Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Is MOSS a Records Management System?

I have been asked now and then from my clients and friends a question: Whether MOSS is a Records Management System?

To answer the question in 2 letters. "NO" its not a Records Management System. Having said that MOSS does provide lot of features and capabilities to work as a records management system. Out of the box MOSS provides us with a Records Centre Site template which gives great deals of webparts and features that suits Records Management System. Want to see in detail? Check Here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc261706.aspx

As per some of the requirements in Commonwealth Government Archiving policy following statements has to be met for a records management system:

· management and tracking of both physical and electronic documents and records, specifically semi-active and inactive records
· records disposal
· document and records metadata and classification
· conversion of record types, other than those created with MS Office products, to long-term, open preservation formats
· reporting for records management purposes
· electronic recordkeeping storage for automated workflows which would enable documents to be captured as records as part of normal business processes, and
· maintain records in series, consignments, unit for archiving.

More details on the archiving policy is found here:

Lot of the requirements as per the policy can be achieved with MOSS by having a Record Centre portal where documents or records can be directed from main MOSS portal. Check here .Now depending upon to what level the policy needs to be met, customization will be required. Customization could involve following:

-Redirection code from MOSS portal to MOSS records center.
-Records disposal can be achieved by using the Information
-RightsManagement Policy – Expiration policies.
-Metadata information can be stored with the document using content types in MOSS.
-Conversion of records created from Office products will involve custom code or use of conversion tools.
-Reporting of records management is available to an extent for any further reporting it will involve development of custom reports.
-Workflows can be initiated to divert documents to records centers from MOSS portal.

However, TRIM is used as a records repository in most of the government departments. If we need documents in MOSS portal to be integrated with TRIM, then there are 3rd party solutions available which does seamless integration between MOSS-TRIM. These solutions can be leveraged to achieve the desired requirements, some of them available and know in the market are as follows:

TiPS for SharePoint from Infocentrik : http://www.infocentrik.co.nz/solution-partners/tower-software/tips-sharepoint-integration/index.html . This tool does the integration and automatic routing in a great way. Also provides search capabilities and more.

HP TRIM Module: http://h71028.www7.hp.com/ERC/downloads/4AA2-0922ENW.pdf . This is a well known tool as well which does routing of documents and other integration levels.

There is a solution provided by TowerSoftware for TRIM Context.

So in nutshell if just MOSS needs to be used for Records Archiving to meet the archiving policy we need some customization. If TRIM is being used then we need to look for options for integration.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

How to repair a SUSPECT SQL database

Firstly a very Happy and a Prosperous new year to everyone!

As usual I was doing things on my VPC and I noticed that one of my SQL database was marked suspect. After some thought I guessed that the reason for the database to be marked suspect is because of me turning off my VPC without proper shutdown. The same reason why a DB can be marked suspect after a power failure. Now I was in a fix because I didn't had backup (Another dumb thing to miss on my part). So what should I do now? Well some research brought me good results, ended up framing following query:

EXEC sp_resetstatus ‘DBname’;
DBCC checkdb(’DBname’)

So all you have to do is copy and paste above query in query analyzer and replace DBName with your database name. And you are good to go now!