Plan content approval and scheduling (SharePoint Server 2010)


Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010

Content approval is the process by which authored content is approved or rejected for publication. Content scheduling is the process by which content is published and made available to readers according to a specified schedule. The Publishing feature in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 provides the ability to approve and schedule content for publishing.

This article contains general guidance about how to plan content approval and content scheduling for use with SharePoint Server 2010 publishing sites. However, this article does not describe how to configure settings for content approval or how to configure workflows. For more information, see Understand approval workflows in SharePoint 2010.

In this article:

  • About planning content approval and content scheduling

  • Plan content approval

  • Plan content scheduling

  • Using content deployment with content approval and content scheduling

About planning content approval and content scheduling

As you plan SharePoint Server 2010 publishing sites, you should plan how much control you want users to have over approving site content. For example, you might want to impose restrictions on how much control authors have over approving content they create. You have the option of giving users no control, simple moderation, or the ability to start a workflow after they submit content. When you plan publishing sites, you should also understand how the content scheduling process works.

Plan content approval

Content approval is the process by which users who have Approver permissions control the publication of content. Content approval is configured by using the Content Approval option on the Versioning Settings page in the library settings for the document library that contains content to be published. When you plan for content approval, you must decide how you want content approval to work for your site and who can approve content for publishing. In SharePoint Server 2010, the control of content can fall within the following levels:

  • None   If content approval is not required for items in a document library, after an author submits content for publishing, it goes live immediately.

  • Simple moderation   Content must be manually approved by a member of the Approver group after an author submits it for publishing. The content is not visible to users who have Read permissions until it is approved.

  • Approval workflow   A workflow is used to run the approval process. Using a workflow makes the approval process more automated and takes advantage of the built-in workflow features, such as automatically sending e-mail to approvers, adding approval tasks to approvers' task lists, and letting authors track the status of the approval process. Users can also modify the Approval workflow template, or develop their own custom approval workflow by using Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 or Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. For information about workflows, see Workflows in SharePoint Server 2010.

By default, the publishing site templates are preconfigured to use one of the following categories. You can think of these categories as providing a range of restrictions over the approval of content, from least to most restrictive. The following table shows each category, the level of restriction, and the publishing site template that is automatically associated with each.

Category Restriction level Site template



Enterprise Wiki

Simple moderation


Publishing Site

Approval workflow


Publishing Site with Workflow

You can enable or disable publishing-related options for your site, such as requiring content approval or changing Approval workflow settings.

Plan content scheduling

Content scheduling is the process by which users who have at least Contributor permissions specify a schedule to publish content. If the Content Approval option is enabled for a document library, content must be approved before it is published. For more information about content approval, see Versioning, content approval, and check-out planning (SharePoint Server 2010).


Content scheduling is available only if the Content Approval option is enabled and if the Document Version History option is set to create major and minor (draft) versions.

Content can be scheduled to be published or unpublished at specified dates and times. The scheduled dates and times are initiated by timer jobs that continually check for pages and items in the document library or image library that are ready for publishing or unpublishing. You can change the frequency with which each job runs on the Job Definitions page on the Central Administration Web site.

Using content deployment with content approval and scheduling

Content deployment is a feature of SharePoint Server 2010 that you can use to copy content from a source site collection to a destination site collection. The content deployment feature is designed for sites that use a multiple farm topology. A multiple farm topology consists of separate authoring, publishing, and possibly staging farms. If you are implementing a multiple farm topology, you must apply all the considerations that are outlined in this article for each authoring farm in your environment. For more information, see Design content deployment topology (SharePoint Server 2010) and Technical diagrams (SharePoint Server 2010).

If content deployment is used together with content approval and content scheduling for your SharePoint Server 2010 solution, all approval processes occur on the source server where the content is authored. When content is deployed to the target server, the publishing schedule that is associated with each piece of content is also deployed. For example, if a page is approved on the source server on Monday and is set to go live at midnight on Friday, the page is copied to the destination server the next time that a content deployment job runs. However, the page is not visible to users who have Reader or anonymous permissions until midnight on Friday.

See Also


Plan Web content management (SharePoint Server 2010)
Plan Web pages (SharePoint Server 2010)