sharepoinTony

@info – The practical side of SharePoint

Posts Tagged ‘Retention’

Retention Policy Fails to Delete Records

Posted by sharepoinTony on January 29, 2012

Retention settings in SharePoint 2010 are pretty straight-forward.  There are Stages, which allow you to define actions taken on the document/item in a sequence.  You create a retention stage by creating an Information Management Policy, select your retention actions and voila you have established a simple retention.  SharePoint 2010 allows for multi-stage retention, the ability to trigger custom workflows, and apply your policy to folders.

The other day I was Declaring Records and setting Retention, specifically setting a deletion date for records based on a Content Type

My first stage declared all documents (based on a content type) as a record 1 day after a date from a specific date column of the specified content type. Dandy.  I defined the stage under the “Non-Records” section.  I went on to create a 2nd retention stage which Permanently Deleted the document 2 days after the date in that same column.  I also was careful to select the “Use the same retention policy as non-records” option in the Records section.  Now all I had to do was upload some documents, apply the appropriate metadata and sit back & wait.

[Note that the # of days used was specifically to allow me to test the retention behavior.  Once I verified the behavior in various scenarios I planned to update the policy to actual time periods that were appropriate for this content type.  I recommend you always test your Information Management Policies and Retention stages, especially for company Records!]

Several days later I discovered that although documents were now “Records”, none had been deleted.   I checked for errors, checked both the Information Management Policy and Expiration Policy Timer Jobs, but found nothing to indicate a problem.   After searching online and finding nothing that would expose the problem, I decided to change my policy.  I deleted the 2nd stage under Non-Records and created a new single stage under Records.  The stage contained the same retention information as the original…with the exception that I set deletion to 1 day after the date rather than 2 days.  I wanted to speed things up. 

I really wanted to speed things up so I went to the Timer Job Definition for the Expiration Policy and selected Run Now to force the timer job to run rather than waiting another day.  The documents that had been declared records previously, with the appropriate date that would indicate deletion, WERE deleted by the policy.  I honestly don’t know if this is “expected” behavior or not, but it was what I experienced on two different SharePoint 2010 farms.

It appears to me that if you are using a Retention Policy to Declare a Record, and you want to take some other action later such as Move to Recycle Bin or Permanently Delete you must place that stage in the Records section.  Don’t trust the radio button that declares “Use the same retention policy as non-records” without testing the stages you created. 

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