I'm not clear on the differences between sharepoint's built-in templates for ECM.

Document Center

A site to centrally manage documents in your enterprise.

Records Center

This template creates a site designed for records management. Records managers can configure the routing table to direct incoming files to specific locations. The site also lets you manage whether records can be deleted or modified after they are added to the repository.

When would I use one or the other? Are they meant to be used together?

  • @HosseinAarabi that question has been "merged" already.
    – bgmCoder
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 17:24
  • what's the version (2010/2013) and edition (Std/Ent) in use? Commented May 30, 2014 at 16:56

4 Answers 4


Documents Center - Basically is like your File Server , except that you can search and index it and also have folders (Do not recommend). Mostly for all the Office Docs, PDF's Pics, Scans etc. Just a big bank with Lots of docs in it.

Record Center on the other hand takes Doc Center to the next level. Lets say you have Laws against management of records such as a particular document has to be kept for 7 years or that a particular document should never be deleted or edited. Basically Record Center becomes like a book keeper , who follows a set of rules to manage a document when uploaded to it based on Entites that are set to it upon upload.

SP2010 Record Center is quite powerful out of the box but I have just finished a project for a client based off a 3rd Party Add on to SP.

Could be a bit grunty and resource hungry.


Document Center - This is meant for more of a document storage location, think about storing documents here similar to how you would a network share. This is a centralized location for information. It will always depend on your business needs as to how you would use this. The document centers in 2010 come with Document ID's enabled and a user interface tailored to quickly uploading documents.

Document Workspace is a place where you could work on a document or sets of documents with a team. Think of it as a place to work on an RFP for example. You can create a document workspace directly from a document that may reside in the Document Center. You could upload your research docs for an RFP to the workspace and edit your document in the workspace. The document would get updated in the Document Center.

Records Center - This is meant for storing records long term and making the records immutable so that they cant be changed or overwritten. This will come into play with items such as contracts, employee information. You can have workflow pass information to the records center and then use workflow to declare items records and start dispositions on the files so that in 7 years or whatever your timeline the document is removed from the environment.

There are many aspects to how you could use each of these. It is certainly going to depend on the business needs. If needing a records center you really should do a lot of planning up-front. If compliance is a big thing in your organization and you want to use SharePoint as a records repository you can make it DOD 5015 compliant with add on software from companies like Gimmalsoft.


The following link might help you decide between a Document Center and a Record Center site template.


But to answer your question, I would make my decision like so:

  • Document Workspace

    Use when there is a team that wants to collaborate on a few documents (< 5,000 or so)

  • Document Center

    Use to manage a large volume of active (changing) documents. You could at any time declare a document as a record by either moving the document to a Record Center or declaring the document as a record in same document library (in-place).

  • Record Center

    Use to manage a large volume of records (documents that are not modified).


Long story short (maybe too short):

  • Document Center is for 'living' documents (imagine 'write' permission, often updated)
  • Records Center is for 'coma' documents (imagine 'read only' permission, not updated)

BTW there's a nice comparison called "Document Center vs. Records Center", including quite thorough performance comparison, highly recommended.

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