What happens when you use retention in AODocs libraries?

The AODocs Retention Module is a feature of the AODocs Document Management Platform, included in the AODocs Application Platform license level. It allows you to automate the retention and disposal of the documents stored in your AODocs libraries.

This article explains what happens when you apply retention policies in your AODocs libraries.

The retention process
            The library switches from pending to active
            The document is managed by retention
            The document enters the retention period 
            The retention period ends
Active and pending AODocs libraries
            Active libraries
            Pending libraries

The retention process

The Retention Module requires specific properties (metadata) to be configured in a library’s document classes before retention policies can be applied to the library. Only libraries where all the document classes contain these metadata can be assigned a retention policy


In AODocs libraries using retention, all document classes must contain a set of retention properties (metadata). Every week, the AODocs Retention App runs a background process called Retention batch which updates the retention properties of documents managed by a retention schedule.

Below is the timeline of an AODocs document in a library using retention.


The library switches from pending to active 

A library administrator:

  1. Creates the retention properties in all document classes in the library.
  2. Assigns a retention schedule to the root folder of the library.
    f required, the library administrator can assign other retention schedules to subfolders in the library. Learn more: Using one or more retention schedules in a library.

The library is now activeThe weekly Retention batch process runs on the library, even if the retention period has not begun.

Note: A library can be active or pending. This status is different from the Life Cycle State of documents, which can be Active or Control

The document is managed by retention 

The first time the Retention batch process runs on the library, it fills in the following properties on the document:

  • Life Cycle State: Set to Active.
  • Event Date: Date at which the document will enter the retention period.
    The value can be calculated: 
    • automatically - for example, after a defined period after the creation of the document
    • manually - for example, the date a project is completed, a contract is signed, or an employee leaves 

The value is defined according to the Event property, which is set by the CSV file used to generate the retention schedule.

  • Retention Time: Number of years before the document is deleted once it enters the retention period. The value is set by your CSV file.
  • Record Category: A meaningful label depending on your business case, for example, "Taxes". The value is set by your CSV file.

For a full list of the retention properties, see Create retention properties in your AODocs library.

The document enters the retention period 

The retention process begins when the current date exceeds the Event DateThe next time the weekly Retention batch process runs, it:

  • updates the Life Cycle State property: set to Control
  • fills in the Target Destruction Date property: calculated to be the last day of the quarter after the date: [Event Date + Retention Time]
  • creates a new version of the document

When the Life Cycle State property of a document is set to Control, the document is locked. During the retention period the document is visible but cannot be edited by contributors. Any document in the retention period can be unlocked for contributors through the AODocs Retention App. 
Learn more: Unlock and relock documents pending deletion.

The Retention batch process runs every week and applies these checks:

Note: If you manually change the Event Date, the Event property must not contain Creation Date or Not Classified, otherwise the Retention batch process will overwrite your changes the next time it runs.
Learn more: Generate retention schedules.

The retention period ends

A quarterly purge job runs on your domain and deletes all documents (and any attachments) that have reached their Target Destruction Date. The purge job runs ten days after the Target Destruction Date.

For documents with the Target Destruction Date... The purge job runs on... 
31 March 10 April
30 June 10 July
30 September 10 October
31 December 10 January the following year

The AODocs Retention App sends notifications before and after the purge job runs.
Learn more: Notifications sent by the AODocs Retention App.

Active and pending AODocs libraries

All the AODocs libraries on your domain are listed in the AODocs Retention App.

Note: Library administrators see only the libraries that they administrate.

Libraries are classified as active or pending.

Active libraries

A library is active if:

  • a retention schedule has been assigned to the root folder of the library 
  • the required retention properties are defined on all AODocs document classes

This means at least one retention schedule has been assigned to this library and it is correctly configured.

Pending libraries

A library is pending if it is not managed by a retention schedule.

There are two types of pending library:

  • No retention policy is needed on the library: a retention schedule has not been assigned to the library, so the library is a standard AODocs library.
  • A retention policy is needed on the library: a retention schedule has been assigned to the library, but either the retention schedule or the library is not correctly configured.
    Learn more: Assign retention schedules to folders in your library.
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