Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mastering Oracle Universal Records Management in a hurry

If you use (or planning to use) Oracle URM, but find it somewhat clumsy or confusing – chances are – you didn’t get the proper product introduction. This whitepaper will dispel confusion and install clarity on Universal Records Management, Physical Records Manager and The Records Manager Enterprise Edition.


Let’s start by reviewing the main reasons why most organizations do implement Records Management in the first place... and what results should you expect out of a successful implementation. I don’t want to you to spend an hour... much less a day or a month... even considering to implement a solution that might not bring you the results you expect. So let’s see...

Why use Record Management?

Essentially, there are three main reasons:

1. Business needs. Flag outdated content for deletion or archival, synchronize physical and electronic versions of content and keep track of the physical files, folders and boxes floating around your offices. The URM will also help you more effectively share content across organization and ensure it is retained for the period that it should be – regardless of the source or the system that stores it.

2. Compliance. Ensure regulatory compliance (SOX, SEC, industry regulations) by keeping the content for required periods of time and consistently following the processing rules, such as destruction, review or archival – when this period is over.

3. Litigation support. Systematically disposing of certain types of documents, when you’re no longer required to keep them – may reduce your risk of being sued. You may also choose to freeze some important content, related to legal action you’re about to take – so it doesn’t get “accidentally” destroyed by a disgruntled employee.

Now there’s a boat load of record management tools, all claiming to give you similar benefits. Let’s consider...

Why go with Oracle?

Well, first of all, if you have other Oracle products, such as Oracle UCM, Web Content Management or even an Oracle database – it makes sense to stay with the same vendor and get your repeat customer discounts, use your in-house Oracle folks instead of having to hire new skill sets and keep all of your technical support in one place.

If you don’t own any Oracle tools yet – here’re the three critical features that your new URM must provide. If it doesn’t – you risk to see your entire deployment, your corporate initiative and possibly your reputation... well... severely damaged.

1. The system you pick must be able to apply your records management policies and practices on content in external and remote repositories such as file systems, other CMS repositories and email archives as well as your non-records content. If it doesn’t – you’ll be forced to migrate the content of your entire enterprise into this new system or fail.

2. Your new URM must be easy use. If it’s not – your business folks will use all of their smarts to avoid it. I’ve seen it and I’m sure you’ve seen it happen more than once. All license costs, all installation and configuration efforts, the budgets spent on professional services – tons of money, time and reputations end up burning in flames every day in organizations around the world – large and small.

3. The system must be... hot-pluggable. Let’s face it – you don’t have years to perform complex customizations, integrate systems or migrate your content. If the new URM is not usable straight out of the box - you’ll be forced to play catch-up and scramble to show quick results to your business sponsors.

Oracle URM lets you place a solid checkmark into all of these boxes. It also Certified against all parts of DoD 5015 v3 and out of the box comes with adapters for File System, Documentum, FileNet, MS SharePoint and others. So it lets you add retention management that matches and exceeds industry standards - almost instantly. It easily scales up to millions of records, but can also run on a very small footprint.

Ok, so now here’s...

How to get comfortable with Oracle URM in a short afternoon

If you ever heard doctors talk “Doctorise” to each other and were standing there wondering if that was English or what – you know where should we start. So let’s start with...

Understanding the concepts and terminology

Here’s the light-speed introduction to just the essential Records Management terms you’ll need.


Retention is the act of keeping information for specified periods of time, depending on the type of content or depending on applicable laws or regulations. The most common types of retention are time-based (i.e. keeping the content for 10 years from the date of filing), event-based (i.e. employee terminated) and a combination of the two.


After retention period is over, authorized people within the organization take appropriate action to dispose of the content.
Please note that it URM does not simply delete content when it no longer need to be retained. Disposition does not always mean deletion. Yes, content may need to be physically or electronically destroyed after a period of retention, but it can also be stored internally in an archive location or transferred to external storage facility.
Disposition in Oracle URM is defined as a set of disposition instructions that define when and how the content will be disposed of. Disposition instructions are based on the time periods and triggers – item status changes or simple act of previous disposition action completing.

