What is a Content Type?
According to Microsoft, A content type is a reusable collection of metadata (columns), workflow, behaviour, and other settings for a category of items or documents in a Microsoft SharePoint 2013 list or document library. Content types enable you to manage the settings for a category of information in a centralized, reusable way.
What Content Type takes with/includes in it?
- The metadata, or properties, you want to assign to this type. These are represented by site columns added to the list or document library when you add the content type.
- Custom New, Edit, and Display forms to use with this content type.
- Workflows available for items of this content type. These can be defined to start automatically based on a selected event or condition, or through user selection.
- For document content types, the document template on which to base documents of this type.
- Any information necessary for custom solutions that are associated with this content type. You can store this information in the content type as one or more XML documents.
What is a Content Type Hub?
SharePoint 2010 introduced a new feature called Content Type Hubs. The Content Type Hub is a central location where you can manage and publish your content types – so now web applications can subscribe to this hub and pull down the published content types from the hub, and receive updates on the published content types. The same feature is also supported in SharePoint 2013.
Does RecordPoint support Content Type Hub?
RecordPoint recommends that customers fully evaluate and understand the limitations and implications of the use of a Content Type Hub in a RecordPoint managed system. The Content Type Hub is supported by RecordPoint but does come with some additional and often unforeseen management and configuration overhead.
When deploying a Content Type Hub there are some additional steps required, as there are a number of limitations. The Content Type Hub limitations must be fully understood by the teams supporting and managing Content Type Hub based farms.
- The Content Type Hub’s inability to publish workflows, which RecordPoint relies on. Debatably this defeats the point of Content Type Hub and its intention of central management, so additional scripting and automation skills are required in order to work around this particular SharePoint limitation.
- Content type hubs should have change governance applied such that change to the hubs is managed and not done in an adhoc manner; mismanagement of content type hub can result in dereplication of content types or the associated RecordPoint workflows and result in a non-functional system, resulting in a risk of data loss.
Where possible, due to these limitations and the costs that historical issues have imposed on customers (e.g., clean up when the service dereplication event has occurred), RecordPoint strongly recommends that customers consider an alternative method for content deployment and not rely on the Content Type Hub.
However if a customer continues to rely on the Content Type Hub, then with correct deployment and good governance RecordPoint is able to provide customer support for this feature so long as it is managed and maintained.
Publishing of workflows
The Content Type Hub will not copy RecordPoint workflows to other Active Site Collections. You have to manually deploy (or via scripting for bulk attachment) the RecordPoint solution to the subscriber Active site collections. RecordPoint workflows work as expected given that the RecordPoint solution is deployed to the subscriber site first before publishing the content type hub.
How you should approach publishing workflow with Content Type Hub
- Ensure the RecordPoint solution has been deployed to the Content Type Hub
- Before publishing this content type, deploy the RecordPoint solution to the Active site collections.
- Now, your workflow is available in the hub as well as all the subscriber site collections.
- Publish the content type from the Content Type Hub to the Active Sites. The workflow association will also be published.
- Associate the RecordPoint workflow with your content type in each Active Site. This can be done manually or with a script.
Ensure you are not using column names which are already used by RecordPoint; these generally have internal names which start with “recordpoint_” like Record ID, Record Number etc.
Content Type hub and the RecordPoint site
Never use content type hub on RecordPoint site collections, as it can cause conflicts.
Recommend separate Managed Metadata Service
To avoid any conflicts, while using content type hub keep Active sites associated with a separate and dedicated managed metadata service application.
See this article to set up a new MMS for RecordPoint if needed.
Add the RecordPoint workflow at the Content Type Hub.
Please see the pdf document attached (below) for further details on adding the RecordPoint workflow at the Content Type Hub level.