Use a Disposition Approval workflow

The Disposition Approval workflow is designed to support records management needs within an organization. This workflow manages the document expiration and retention process by allowing participants to decide whether to retain or delete expired documents or items.



How does a Disposition Approval workflow work?

The Disposition Approval workflow supports both records management and document management processes by providing organizations with a way to manage and track the process by which expired or out-of-date content is evaluated and deleted. Users can manually start the Disposition Approval workflow on individual documents or items. For greater consistency in managing expired content, organizations can configure the Disposition Approval workflow to work in conjunction with the Expiration policy feature of an information management policy, so that the workflow starts automatically when documents or items on a site expire. Although the Disposition Approval workflow can be used for any list, library, or content type on a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 site, it can be used specifically on a Records Center site to support records management needs and an organization's document retention policies.

When a Disposition Approval workflow starts, it creates Disposition Approval workflow tasks for specific documents and items in the tasks list for the workflow. These tasks are not assigned to specific individuals, but rather are recorded in the tasks list for the workflow. Individuals who have permission to access this tasks list (for example, records managers) can go to the tasks list and complete these tasks by approving or rejecting the items for deletion. Because it is likely that the Disposition Approval workflow may generate a high volume of Disposition Approval tasks, especially if it is configured to start automatically when items expire, the Disposition Approval workflow offers support for bulk task completion, so that records managers or other authorized individuals can process a large number of items for deletion in one step.

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Add or change a Disposition Approval workflow for a list, library, or content type

Before a workflow can be used, it must be added to a list, library, or content type in order to make it available for documents or items in a specific location. You must have the Manage Lists permission to add a workflow to a list, library, or content type. In most cases, site administrators or individuals who manage specific lists or libraries perform this task. The availability of the workflow on a site varies, depending on where it is added:

  • If you add a workflow directly to a list or library, it is available only for items in that list or library.
  • If you add a workflow to a list content type (an instance of a site content type that has been added to a specific list or library), it is available only for items of that content type in the specific list or library with which that content type is associated.
  • If you add a workflow to a site content type, that workflow is available for any items of that content type in every list and library to which an instance of that site content type has been added. If you want a workflow to be widely available across lists or libraries in a site collection for items of a specific content type, the most efficient way to achieve this result is by adding that workflow directly to a site content type.

Add or change a Disposition Approval workflow

If you want to add a Disposition Approval workflow to a list, library, or content type, or if you want to change a Disposition Approval workflow that is already associated with a list, library, or content type, you follow the same steps.

  1. To open the Add a Workflow page for the list, library, or content type to which you want to add a workflow, do one of the following.
For a list or library
  1. Open the list or library to which you want to add a workflow.

On the Settings menu Settings menu, click List Settings, or click the settings for the type of library that you are opening.

For example, in a document library, click Document Library Settings.

  1. Under Permissions and Management, click Workflow settings.
For a list content type
  1. Open the the list or library that contains the instance of the list content type to which you want to add a workflow.

On the Settings menu Settings menu, click List Settings, or click the settings for the type of library that you are opening.

For example, in a document library, click Document Library Settings.

  1. Under Content Types, click the name of the content type to which you want to add a workflow.

 Note   If the list or library is not set up to allow multiple content types, the Content Types section does not appear on the Customize page for the list or library.

  1. Under Settings, click Workflow settings.
For a site content type
  1. On the site collection home page, on the Site Actions menu Site Actions menu, point to Site Settings, and then click Modify All Site Settings.
  2. Under Galleries, click Site content types.
  3. Click the name of the site content type to which you want to add a workflow, and then click Workflow settings.

 Note   If workflows are already added to this list, library, or content type, this step takes you directly to the Change Workflow Settings page. Click Add a workflow to go to the Add a Workflow page. If no workflows have been added to this list, library, or content type, this step takes you directly to the Add a Workflow page.

  1. On the Add a Workflow page, in the Workflow section, click the Disposition Approval workflow template.
  2. In the Name section, type a unique name for the workflow.
  3. In the Task List section, specify a tasks list to use with this workflow.

