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A few months ago we outlined the ways that new features of SharePoint 2010 help evolve document management processes. This week, we’re showing you how SharePoint 2010 enhances eDiscovery.

SharePoint 2010 Three New eDiscovery Features

Recently, Quentin Christensen, a program manager at Microsoft commented on Microsoft’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Team Blog about how eDiscovery capabilities have been greatly expanded to provide more functionality.

SharePoint 2010 primarily addresses the left side of the EDRM model, that is, it manages information, identifies, preserves and collects data relevant to a search. Its proactive approach provides a governance framework necessary for applying policies so that content can be managed and deleted when it is no longer needed.

SharePoint’s three major eDiscovery improvements include processes that further the platform’s goals of reducing costs and improving legal compliance.

1. Managing and Adding Holds

Hold and eDiscovery is a site level feature that can be activated on any site. Users can activate this feature to create new categories in Site Settings that provides links to Holds and Hold Reports lists. Once created, users can also create holds, and search content, adding to hold any content in the site collection.


Figure 1. Users can manually locate content in SharePoint and add it to a hold, or can search for content and add the search results to a hold. With the Hold and eDiscovery feature you can create holds in the hold list and then manually add content to the relevant hold by clicking on Compliance Details from the drop down menu for individual items.

Only Site Collection administrators have access to the Hold and eDiscovery pages, but access can also be given to other users by adding them to the permissions list for the Holds and Hold Reports lists.

2. Search and Process Results

Features on the Discover and Hold Content page allow users to search for content they don’t know about. From this page users can specify a search query and then preview the results. Users have the option to keep items on hold in place so they cannot be edited or deleted.


Figure 2. Users can search content using keyword syntax.

When searching and processing, defaults ensure that search will be scoped to the entire Site Collection and run with elevated permissions so all content can be discovered. The search can be scoped to specific sites and so users can preview search results before adding the results to a hold. Items can be placed on multiple holds and compliance details will show all of the holds that are applied to an item.

3. Auto-Copy Search Results

The Content Organizer is a new SharePoint Server 2010 feature based on the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Document Router that provides more in-depth functionality so content can be automatically classified based on Content Type or metadata properties.

By configuring a Content Organizer Send, information can be automatically sent to a location in Central Administration so that it can be copied to another site and placed on hold.

Impact on eDiscovery

These three new SharePoint Server 2010 capabilities help users apply appropriately tailored retention policies for all content, making it easier to discover content if an eDiscovery event occurs. We’ve learned time and again that being proactive in eDiscovery processes gives companies advantage over employing reactive processes. With SharePoint 2010, users can find the right content and deliver it faster, saving time and money.