and not the functionality, but I will be covering this in detail, in a separate post.

When activated, this feature:

  • Creates a new list at the Site Collection root – called HP Queued Jobs
  • Creates a link to the list under the Site Collection Administration group within Site Settings
  • Creates a new timer job for the web application
    • HP Job Queue
  • Creates a new content type - HP Queued Job
  • Creates new site columns;  added to the HP TRIM Integration group

Once the feature is activated, manual instigation of any of the four core actions for more than one item will automatically be added to the queue and processed asynchronously. Actions against single items will be processed synchronously as usual.

The HP Queued Jobs list on each Site Collection can be used to manage and track progress of all pending and running jobs.

More to follow on a separate post dedicated to async processing.

HP TRIM Lifetime Management

The HP TRIM Lifetime Management feature is used to provision a Site Collection for policy-based capture and management of SharePoint content. Lifetime Management is built on top of SharePoint workflow, and consists of two main elements:

  • Policy creation and management
  • Policy application

When activated, this feature:

  • Creates new Galleries at the Site Collection root
    • Lifetime management policies
    • Lifetime management surrogates
    • Lifetime management errors
  • Adds a new configuration page, Lifetime Management Options, to all sites and lists in the Site Collection 
  • Creates new content types
    • Lifetime Management Task
    • Lifetime Management Policy
    • List Surrogate
    • Site Surrogate
  • Creates new site columns;  added to a new HP TRIM Lifetime Management group

Site Settings root page, showing newly added lists and pages

Once again, I will cover Lifetime Management in much more detail, in a future post. Here are the basics:

The Lifetime management policies gallery is where all policies for the Site Collection are created and managed. When the feature is first activated the gallery is created, and pre-populated with some default policies.

Lifetime Management Policy gallery

These policies are then applied using the Lifetime Management Options pages, on each site and list.

Lifetime Management Options page

That just leaves two additional lists that were created as part of feature activation. Lifetime management errors is fairly self-explanatory, it captures errors that were encountered as part of lifetime management activities, and provides some information to assist with troubleshooting. The Lifetime Management Surrogates list provides the ability to attach and manage policies against whole sites and lists, rather than just individual items, something which SharePoint 2007 does not natively support.

The whole concept behind Lifetime Management is that Records Managers, Compliance Officers and the like can create and assign policies that define when content should be captured, without end-users having to think about record declaration and content archival.

Guess what? I will be covering this topic in much more detail later; this is becoming a familiar phrase!

HP TRIM Search

The HP TRIM Search feature provisions federated search of HP TRIM content from SharePoint. Users can perform a single search in SharePoint, results from HP TRIM are returned in a separate HP TRIM search results web part on the search results page. Search results can be browsed, viewed and even surfaced as native SharePoint list items or documents.

When activated for the first time on any Site Collection within a farm, this feature:

  • Adds specific HP TRIM Search web parts to the gallery, including:
    • A Search results web part, for inclusion on the search results page
    • A number of pre-defined search web parts, that return specific information from HP TRIM. Designed to be included relevant locations on existing site pages (E.g. ‘Records assigned to me’)
  • Adds a new pre-configured federated location named ‘HP TRIM’ to the Search Service application. This can be viewed and edited, if required, through Central Administration. The search web parts are automatically configured to consume this location
  • Adds a custom RSS provider page to the Site Collection at the following location - /_layouts/HPIntegration/Pages/datastoresearchprovider.aspx – This provides HP TRIM search results to the search results web part.

In simple terms, the HP TRIM Search feature only needs to be activated on the Site Collection hosting the Search Center. Then edit the results page, and add the Search Results web part to an appropriate zone on the page. Save the page and federated search of HP TRIM should be up and running. This is somewhat simplified, but I will go into more depth in a separate post, as with most features in this post.

Here are some images of the mentioned elements.

Search Administration in Central Administration showing the link to Federated Locations

Federated locations list, showing the added HP TRIM location

Search results page in edit mode, showing available HP TRIM Search web parts

HP TRIM Columns

The HP TRIM Columns feature is another new one, introduced with the release of Version 7.2.1. Previously activation of either the HP TRIM Records Management or Site Management feature would add a number of new site columns to the Site Collection, to allow inclusion of HP TRIM specific metadata in SharePoint lists.

When used in conjunction with an Enterprise Content Hub, this could lead to column issues in specific cases. So, the decision was taken to split out the addition of HP TRIM columns into a separate feature. This way, it’s possible to decide which Site Collections the additional columns should be added to.

Where organizations are using a content hub, the HP TRIM Columns feature can be activated just on the hub, with the required columns then synchronized out onto subscribing Site Collections.

When activated, this feature:

  • Creates new site columns relating to HP TRIM fields, and adds them to a new group HP TRIM Columns
  • Automatically maps the added site columns with the appropriate HP TRIM field counterpart on the ‘map site columns to HP TRIM fields’ page

Some of the added HP TRIM columns on the site columns page

Why would you use this feature? To surface HP TRIM metadata on managed content. You could show which container a record was filed in, it’s security level, whether or not the record had been assigned to someone, and so on.

I’ll give some examples of using HP TRIM columns effectively in an upcoming post.

HP TRIM Synchronized Term Sets

This feature enables the ability to create Managed Metadata Term Sets which are synchronized with appropriate HP TRIM values.

When activated, this feature:

  • Creates an HP Term Set Management timer job for the web application

That’s it; the feature enables the required underlying functionality. The integration provides one out-of-the-box mapping HP TRIM Classifications. Once a new term set group has been created, and configured in a specific way, it is possible to access the HP TRIM Classification hierarchy through managed metadata columns.

I will post some additional detail around leveraging this capability. If you’d like more information on configuring SharePoint 2010 to use this feature, then please download the published configuration guide at

http://support.openview.hp.com/selfsolve/document/KM1361071/binary/TRIM7.21_SPIntegrationConfiguration.pdf?searchIdentifier=-72890797%3a138a4c6e18f%3a6952&resultType=document

Note – You will need an HP Passport account to access this link. If you wish to create an account follow the Register link on the login page

Conclusion

There are a number of features that can used to provide compliance and records management for SharePoint. Not all organizations will necessarily need to use all of them. It also makes sense that required features will vary from site collection to site collection. From writing this post I think it's worth me doing a further post that talks about typical architectures and which features you might expect to activate within a given architecture. I always figure a picture speaks a thousand words, so I'll come up with some shiny diagrams to try and articulate it better.