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The latest community release of RM 2.3 is now available and provides support for 5.0.b.

There are, however, a couple of new features that are worth mentioning.

Move In-Place Records

It is now possible to move an in-place record once it has been declared.

The movement of an in-place record does not effect the location or management of the record in the file plan it just allows the user to reorganise their working environment, placing the in-place record wherever makes sense to them.

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Improved Rejected Record Handling

When a record is rejected by the records management team it is now easy for the user to understand why and take action.

Once understood the rejection warning can be removed from the document allowing users to later resubmit the document as a record if the circumstances are right.

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Annotated Behaviours

Support for annotated behaviours has been hiding in RM for a little while now. 2.3.b see's this generally useful feature moved into 5.0.b and made available for everyone to use.

Look out for a separate post with more details.

Is that it?

No that isn't everything, but the really interesting stuff isn't quite ready so has been disabled in this build.

I'm not even going to talk about it yet, you will just have to wait for the next community release later this year!

Unfiled Records



RM 2.1 makes record capture very easy, but we haven't discussed where these captured records go or how the records management team deals with them.



To understand this lets take a look at the file plan.



File Plan



 



Those of you who are already acquainted with previous versions of the Alfresco Records Management module will recognize this familiar sight, with the more observant of you spotting the new 'Unfiled Records' filter on the left hand side.



Unfiled Record Filter



An unfiled, or unclassified, record is one that not yet been filed, or placed, into it's final location within the file plan.  The 'Unfiled Records' filter shows the records management team all these unfiled records in one place, called the unfiled record container.  This area that can be thought of as a staging area for new records.



When a record is declared within a collaboration site behind the scenes it ends up here and awaits the records managements team attention.



The records management team has a few options when dealing with unfiled records:



  • File into the file plan - This moves a record from the unfiled record container into a record folder within the file plan where it will be classified by the appropriate disposition schedule.


  • Reject - This removes the unfiled record from the file plan.  In the case of an in-place record it will be returned it's original location with information about why it was rejected.


  • Request more information - This allows the records management team to request more information about a new record via a workflow.  This workflow request is passed to the content authoring team and makes it easy for the records management team to gather missing information or understand the context of the record.


Unfiled Record Actions



So now we can see how the records management team deals with newly captured records,  but how do we automate these tasks to reduce their work load?



In part 4 we will take a look at automatic filling and how it can be used to dynamically build areas of the file plan based on record context.



Automated Record Declaration



Collecting records within an Enterprise can be a challenging problem for a records management team.  They often have to rely on users understanding the details of their records management policy and how that applies to their day-to-day working practices.



Automating record declaration helps to relinquish this responsibility from the user, allowing them to concentrate on working with their content, whilst leaving record capture to the content managers and records management team.



In Alfresco RM v2.1 automated record declaration is achieved using Alfresco content rules.



Manage Rule UI ActionGenerally, rules can be defined on any folder within Alfresco and work in a similar way to the inbox filters you may have seen on your favorite email client.



This allows rules to be defined on a users content authoring environment that implement record capture polices and are imposed automatically without the user doing anything.



Possible examples of record declaration rules include:



  • all content created in a folder structure is automatically declared as a record


  • if content is tagged as 'important' then declare it as a record


  • when a case is closed then declare it as a record


  • once a document has been reviewed via a workflow then declare it as a record


Rule Definition



Now the flow of records into the file plan is automatic and guaranteed, with little or no impact on the users working practices!



case auto declared



So where do all these records go and how does the records management team cope with the new influx of records?



In part 3 we will take a look at how we manage Unfiled Records and how automatic filling is possible.



For more information or to request a live demo of Alfresco Records Management module v2.1 visit http://www.alfresco.com/easyRM

In-Place Record Declaration



In Alfresco Records Management Module v2.1 it is possible to declare any document as a record from within a share collaboration site.



Declare As Record Action



 



 



The advantages of declaring records in-place include:



  • The content authoring environment is isolated from the records management environment.


  • There is little or no impact on the way users work with their content.


  • Users do not need to understand the details of the records management working practices.


  • Declared records are still available to users within their authoring environment, but the records management team has full control.


Once a document is declared as a record the user will see a change both visually and in the actions available.



Declared In-Place Record



 



The capabilities and permissions that the content user has on the newly declared record are automatically calculated by the records management services and reflect the users original read or write permissions on the document. These permissions and capabilities are selective and provide the user a restricted view of the record and parts of the file plan.



No upfront configuration or mapping is required from the collaboration sites to the file plan.  This ensures setup and management is simple and knowledge domains remain discrete.



Once declared the record enters the file plan, whilst retaining it's position in the authoring taxonomy.  From the file plan the records management team can file, request information, complete and finally cut off the record ready for disposition.



Unfiled Record



When the content user no longer wishes to see the declared record in their content authoring environment they can use the hide action to relinquish their view.  The record is then only visible to the records management team.



Alfresco content rules can be used to automate record declaration and further simplify the users working environment.  A topic we will cover in part 2.



For more information or to request a live demo of Alfresco Records Management module v2.1 visit http://www.alfresco.com/easyRM

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