MoReq2: The New Model for Developing, Procuring Electronic Records Management Systems: The 2008 Version of Model Requirements for the Management of Electronic Records (MoReq2) Features New Testability, Governance, Structural Innovation, and Expanded Content

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Most records and information management professionals are familiar with the European Model Requirements for the Management of Electronic Records, commonly referred to as MoReq. Much like the U. S. Department of Defense's DoD 5015.02-STD Electronic Records Management Software Applications Design Criteria Standard (DoD 5015.2) and the United Kingdom's Requirements for Electronic Records Management Systems (PRO 2002), MoReq set out to define a standard specification of requirements for electronic records management.

However, unlike those two specifications, MoReq was intended for use in every European country and in every economic sector. Unexpectedly, MoReq also caught on beyond the European community and was translated into at least 11 languages. In early 2008, its successor, known as MoReq2, was published with several key enhancements.

The Genesis of MoReq2

The MoReq2 development process during 2007 was highly communal--with more than 200 volunteer individuals and organizations participating. The volunteers came from every sector--user organizations, consultants, integrators, academics, and software suppliers. Importantly, the volunteers included virtually all the significant suppliers of electronic records management systems in Europe, from the very largest multinational players to small companies active in only one region. During the consultation process, the MoReq2 development team received and processed thousands of comments, which makes MoReq2 the most comprehensive and usable electronic records management specification yet.

The guiding principle for MoReq2 was evolution, not revolution. It is an evolutionary step from MoReq--not a radical change. The basic ideas in MoReq--documents, records, files, classes, and the like--have been supplemented rather than replaced.

The Purpose of MoReq2

MoReq2 is intended to be useful to a wide community of stakeholders in electronic records management:

* Users of electronic records management, who can customise MoReq2 to guide specification and procurement

* Vendors of electronic records management software and services, who can use MoReq2 to drive software development

* Educators, who can use MoReq2 as a tool to teach and train the records managers of the future

MoReq2 is intended as a specification for electronic records management systems--namely, applications that are intended for the management of electronic and physical records. Such records are, for the most part, "unstructured"--e-mail messages, text documents, scanned documents, and so on. MoReq2 is not intended to specify the management of records in "legacy" applications (such as human resources or manufacturing applications), and is it not intended to specify how a system is implemented.

Key Differences Between MoReq and MoReq2

MoReq2 differs from MoReq in four ways:

Testability

Unlike DoD 5015.2 and PRO 2002, MoReq did not have a testing scheme. MoReq2 was designed and written expressly with testability in mind, and it was published along with extensive test data and test scripts. A by-product is that the language in MoReq2 is much clearer, with less room for ambiguity.

Governance

MoReq was effectively "orphaned" soon after its production. Not only did it not have a testing scheme, it was not maintained or controlled, despite its popularity (and probably because its worldwide popularity came as a surprise). The DLM Forum, an independent stakeholder group that first conceived MoReq, is working on a governance regime to control MoReq2, to monitor translations and extensions to it, and to manage a testing plan across Europe. This is expected to be in place by the end of 2008.

Strucure

MoReq2 has three structural innovations.

1. It allows for any country to add a "chapter zero" to explain language differences (such as the tricky idea that the English word "records" does not exist in most other European languages), national laws, and regulations. …