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This page contains the answers to various questions related to Content Manager. For additional assistance, please contact records.management@kingcounty.gov or 206-477-6889.

General Questions

Content Manager is a state-of-the-art enterprise content management (ECM) system. It is a powerful tool that all King County agencies use to manage their records. The tool is the replacement for KC ERMS, which is no longer supported by the vendor and has been decommissioned.

Content Manager is an application that is installed on each user's computer. It is accessible by double-clicking an icon on your desktop. 

Content Manager includes all functionality that was available in KC ERMS, including:

  • sending boxes to the Records Center
  • retrieving boxes from the Records Center
  • filing emails from Outlook
  • filing electronic records from network drives, shared drives and computer drives
  • Searching for records
  • Exporting electronic records

In addition to performing the above functions, Content Manager also offers various improvements, including:

  • the system is fully-supported and has a modern user interface
  • all users can make their own folders
  • system allows for up to 3 layers of subfolders
  • filing to the system is simplified and is accomplished with drag-and-drop functionality
  • system is more self-service and users can fix more errors themselves
  • training is flexible and is offered online
  • searching is more flexible and users can build exactly the search that they need
  • searches are quicker to perform
  • reviewing search results and opening/exporting records is much quicker

In the future, Records Management plans to deploy additional features of Content Manager, including:

  • integration with SharePoint
  • document management functionality (check-in, check-out, version control, etc.)
  • workflow
  • esignature
  • web drawer (publishing records directly to the internet)

 

King County employees can access various tools that can be used to store records, including SharePoint.

It is up to each agency to use a solution that works for them. Content Manager is an excellent solution for managing records because it incorporates records management principles and standards, and ensures that records filed to the system go through their lifecycle and are dispositioned at the end of their retention period. Tools like SharePoint and others do not have a good way to manage the lifecycle of records or manage the disposition of records at the end of their retention period.

Content Manager can be used to file any file type that is accessible in Outlook or File Explorer. Content Manager can support very large files. It is possible to file both active and inactive files to Content Manager, as long as they are finalized and not still going through a drafting process. Records filed to Content Manager remain safe, secure and fully accessible for the duration of their retention period.

Content Manager might not be suitable for certain file types that do not have retention value, such as duplicate copies or other types of transitory files. It is also not appropriate for certain compressed file types, such as ZIP and PST.

 

No.

In previous years, the Records Management Program operated under a fee-for-service model and charged agencies in order to access KC ERMS and other records management services; but that model is no longer in place. Although new agencies must still work with the Records Management Program prior to system access, there is no cost for that service.

If you have any feedback about Content Manager - either positive or negative - we encourage you to complete our Content Manager Feedback Survey. The survey is anonymous and all feedback will be considered as we plan for future efforts to improve our communications, training and possible system enhancements.
Yes, as long as you are connected to the county's network through VPN/AnyConnect, you can access and use Content Manager while working from home.

Yes. Content Manager is compatible with all known King County computing environments.

For Mac users, the system is only compatible if the computer is using a Windows emulator. Contact Records Management with any questions.

 

One of the benefits of Content Manager is that it is a very secure system and is compliant with various security standards and requirements including DOD (Department of Defense), HIPAA and CJIS. 

The default security set-up is that everyone within each workgroup (Owner) has access to all records filed into the system by all employees of that workgroup. The records of those employees won't be accessible by anyone outside of that workgroup. This is set up variously by department, but is generally all employees within the same section of the county organizational structure. If you need to restrict access to these records further, please let us know at records.management@kingcounty.gov.          

To see who has access to any individual container or record:

1. Locate and click on the record in Content Manager.
2. In the lower window, double click on the organization name next to Owner
3. In the lower window, click where it says Click to display next to All Members

Installation and Access

If you work for an Executive Branch agency, you can install the system yourself (PDF) from the Software Center.

If you work for a separately elected agency, contact your IT representative directly.

When Content Manager is installed, you will see a Content Manager icon on your desktop. Simply double click on the icon to open the application.

In addition you can find Content Manager by searching for "content manager" in your computer's task bar search menu.

We also recommend that you "pin" Content Manager to your taskbar so that you can open it directly from there. 

When you double click on Content Manager, the system should automatically open. However after some installations, users need to manually add the correct dataset. We are looking into fixing that issue. In the meantime, follow these steps:

1. Click Add
2. Under Content Manager Workgroup Server, manually type kcitappprprms00 and click Next
3. Select HPECM and click Finish

If you get an error message when you double click on the Content Manager icon, it probably means that the system has been installed but your user account has not been activated yet.