Record Content

Record content, as opposed to regular managed content, is managed on a retention schedule. It is being marked as record on filing, retained according to retention rules and then goes into disposition.

As shown on the diagram, the item remains content until the Cutoff, and then it enters Disposition. Once again, cut off may be time– or event-based.
The filing date may be the item’s check in date (which is the most common case) or it may be the date that it is marked as being retained.
Older URM 10gR3 differentiated Record vs. Non-record content. Content marked as Record could not be revisioned and after the cutoff, their metadata was also fixed and could not be modified. URM 11g lifts these restrictions and let administrator control whether or not the content should be revisioned.

Retention Schedule

Retention Schedule is a hierarchy that defines specifically how the content is actually retained. Retention schedule is defined on 3 levels:
  • Retention Categories – is the place where disposition instructions and security settings are actually applied. 

  • Series is a hierarchy that allows you to organize your retention categories (Retention Categories cannot be nested). Series can also be hidden which allows you to prevent your contributors from filing content into the work-in-progress structures. 
  • Record Folders is a level below Retention Categories, that allows you to organize items with similar retention and security. Record Folders can be nested. 

So here’s how the entire Retention Schedule looks in Oracle URM user interface:



Items in a record folder or individual content items may be frozen which prevents them from being updated, deleted or destroyed. This is useful when you need to comply with audit or litigation requirements.

Internal and External Retained Content

This one is actually intuitive and easy to understand. Internal content stored in Oracle Content Server and managed by the URM.
External content can either be physical, like filing boxes, DVD media and microfiche or it can be electronic content stored externally, for instance in email archive or Microsoft SharePoint.

Classified Content

Classified content is sensitive information that requires protection against unauthorized disclosure. Unclassified content is the opposite and Declassified content is the content that used to be classified in the past.

Typical classifications include “Top Secret”, “Secret”, “Confidential” and “Unclassified”.

And that was the last one. We’re now ready to proceed to...

Getting to know your tools

I’m sure I won’t even sound original when say that an hour spent actually doing it, turning the knobs and pulling on the handles – beats an entire month worth of hearing about it. It’s true. So begin by getting yourself a private sandbox environment to play with the URM, while getting yourself comfortable with it.

Five easy steps to mastering Oracle URM 

The following five steps will get you well under way to understanding the steps involved in mastering Oracle URM and in a successful enterprise-wide rollout. The first one of course is ...

Building your own environment

Another reason why working with Oracle tools is so great is the fact that anyone can simply accept their License Agreement and download an unlimited evaluation version.
Yes, the installation guides can be long and following dozens of pages worth of detailed instructions can take several days.... But what about my promise of helping you master the URM in a hurry, faster than everyone else thought possible?
Well, shortly after the UCM 11g was released in the Spring of 2010, I’ve uploaded a set of quick tutorial videos (about 30 min between 5 parts), that guide you through download, installation and basic configuration of Oracle UCM. I show you how to avoid all the pitfalls and get it done right the first time.
The videos are available on uTube and here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1zAzaXCJwQ
Once the environment is up, you are ready to proceed with the following four major steps involved in the setup.

Creating Retention Schedule and Disposition

Depending on your organization’s requirements, you may need to add or customize the triggers, time periods, and freezes.
When that’s complete, the meat and potatoes of creating a retention schedule (as I mentioned above) comes down to defining your series, your retention categories with disposition instructions and your record folders.
Well, in reality, you shouldn’t jump into creating your Retention Schedule before you had a chance to define your security and your metadata models. Why? Because the custom meta will show on your categories and your record folders and your Contributors and your Records Officers will need to have proper access assigned to use the system. So here’s what’s involved in...

Defining your Security

URM security is an extension of the Content Server role-based model. (If you need a quick primer, there’s a free tutorial video titled “How to become clear on ECM Role-Based Security in 15 min or less” available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HAMt_RAsLw)

Defining your security then comes down to adding new roles and accounts and assigning to users.

