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There are two different and powerful Records Management and Compliance Features in SharePoint Server 2013. The first is something called eDiscovery. And eDiscovery or Electronic Discovery is a way that we can manage content that could be discoverable, in other words that could be used as evidence, or could be subpoenaed. So, in eDiscovery what we do is we set a series of policies and then we have a Policy-based search function that can operate on our current SharePoint farm, in Exchange Server 2013, in Windows file shares, and in other SharePoint farms to be able to discover content that meets a particular policy.
Then the idea is having found that content that could later be subpoenaed, we are going to put a hold on that. We are actually going to take a snapshot version, so we know what it looked like at the time we found it, but will also allow users to continue working on these documents, because in many of our organizations almost all the content we deal with could be deemed evidentiary. As well as policies then, what you have is an eDiscovery Center and the eDiscovery Center is where a user will create an eDiscovery case.
A case begins when there's been a request or a potential request for evidence. When a new case is created in the eDiscovery Center, there is a new site setup for a new team site, a new collaboration site and from that site, you can search for content, organize your information, apply holds on content that's discovered, and then finally the ability to package up or export that content. You can also view from each case's collaboration site the status of holds that have been placed on documents based on the ePolicy and exports that have been sent in response to requests for evidence.
So, this entire eDiscovery or Electronic Discovery process is well-supported in SharePoint 2013. If this is something that you used a Record Center for in the past, you might want to take a look at migrating that center to an eDiscovery Center. With SharePoint 2010, we had the ability to set retention on a library-by-library basis. So, we could go into a document library and say these are the kinds of auditing we'd like to have happen in this library, this is the type of retention policy we'd like to have and so on and those features are still here in SharePoint 2013.
But we have a new type of retention policy that is site-based. It's called site-based compliance or site-based retention. But I prefer to think of it as project- based retention, because what it allows us to do is to create a project site and then have some compliance policies that apply to it. The best thing to do is to have your compliance officer or someone else who might be in charge of perhaps IT governance, create some policy templates and each template specifies what the retention policies are for a project including its team site, and a team mailbox if one exists and you'll actually want one once you begin using this feature.
Those same policy templates also specify what are the conditions that will trigger project closure, and then what is the project's expiration, not when it's done, but how much longer after closure we want to hang on to the information that we have. So, when a project begins, the project owner or the project manager will go in and choose the appropriate template from the Project Policy templates that are available. Perhaps you only have one, perhaps you'll have seven or eight different ones based on how much were spent or what type of project it is. But the owner will choose the appropriate template from the group, and then they will set up a team site and they will set up a team mailbox.
They'll invite team members to the project and the team members will participate through Microsoft Outlook. So, when the project closes, the compliance policies will remove those project folders from the team members' Outlook Interface. So I am working on a project, the day the project closes, all of those folders are simply removed, you don't need to worry about me hanging on to them, I don't need to worry about deleting them and then at some date in the future based on the expiration policy, the folders are deleted.
It might be that you never delete them; it might be that you hold them for five years, this is why these policies exist. So, this is what's new in Compliance for SharePoint 2013, and if you're a person whose role in the organization is as a Project Management Officer or a Compliance Officer or if you're just thinking about how you can manage closing sites down after they are expired, the new Compliance feature in SharePoint 2013 will be your friend.
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