Have you contacted Records Management to let us know you need your account activated and what offices you need access to?
Are you connected to the county's network (if you are telecommuting, you must be connected using VPN/AnyConnect)?

If the answer to both of those questions is yes, try restarting your computer and see if you still get the error when opening Content Manager.

If you are a new Content Manager user, you might see two related icons on your desktop: "Content Manager" and "CM Desktop".

You should only use the "Content Manager" icon. The "CM Desktop" icon will automatically go away. In the meantime you can ignore or delete it.

Folders and Dropzone

Yes.

In KC ERMS, folders were only created by subject matter experts (SMEs). In Content Manager, all users can make their own folders. Refer to the Digital Folders training or the How to create a digital folder job aid for guidance about how to create folders according to best practice. 

Yes.

Content Manager does not force users to file records into a rigid matter-folder structure and does allow for the creation of subfolders. Content Manager is flexible and is designed to allow for four (4) layers of folders. 

Best practice is to avoid the use of subfolders and use as flat or simple of a folder structure as possible. Refer to the Digital Folders training and the How to create a digital subfolder job aid for best practice for creating folders and subfolders.

If you use subfolders to organize your records, it might look like you have duplicate folders. Depending on how you perform a search, the subfolders can appear both on their own and as children of the parent folder. This does not mean that they are duplicated, but instead that they are displayed twice. To be sure, look at the Record Number field. Each item in the system has a unique Record Number. If the Record Number is the same, then you are looking at the same record and not a duplicate.

If the record numbers are different and there really is a duplicate that was created in error, let us know at records.management@kingcounty.gov and we can delete it for you.

Folders in Dropzone appear in the order that they were added. Over time, the folders in Dropzone will also change based on the order in which they are used, with more frequently used folders appearing first.

It is not possible to change the order of folders within Dropzone, other than to remove and add folders in the desired order. Refer to the job aid Managing Dropzone for more information.

If your Content Manager Dropzone becomes transparent and difficult to see, it might be because you accidentally changed its transparency setting. Simply click the little blue rectangle in the bottom corner and drag it all the way to the right to make Dropzone fully visible again.

ghost

Content Manager provides flexibility to work around your business needs. All users have the ability to make digital folders in the system. However the Records Management Lead has the discretion to decide whether all users should make their own folders or whether making folders should be centralized within each work group.

Use your best judgment to decide what will work best for your group. Below are some pros and cons of each option. If you have any questions, please ask us.

Everyone makes their own folders:

Pros:

  • work is distributed more evenly
  • folders automatically appear in users' Dropzones (less steps for filing)
  • folders are only created when they are needed

Cons:

  • risk of inconsistency; different people following different conventions
  • risk of too duplicative folders if multiple people are creating folders for a shared project or issue


Folder making is centralized:

Pros:

  • folders are consistent and easier to manage; easier to adhere to records management best practice
  • less data entry for the majority of users



Cons:

  • in order to file to folders, users must go through extra steps to locate the folders and add them to their Dropzone
  • possibility of folders being created that are never needed
  • The Records Management Lead can become a bottleneck if a user needs a folder to file to

Filing Email

If you get the below error message when filing your emails, it means that the email was successfully filed but that the original could not be removed from Outlook. In those situations, click OK and then manually delete the email from Outlook.

To avoid this error message in the future:
1. Do not file from search results or sorted emails in Outlook, instead file directly from a folder.
2. Do not attempt to open anything in Dropzone while you are filing to it.
3. Change your Outlook settings (PDF) so that it displays/downloads all emails, instead of only those for the past 12 months.

email-error

If you get the below error message, it means you are attempting to file non-email records (such as PDFs or Word Documents) from Outlook. If you happen to have non-email records stored in Outlook, those records should be moved to File Explorer and filed to Content Manager from there.

dropped-error

 

When emails are filed from Outlook to Content Manager the process is relatively slow. This is because the Content Manager application opens a window for each email that is filed. We are actively working with the vendor on possible solutions to this.

In the meantime, best practice is to file emails from Outlook in relatively small batches.

From within Content Manager, you can easily close all opened windows by clicking the View tab and Close All button.