The system comes with three basic roles – rma - for URM contributors/users, rmaLocalRecrdsOfficer - for people in charge of the retention schedule and other business-level configuration - and rmaAdmin – for system administrators.
Note that the Local Records Officer role used to be called rmaPrivileged in URM 10gR3, but the basic functionality is still the same. The screenshot below shows specific RMA rights assigned to this role in URM 10gR3.

If Physical Content Management is enabled, additional roles will also be available.
Once your security is defined, you (or your Records Officers) can start working on creating the Retention Schedule.

Customizing your Metadata Model

I’m almost sure, your business folks would like you to add new custom fields to your retention categories record folders and so on. They might also like to rename or hide some of the fields that come out of the box or change the order the system is using for displaying them.
The good news here is that URM comes with its own facility for managing custom metadata fields – readily available through Records > Configure > Metadata menu options.

Using Oracle URM Adapters

URM Adapters – for File System, Documentum, FileNet and MS SharePoint 2003 and 2007 – obtain all policies from the URM server, that manages the retention and apply them to content stored in the corresponding system. The Adapter also sends information back to the URM server so it can maintain a complete and up-to-date catalogue of the enterprise's important Content. The screenshot below shows results of Federated Search across the Content Server and linked SharePoint repositories.

This lets you apply your retention policies to content more consistently with less administrative effort and less disruption for users – without the need to migrate your existing content out of your existing systems across the enterprise.
You can also freeze items in SharePoint and apply retention by search criteria and item locations.
Please note that MS SharePoint 2003 and 2007 adapters are currently only supported with URM 10gR3
And now if you’ve used or planning to use the older Oracle URM 10gR3 – the following section will give you some valuable insights. So here’s ....

What’s new in URM 11g

If you are (or soon will be) upgrading from the previous Oracle URM 10gR3 – here are the major changes that took place in the new URM 11g

  • In the old versions items marked as Record could not be revisioned. Now the actual definition of Record is configurable. When you create a Retention Category - you can now specify if the items under it can be revisioned, edited, deleted or made permanent.

Clear, easy and logical!

  • Records Manager Corporate Edition – a stripped down version – and the Records Manager DoD Edition – the full one – are now merged into the single Oracle URM product. So is the Physical content manager – now a part of the single Oracle URM product.
  • Route all changes to disposition rules through a workflow when needed – to get approvals or notify stakeholders automatically
  • You can now create and check in Report Templates – for easy to create and consistent looking reports!
  • Nice interface changes, such as obsolete and out of date items are now shown as crossed – out...

Print option is now available on every screen... User dashboards... Records and Physical menus on the top have been given a major face lift – most of the options are now available there – in one place!


You’ve just completed your light-speed introduction to Oracle URM, where we looked at the reasons why organizations deploy Records Management and the benefits they expect to achieve, core concepts and terminology used in record management such as Retention and Disposition and we’ve looked at steps involved in setting up your own Oracle URM enterprise deployment. Now it might be a good time to check out other free insider tips and popular Web Center technical articles, and also find out what specific techniques allow us achieve killer results for our clients - even with the smallest budgets. Check out at http://bit.ly/OR9IAl


  1. Really a nice one, quicker to cover the features of URM.

    Thanks Dmitri.

    - Pranab

  2. Really a nice one, quicker to cover the features of URM.

    Thanks Dmitri.

    - Pranab


  3. Configuring JDBC Component schema :::::::

    ORA:01017 Test failed : invalid username/passwrd,; logon denied
    I’m creating base_domain (weblogic domain for components schema)
    I’ve rite
    schema owner : mDEV1_OCS
    oracle driver (thin) service connection ……..
    schema pass: weblogic1
    service : Xe
    port: 1521


    plz help me in CREATING and completing weblogic Domain WIZARD so I can use UCM ..I’ve short time
    Thanks for reply

    I THINK I HAD SET THE DEV1 schema password portal or ucm or weblogic1 but thrice of them are not working and i'm stuck at 1 place

    please also tell me SQL commands for Schema password