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The Next Evolution of Microsoft SharePoint Records Management: DocAve Archiver in DocAve 6 Service Pack 5

The Times, They Are A-Changin’

Until recently, the idea of using SharePoint for records management was one that was denounced by industry insiders and induced groans from IT administrators. However, in the immortal words of Bob Dylan: The times, they are a-changin’.

As mentioned in a previous blog, enterprise organizations are now embracing SharePoint as a records management platform. However, as these organizations evolve and change, so have their needs. The need for lower-cost storage, scalability, and a reduced burden on IT departments has led many organizations to migrate to Microsoft Office 365, and others are now investigating hybrid deployment scenarios. Although the playing field has changed, the rules of the game are largely still the same. Organizations must still comply with federal, industry, or company-mandated regulations to store content as records in a secure fashion and be able to restore that data for business or legal purposes. With the move to cloud and hybrid architecture, content is also expected to be available and ready to be restored with a moment’s notice.

As a result, the importance of information management has never been greater, and industry analysts have observed these changes as well. In its Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving 2014, Gartner predicted that by 2019, “75 percent of organizations will treat archived data as an active and ‘nearline’ data source, and not simply as a separate repository to be viewed or searched periodically.”

In addition, buyers are now looking at records management and archiving not as endpoint or stand-alone solutions, but rather as requirements in a larger content lifecycle solution. Automated archiving and disposition, integration with Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) software, eDiscovery functionality, as well as content lifecycle automation and provisioning are now must-have enterprise features. Although Microsoft has grown in leaps and bounds to deal with these needs, there are still significant gaps that must be addressed. In short, organizations are looking for solutions that allow them to utilize the strengths that out-of-the-box SharePoint brings to the table, while being able to integrate with solutions to help them create, govern, and manage the overall content lifecycle.

Introducing DocAve Archiver in DocAve 6 Service Pack 5

With the launch of DocAve 6 Service Pack (SP) 5, DocAve Archiver answers this call with new customizable records management and archiving solutions not only for SharePoint, but now also available for SharePoint Online. Whether your content resides on premises or in the cloud, DocAve Archiver can help you define and implement archiving and records management policies and strategies for your business. Moreover, Archiver’s existing integration with DocAve Governance Automation means that Archiver can help your organization provide customized records management principles and governance over the entire content lifecycle.

Configuring rules and settings in DocAve Archiver.
Configuring rules and settings in DocAve Archiver.

In addition to supporting SharePoint Online, we have also introduced new records management features and functionalities poised to provide our customers with the capabilities they need for years to come.

Extending Native SharePoint Records Management Functionality

Records management is an amorphous term that can mean different things to different people. Even within SharePoint, there are two distinct methods for declaring content as a record:

  1. Activating the in-place records management feature to declare content as a record within a document library
  2. Moving that content to a separate Record Center site

In DocAve 6 SP 5, we now support both methods of record management, adding the ability to move content to SharePoint Record Center sites for both SharePoint on premises and SharePoint Online. However, using SharePoint’s native tools to move content into a Records Center can be an arduous and laborious task. Even when the move is done correctly, the content that is moved into the Record Center natively will inherit the content type of the Record Center site and lose its original metadata. Essentially, this means that the history of the document has been eliminated.

With the latest Archiver enhancements, we sought to address these gaps by doing the following:

  • Eliminate the need to use native methods to move content to Record Center sites: To prevent content from losing its metadata history, we have devised our own method to route content into Records Center sites.
  • Preserve original metadata when routing content to Records Center sites: Archiver can now route content to Record Center sites with full fidelity, preserving the document’s original content types and metadata properties. In situations where organizations prefer that data adopts the Record Center site’s content types, we’ve provided the ability to create an XML file containing the document’s original metadata properties. The XML file can provide an audit trail for administrators and auditors.

Preserving metadata when archiving content to Records Center sites with DocAve Archiver.
Preserving metadata when archiving content to Records Center sites with DocAve Archiver.

  • Conflict resolution rules for records management: With hundreds of thousands of documents present in a SharePoint farm, conflicts can arise when it comes to file names. When this happens during the record routing process, DocAve Archiver provides automated conflict management rules for administrators to select when configuring their plans.

Setting conflict resolution roles in DocAve Archiver.
Setting conflict resolution roles in DocAve Archiver.

In addition to the extensions of native SharePoint records management functionalities, DocAve Archiver users can also export content to a third-party eDiscovery or information governance system to manage records. We pride ourselves on providing options, and in DocAve 6 SP 5, administrators have many ways to manage records in SharePoint.

Experience Records Management for SharePoint

Stay tuned for my next blog post where I will discuss how Archiver provides administrators with options on how to involve business users in grooming obsolete data from SharePoint.

For more information on DocAve Archiver, please visit our product page, request a demo, or download a free trial today.

Have a specific question about these new features? Leave a comment on this blog post or join us in our product discussion forums.

Daniel W.
Hi everyone, my name's Dan. I am in charge of AvePoint Perimeter, DocAve Archiver and DocAve eDiscovery. I'm also a lawyer, techie, and a rugby player.

1 COMMENT

  1. It sounds like you guys are making some progress with Records Management, I do have a couple questions though. Does utilizing your tool impact the functionality of the SharePoint discovery center? What method is utilized to calculate the retention for each document? Is there any move toward auto classification so that information is classified every time? Thanks.

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