Rules and Classification Troubleshooting Guide

This article covers some checks to perform if experiencing issues with rules or items not being classified.

If a record isn't classified when you think it should be, the first thing to do is select the record and use Validate Rules:


Clicking on this will display the rules matching the selected record's metadata:


As shown in the screenshot, this is split into two sections: "Rules" and "Partial Rules". The record will be classified according to the rule in the "Rules" section. If more than one rule is present under “Rules”, then it will be classified by the rule with the higher priority.

Scenario 1: A record matches a rule, but is not classified

If a record hasn’t been classified even when hitting a matching rule, here are a few things to check:

  1. Make sure the rule is enabled (click View Rule, and ensure the Enabled box is checked)

  2. Check if the Trigger Date used in the Outcome is valid (click on the matching Outcome, then check the Disposal Class Trigger Date). If this column does not exist in the metadata or does not return a valid date, then the item will not be classified. If this issue applies, then a related message will appear in the System Messages*.

  3. Check if the classification in the Outcome is empty (click on the matching Outcome, then check the Classification). This can happen if a classification term attached to an outcome is deleted from the Term Store - a valid classification will need to be set for that outcome. If this issue applies, then a related message will appear in the System Messages*.

  4. A metadata field used in the rule’s pattern is not populated until after the item has been evaluated by the rules engine.

    There are a few URL or path metadata fields that are not populated at the time of its submission, and are instead populated only after it’s processed by RecordPoint. What this means is that because that field will be empty on its first submission, it won’t match a rule and therefore won’t be classified. After it’s processed, then the field becomes populated and matches a rule – the record will then be classified upon a resubmission either from the active or RP site.

    If using a URL or path field in a pattern, it is recommended to use one of the following as these are populated upon initial submission:
  • “Encoded Absolute URL” (SharePoint Online or on-prem)
  • “Server Related URL” (SharePoint on-prem)
  • “URL Path” (SharePoint on-prem)

*System Messages can be found on the home page, or Site Contents > RecordPoint System Messages. These cap at 1000 messages so no new ones will appear upon reaching this limit – it’s good practice to keep these up to date by deleting old or irrelevant messages.

Scenario 2: A record only partially matches a rule

If instead there aren’t any matching rules and only partial rules show, then as expected, the item won’t be classified. There are a few possible reasons for it not matching a rule fully:

  1. No correct pattern exists
  2. A correct pattern exists, but is not used in a rule
  3. If multiple patterns are used in a rule, the document must match every pattern – chances are the document doesn’t fit one of them
  4. A record’s metadata value for a field used in a pattern is invalid, or alternatively, the field itself is missing completely. Select a record, click View Metadata, then check the related field to see if the value matches what you expect.

    - If the value is incorrect, change the value from the active site (if applicable). There are some specific scenarios depending on certain workflow and library settings where metadata is not successfully applied upon an item's first submission - see this article to see if that issue applies. 
    - If the value is correct, then the related pattern will probably need to be edited.
    - If the field is missing completely, make sure it exists and is populated in the active site. If it already does but is missing in the RecordPoint metadata, you can perform an easy resubmission by performing a check-out/check-in to see if that adds the field (note that this needs to be processed through the active site queue/middle-tier successfully first).

You can also select a record then click “Create Rule” from the ribbon, which will allow you to build a rule around the current metadata for that record. If creating a new pattern from this menu and you cannot find a particular field, it is because it's missing from the record's metadata (see point 4 above to resolve).


Once the necessary changes are made and the record fully matches a rule then it will be classified upon resubmission. Classifications do not occur automatically when editing rules - take a look at this article for more information around this.

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