 Notes 

  • You can use the default Tasks list or you can create a new one. If you use the default Tasks list, workflow participants can find and view their workflow tasks easily by using the My Tasks view of the Tasks list.
  • Create a new tasks list if the tasks for this workflow involve or reveal sensitive or confidential data that you want to keep separate from the general tasks list.
  • When you are creating a tasks list for a Disposition Approval workflow, it is a good idea to limit permissions to this tasks list to those individuals in your organization who are authorized to approve items for destruction, for example, records managers.
  • Create a new tasks list if your organization has numerous workflows or if workflows involve numerous tasks. In this instance, you might want to create tasks lists for each workflow.
  1. In the History List section, select a history list to use with this workflow. The history list displays all of the events that occur during a specific instance of a workflow.

 Note   You can use the default History list, or you can create a new one. If your organization has numerous workflows, you might want to create a separate history list for each workflow.

  1. In the Start Options section, specify how, when, or by whom a workflow can be started.

 Notes 

  • Specific options may not be available if they are not supported by the workflow template that you selected.
  • The option Start this workflow to approve publishing a major version of an item is available only if support for major and minor versioning is enabled for the library and if the workflow template that you selected can be used for content approval.
  1. If you are adding this workflow to a site content type, specify whether you want to add this workflow to all content types that inherit from this content type in the Update List and Site Content Types section.

 Note   The Update List and Site Content Types section is displayed on the Add a Workflow page only for site content types.

  1. Click OK.

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Configure an Expiration policy to use a Disposition Approval workflow

If you want a Disposition Approval workflow to start automatically when documents or items expire, you must configure an Expiration policy in the information management policy for the relevant list, library, or content type.

  1. If you have not already done so, add a Disposition Approval workflow to the list, library, or content type for which you are configuring an Expiration policy.
  2. To open the Information Management Policy Settings page for a list, library, or content type, do one of the following:
For a list or library
  1. Open the list or library for which you want to configure an Expiration policy.

On the Settings menu Settings menu, click List Settings, or click the settings for the type of library that you are opening.

For example, in a document library, click Document Library Settings.

  1. Under Permissions and Management, click Information management policy settings.
For a list content type
  1. Open the the list or library that contains the instance of the list content type for which you want to configure an Expiration policy.

On the Settings menu Settings menu, click List Settings, or click the settings for the type of library that you are opening.

For example, in a document library, click Document Library Settings.

  1. Under Content Types, click the name of the content type to which you want to add a workflow.

 Note   If the list or library is not set up to allow multiple content types, the Content Types section does not appear on the Customize page for the list or library.

  1. Under Settings, click Information management policy settings.
For a site content type
  1. On the site collection home page, on the Site Actions menu Site Actions menu, point to Site Settings, and then click Modify All Site Settings.
  2. Under Galleries, click Site content types.
  3. Click the name of the site content type for which you want to configure an Expiration policy, and then click Information management policy settings.

 Note   If you want to configure an Expiration policy for a list or library, and that list or library supports the management of multiple content types, select the content type for which you want to specify an information management policy, and then click OK.

  1. In the Specify the Policy section, click Define a policy.
  2. Click OK.
  1. On the Edit Policy page, in the Name and Administrative Description section, type a brief description of the policy that you are creating.

 Note   You can specify names only for information management policies that are defined in the Site Collection Policies list.

  1. In the Policy Statement section, type a descriptive statement that explains the purpose of the policy to users. This statement is displayed when users open documents or items that are subject to the policy. It should explain what policy features apply to the content or what special handling is required for the content. A policy statement can be up to 512 characters long.
  2. To specify a retention period for documents and items that are subject to this policy, click Enable Expiration, and then specify the retention period and the actions that you want to occur when items expire.
  3. Select a retention period option to specify when documents or items are set to expire. Do one of the following:
  • To set the expiration date based on a date property, click A time period based on the item's properties, and then select the document or item action (for example, Created or Modified), and the increment of time after this action (for example, the number of days, months, or years) when you want the item to expire.
  • To use a workflow or custom retention formula to determine expiration, click Set programmatically.
  1. Under When the item expires, specify what you want to happen when the document or item expires. To start a Disposition Approval workflow on the document or item, click Start this workflow, and then select the name of the Disposition Approval workflow that you want.
  2. Click OK.

