Typically, systems consider a document a work-in-progress until it has undergone review, approval, lock-down and (potentially) publication, at which point it becomes a formal record within the organization.
Once a document achieves the status of a record, the organization may apply best-practice or legally enforced retention policies which state how the second half of the life cycle will progress. This typically involves retention (and protection from change), until some events occur which relate to the record and which trigger the final disposition schedule to apply to the record. Eventually, typically a set time after these events, the record undergoes destruction.
A range of software vendors offer these systems at an enterprise level (i.e. targeted at managing all documents and records within an enterprise).
These vendors have historically provided Electronic document management systems and have acquired smaller Records Management System companies. The seamlessness of the integration and the original intention of the records-management component to manage electronic records typically sets the complexity of deploying and potentially of using the final system.
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