Holds in SharePoint Server 2010 Records Center Site


The SharePoint Server 2010 Records Center site provides a way to defer a record's expiration policy. It includes a hold feature that lets records managers create named "holds" that protect specified records from expiring and being destroyed.

When records are placed on hold, they are suspended from any expiration policies that may be in effect, and they are thus protected from destruction.

For example, in the event of an internal audit or litigation, putting the relevant records on hold makes sure that those records, which may be required to be produced will be available until the audit or litigation is complete. For example there could be a situation in which the legal team directs you to hold all items containing the clause "private and confidential".

Create Holds

Holds can be defined in Site Setting -> Hold and eDiscovery section.


Figure 1: Create Holds

In the Records Center, hold orders are managed in the "Holds" list. This list is automatically included in the Records Center site and is used to track the set of hold orders currently in effect.

Each entry in this list corresponds to a hold order, and for each hold order you can provide metadata: a name, a description, and the person who is responsible for managing the hold order. In addition to this user-defined metadata, the Holds list also tracks some additional information about each hold order automatically.

The status of the hold: If the hold order is "Active", then it represents a matter that is still ongoing; records tagged as being relevant to this hold must be retained as long as the hold is active, and new records can also be added to this hold. If the hold is no longer active, records tagged as relevant may be able to resume their normal disposition schedules, and no new items can be put on that hold.

The list of items currently on that hold: Each hold order includes a list of the items currently marked as being relevant to that hold.

Records can be placed on more than one hold at a time. If a record is put on multiple holds, it is suspended from its original information management policy until all of the holds to which it has been added are released.

Tag Records to be added to Holds

Once the Hold is defined, the Discover and Hold content link located in the Hold and eDiscovery section can be used by the Records Managers to search records to be added to the hold.

Records managers can search the Records Center for records that are required to be placed on hold, automating the process of safeguarding these records.


Figure 2: Searching for records to put on hold

This link shown in the following figure allows record managers to automatically make a first-pass at identifying relevant items and quickly ensuring their safeguarding. And after that initial safeguarding of potentially relevant records, the Records Center also gets the capabilities for the legal team to later add or remove individual items from the hold order.


Figure 3: Placing a record on hold

You can also manually add a record to hold. Right-click on the record and click on the Compliance details; see:


Click the Add/Remove from hold link to add or remove a record manually to or from the hold.

Auditing of Holds

Another important aspect of the hold orders are that they take advantage of the SharePoint 2010 auditing capabilities. All of the stages of the hold order process, creating new hold orders, putting records "on hold" (manually or using search-based capabilities), releasing a hold, etc. all generate an audit trail.

Reporting of Holds

A Hold Processing and Reporting timer job generates a hold report by enumerating items in a hold and updating them to remove them from hold, as appropriate.


The benefits of the Holds feature are:

  • Improved protection from audit and legal issues
  • Reduced time and effort due to automated reporting and auditing
  • Improved control and management of documents
  • Multiple holds to a single item provides the flexibility and scalability required to protect documents.