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Start a Disposition Approval workflow

In many cases, a Disposition Approval workflow is set up to start automatically when items expire. If a Disposition Approval workflow is configured to allow users to start it manually, you can start this workflow on a document or library directly from the library or list where it is saved. You must have at least the Edit Items permission to start a workflow. Some workflows may require that you also have the Manage Lists permission to start a workflow.

  1. If the list or library is not already open, click its name on the Quick Launch.

If the name of your list or library does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your list or library.

  1. Point to the name of the document or item for which you want to start a workflow, click the arrow that appears, and then click Workflows.
  2. Under Start a New Workflow, click the name of the Disposition Approval workflow that you want to start.

The Disposition Approval workflow starts immediately and creates a Disposition Approval task in the tasks list for the workflow.

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Complete a Disposition Approval workflow task

A Disposition Approval workflow is designed to create Disposition Approval tasks for documents or items. These tasks are not assigned to specific individuals, but rather are recorded in the tasks list for the workflow. Individuals who have permission to access this tasks list (for example, records managers) can go to the tasks list and complete these tasks by approving or rejecting the items for deletion.

Disposition Approval workflow tasks can be completed individually or in bulk. Because it is likely that Disposition Approval workflows will generate a high volume of workflow tasks at once, you may find it helpful to bulk process your workflow tasks.

Complete a single Disposition Approval workflow task

  1. Go to the tasks list for the site to locate the Disposition Approval tasks that you want to complete.

 Note   If the workflow does not use the default Tasks list, the workflow task may not appear in the tasks list. To locate your workflow tasks, go to the list or library where the workflow item is saved. Point to the item that you want, click the arrow that appears, and then click Workflows. On the Workflow Status page, under Tasks, click the link to the tasks list for the workflow.

  1. Point to the name of the task that you want to complete, click the arrow that appears, and then click Edit Item.
  2. To view the item that has been submitted for disposition, click the link next to This workflow task applies to.
  3. Under Disposition, do one of the following:
    • To delete the item, click Delete this item, and then specify whether you want to retain a copy of the item's metadata in the audit log.
    • To retain the item, click Do not delete this item.
  4. Under comments, type any comments that you want to provide about the action you are taking.
  5. Click OK.

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Complete multiple Disposition Approval workflow tasks at one time

  1. Open the tasks list for the Disposition Approval workflow for which you want to complete multiple tasks simultaneously.

 Note   If the workflow does not use the default Tasks list, the workflow task may not appear in the tasks list. To locate your workflow tasks, go to the list or library where the workflow item is saved. Point to the item that you want, click the arrow that appears, and then click Workflows. On the Workflow Status page, under Tasks, click the link to the tasks list for the workflow.

  1. In the tasks list for the workflow, on the Actions menu Actions menu, click Process all tasks.
  2. In the Bulk Task Selection section, select the type of task you want to edit in bulk.
  3. If you applied filters to display a subset of the Disposition Approval tasks in the tasks lists, in the Task Information section, confirm that you have filtered for the tasks that you want.
  4. Click OK.
  1. Under Disposition, do one of the following:
    • To approve items for disposition, click Delete these items. If you want to retain copies of the metadata for these items, select the Retain copies of the items' metadata in the audit log check box.
    • To reject these items for disposition, click Do not delete these items.
  2. Type any comments you want to provide about your disposition actions under Comments.
  3. Click OK.
  1. The Operation Completed Successfully page informs you that the selected tasks have been scheduled for processsing, and you will receive an e-mail confirmation when the tasks have been processed. By default, the tasks are processed nightly, although your server administrator can change this setting. Click OK.

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Applies to:
SharePoint Server 2007