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Making a record read only

Is there a way either through configuration or code to make a record read only  (Ex: I need to make an entire case record read only when the case is Close or Escalated).
This may not be the best way to do it, but you can have a workflow that updates the Record Type to a "Case - Final" that is tied to a page layout with all fields as read-only.

you could through scripting disable the control using an s-control.. very painful.. doesn't work if javascript is disabled..

I do this to hide certain buttons when creating workflows..