The Benefits of SharePoint Archiving

Archiving is becoming more and more attractive for many SharePoint users.

SharePoint is a natural application to manage file sharing, collaboration, and content sharing. With the introduction of MOSS 2007, its popularity has grown rapidly. However, SharePoint’s success brings challenges in storage growth, item-level restore, retention, and compliance. Just like Exchange Server, when SharePoint farms grow, performance suffers, recovery times lengthen, and compliance risk increases.

SharePoint archiving solutions copy documents and content to a central repository and the original files can be replaced with stub files to reduce storage. The resulting archive is managed according to retention policy and the content can be easily searched for legal discovery.

If you don't have an archive strategy for SharePoint, you probably should develop one. It is better to anticipate storage growth, and proactively preserve SharePoint records, than to leave everything until disaster hits in the form of a major lawsuit.

... Bob Spurzem

One Comment

  1. Posted June 19, 2009 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

    I couldn’t agree more, Bob! I would also add that whatever archiving strategy you develop, you need to make sure it meets a few other key criteria.

    The first is seamlessness- can you access word documents from word or do you get html gibberish when you try to access that way, is the archived content integrated with the native SharePoint search results, does archived content still function properly with 3rd party tools and webparts? Without this seamlessness, the user experience can severly suffer either because some functions won’t work or because they’ll essentially need to use a seperate system to access the archives.

    The second is the granularity of archiving. Ideally, you want your archive strategy to be able to handle anything from a version of a document or a list item up through entire sites. There may be old versions of documents or bloated lists that need to be archived. There may also be project sites, where it makes more sense to archive the entire site.

    The right archiving strategy will address these issues as well as the ones you’ve mentioned. Once again, great post, and thanks for raising the issue.

  2. Chetali
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 5:53 AM | Permalink


    I would like to know out of the box sharepoint archiving strategies available.

    Please share if you know them


  3. Posted October 21, 2009 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    We decided that the best way to manage SharePoint archiving is to convert wiki/ blog / list posts and comments into an email format then let the major archiving vendors ingest as they would email records. This creates a common denominator (ligua franca) which may be used to supervise, manage legal holds, or regulatory/ legal production.
    We have created specialized event handlers for many of the list types which manage the reformating, meta and x-header information to allow archival systems to manage and retrieve. For instance, using subject lines and x-headers, we can use an archive system to retrieve all comments for a particular blog post.
    Would anyone be interested in joining us to create XML standards in capturing SharePoint content?

  4. Elvira
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 5:37 AM | Permalink

    SharePoint Archiving is an attraction for SharePoint users. SharePoint is a document centric product and the number of documents grows very rapidly in medium to large size company. Even after externalizing all the documents or BLOBs, the amount of storage needed is very large and keeping all those documents in one storage location often increases the storage cost because that storage is typically very expensive high end storage.

    A very nice read covering all aspects of SharePoint archiving is available on I hope this will add up 🙂

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