Create Content Organiser rules to route documents

Applies to: SharePoint Online, SharePoint Server 2016, SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise, SharePoint Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2010.

To establish how to route a document, Content Organiser sets personally customised rules. Rules are influenced by a range of content types and metadata.

This article outlines how to create rules for organising and routing documents or records. Any SharePoint enterprise site can be enabled for document routing.

Important:  You must first enable the Content Organiser feature and configure the organiser to route records. Find out more about how to configure Content Organiser in the See Also section.

In this article

Before you create rules: First steps

Understand how documents are routed

Create rules to route documents

Before you create rules: First steps

There are several important steps that you have to follow before you create rules for routing documents.

  1. Enable the Content Organiser feature.
  1. Design libraries and folders that you want documents to be routed to. You may want to make folders for every variant of document that you are routing. For example, create a library just for e-mail records or Excel spreadsheets. To learn about how to create libraries, see the links in the See Also section.
  1. Content types must be linked to intentionally routed documents. In them, the content type can be part of the criteria that determines the final location where a document is stored.

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Understand how documents are routed

Documents can be routed to a library or folder in a Records Centre site or any other kind of SharePoint site. The Drop Off library, which is promptly created once you initiate the Content Organiser feature, acts as the standard location. The document routing process is composed of several elements:

  • Target libraries and folders – Content stewards or records managers manually produce libraries and folders where documents should be routed, and format these libraries as target libraries.
  • Site content types – Each document must contain a content type, and users can apply suitable site content types first-hand to target libraries.
  • Drop Off library – Documents that bypass a rule, or that are missing necessary metadata are transferred to the Drop Off library, allowing that users can type essential metadata. Or, you can configure the Content Organiser to ensure that all uploaded documents are momentarily routed to the Drop Off library.
  • Document rules list – This is a repository of all the routing rules. Content stewards or records managers refer to this list to form, manage, and view routing rules.

The following diagram indicates how documents and e-mail messages are routed according to qualifying against specific criteria, and how documents that are missing information are returned to the Drop Off Library.

Document routing using the content organizer. Shows several sources, and shows documents with missing metadata are returned to Drop Off Library.

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Create rules to route documents

For every record type that you insert the Record Routing list, you specify a record title and description. You also specify the location in the site where the record is stored. To guarantee that each relevant record are routed to the appropriate location, you can categorise alternate names for the record type.

Note:  You must have at least Site Owner permissions to create rules to route documents.

  1. Locate the site for which you want to create Content Organiser rules.
  1. On the Quick Launch panel, press More… to see the Site Contents options.
  1. From the Apps menu line, pick Settings.
  1. On the Site Settings page, under the Site Administration section, choose Content Organiser Rules.
  1. On the Content Organiser Rules page, choose add in Click to add a new item.
  1. In the Rule Name section, write a name that describes the rule’s conditions and actions.
  1. In the Rule Status and Priority section, select Active to apply the rule to incoming content. Then, pick a priority that will determine how content is routed should it match more than one Content Organiser rule. If you do not want this rule to apply to incoming content, press Inactive.
  1. In the Submission’s Content Type section, associate the rule with a content type. Effectively, submissions to the organiser are named with the chosen content type and properties used in the conditions of the rule are identified.
  • Pick the appropriate content group. The group that you select determines the content types that you can choose from in the next step.
  • Click the appropriate content type.
  • If the content type that you picked has a different name on another SharePoint site, click the checkbox under Alternate names. Then type the name that is used on the other site in the field provided, and press Add. Names for alternate content types display in the list underneath.
  1. In the Conditions section, choose the conditions that a submission’s properties must meet for the rule. You might, for example, want to standardise the rule to all documents that include the word “budget” in the title. You can create more conditions by selecting the Add another condition link.

Note: The properties available from the Property drop-down list differ according to the content type that you selected in step 6.

  1. In the Target Location section, write or browse for a location to place content that matches the rule. Click the Automatically create a folder checkbox to group similar documents together in folders. For example, if you have a property that lists all documents for projects in your organisation, you can force the organiser to create a separate folder for each project.

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