Another possible workaround is to move emails from Outlook to a temporary folder on your Desktop or file drive and file from there, where the process is much quicker.

 

Filing Other Electronic Records

Content Manager can be used to file any record that is stored in a Windows file explorer environment or in Outlook.

Some common types of records filed to Content Manager include:

  • email messages
  • PDFs
  • Word documents
  • Excel spreadsheets
  • PowerPoint slide decks
  • digital photographs
  • video files
  • much more

In general, you should file records that are no longer in draft form and have been finalized.

Avoid filing transitory records or duplicate copies to Content Manager. Content Manager is also not appropriate for databases, executable system files, and ZIP files.

For more information, visit our file formats guidance (PDF).

Yes, it is possible to file records from SharePoint (PDF). The user needs to be using Internet Explorer browser and also have administrative owner rights for the SharePoint site.

Yes.

Content Manager is usually used for inactive records (which have met their cutoff date as defined on a records retention schedule). However agencies may use Content Manager however it makes sense for their business and many use the system to file and manage active records.This is especially possible for records that have been finalized and/or do not go through a draft process.

No.

You cannot file folders or subfolders into Content Manager; you must file at the record level (email, document, etc.). However, you can flatten a folder structure in Windows Explorer to view all the contained records without opening up each folder to file the records into Content Manager.

Job Aid: Flatten Folder Structure (Documents within Sub-Folders)

Yes.

Currently the system can be used to file individual records up to 2GB. If you need to file any individual records larger than that size, please let us know.

All folders from KC ERMS have been migrated to Content Manager. If you need to file to one of those folders, follow these steps:

1. Perform a search to locate the folder(s) in Content Manager

2. Right click on the folder and select Send To and Add to Containers.

3. Click the Content Manager minimize button and then drag and drop into the appropriate folder in Dropzone

Yes, it is possible to file OneNote records into Content Manager. To file them, locate them in SharePoint, click the vertical ellipsis (three dots) and select Move to and then move them to a location on your OneDrive. From there, OneNote files (with a .ONE extension) can be dragged and dropped to Content Manager just like any other records.

Note: OneNote is often used for transitory communications, including personal notes. OneNote records should only be filed to Content Manager if they include information with substantive value that is not documented elsewhere.

Searching

All records from KC ERMS have been migrated to and are available in Content Manager.

To locate records from KC ERMS, perform a search (refer to Searching training or various Search job aids). 

All records within Content Manager are 100% searchable. This includes all metadata (or information/data about records), the content of all records, and attachments to all email records. If a record is indexable in any way (like an OCRed PDF) then it is searchable in Content Manager! 

If you are having trouble finding records within Content Manager, first try using one of the available Saved Searches. To locate Saved Searches, click on the Search tab, then the Records down arrow, then Saved Record Searches.

Please also explore this website to view various job aids and training material to help you locate records. We are continually updating this website with more information. Please check back. 

All information about boxes was migrated from KC ERMS to Content Manager. The box numbers are the same in Content Manager, but now have a "B" in front of them. So that means if you are trying to locate box number 919616, you would locate that box by searching for number B919616 in Content Manager.

Training

Training on Content Manager is provided by interactive online training modules hosted through KC eLearning. Training is separated into different courses and modules, and users are able to complete them at their convenience. Upon completion, the user’s PeopleSoft training record is automatically updated. End users also have access to supplemental training materials and job aids available on Records Management’s website, as well as access to resources including the staff of Records Management and Records Management Leads within their agency. 

Training is divided into four different courses, each taking approximately 30 minutes to complete:

Training for all users:

  • Digital Folders
  • Filing Electronic Records
  • Searching

 Training for Records Management Leads only:

  • Physical Records
The Content Manager training courses are hosted on KC eLearning. If you are having trouble getting access to those trainings, view KC eLearning's home page for options and guidance about how to login. It is most effective if you are connected to the county's network. If you continue to have issues, visit the "Signing in" link at the bottom of the KC eLearning page for more tips. You should also try accessing the training through different web browsers.

Due to limited resources, the Records Management Program is not able to provide in-person Content Manager training at this time.

However the comprehensive online training provides an interactive environment where you can effectively learn to use the system. Staff of the Records Management Program are available for any questions or consultations.

Looking for Records?

King County Archives - historical county records
Recorder's Office - recorded documents
Vital Statistics - birth and death records
Find Public Records - various county records
Public Records Program - submit a public disclosure request