Thursday, 29 November 2012

SharePoint 2013: eDiscovery

Another new feature in SharePoint 2013 that impressed me at SPC12 was the introduction of the eDiscovery centre. Microsoft seem to have heeded our calls and made great progress on regulation and governance functions within SharePoint 2013.

For those that haven't come across the term eDiscovery, or have heard it mentioned before but are unsure of what exactly it is, here's my very high level explanation:

eDiscovery refers to information or content searched for and packaged in a litigation. So for example company A is taken to court by company B and needs to gather all information / discussions / emails referring to the business deal that has gone wrong to present it in court. The process of searching for and packaging the content is eDiscovery. (in a nutshell!)

This is a feature sorely lacking in previous versions of SharePoint - however we have gotten around it historically by building custom solutions involving search etc. to get by and satisfy the legal fraternities.

eDiscovery allows for the creation of cases and within these cases to create custom queries and holds to ensure we gather all the content we need. The really impressive bit is that in SP2013 the sources of these searches can include Lync conversations, eMails, documents and other general Share|Point content as well.

To start off we create a eDiscovery center (much like we would a records or document centre).

From this point we can create cases, in this case I've followed Microsoft's suit and created a case for Contoso Ltd.
Once in the case we can create custom queries or holds, in the example below I have a custom query that I have created that uses a custom search query for a number of terms and the content sources include email, contacts, meetings, tasks, notes, documents and Lync between a specified date range:


Once these queries and searches and holds have been run and you have gathered all the content required, you will need to present the findings to your legal team / lawyers, and (as is often the case) your lawyers are external to your organisation and need to present the content in the form of a DVD, what Microsoft have provided you with is the option to now export all case content to a standard folder structure which can then be burnt to a DVD / or dumped onto an external hard drive and presented to the legal team;

There's more to the eDiscovery features, you can create in place holds so that even if staff change or delete items these mails/conversations/documents/etc are kept in tact and on record for presentation.

In short, well done Microsoft!

No comments:

Post a Comment