Retention labels in Office 365

Keeping Order

Configuring Event Types

In the Employee left event type just created, you would have defined when a retention label needed to be applied. However, you have not yet seen any details of the underpinnings for this event. To configure the event, go to Records management | Events in OSCC. The table is empty so far, so click on Create . Enter a unique name in the dialog (e.g., Employee left ) and click Next . In the Event settings dialog, click Choose an event type and select Employee left .

After clicking Next , you can define to what exactly the event relates (Figure 2). You can find the documents or email you want to label with the search function by simply entering text that is stored in the Exchange full-text index in the field at the top. This text can contain properties and free text. In the lower field you can enter a search that is executed in SharePoint or OneDrive, and you can use all managed properties of SharePoint [6], as well as free text. Finally, you can specify the starting date that the conditions apply.

Figure 2: Events define when retention labels are to be applied. Among other things, the target element must be defined for this purpose – in this case, an email address in Exchange.

After clicking Next again, you create the event. In this example, after the retention labels are published, all email would be sent to . All documents created or modified by this employee would be labeled from February 16, 2020, and these items would be deleted automatically after 10 years; it will not be possible to delete them beforehand. Of course, you can use other values instead of the Author field, such as self-assigned document metadata.

Publishing Retention Labels

To activate a label and any associated events, you need to publish the label. When this happens, the system creates a labeling policy. Labels are independent, reusable modules that are contained in one or more labeling policies, the main purpose of which is to group a set of labels and specify the locations where they will be displayed. Priority must be given to one of them. For example, if a labeling policy contains a label for deletion and another for retention, the latter takes precedence. For information on further gradations, you will find an overview online [7].

To create a designation policy, go to Classifications | Retention labels | Label policies in OSCC and click on Publish label . Now first select the identifiers you want to publish with the policy. Click Add in the next dialog to display a list of all available identifiers, select one of them, and press Next ; then, proceed to specify the sites where you want to publish the policy (Figure 3). By default, this will be all sites, but you can also select individual sites, although some limits [8] exist.

Figure 3: Labeling policies can be applied generally or to selected areas by defining the location.

Give the new policy a name and description and complete the process. It is important to provide a description because it helps the user make choices when applying a policy. The name of the new policy cannot be changed after saving. A new labeling policy will not take effect immediately: New or changed retention labels are published in SharePoint and OneDrive within one day, in Exchange online, this can take up to seven days.

Applying Labels

For labels to work, the user has to apply a labeling policy to an element, which can be done in SharePoint, OneDrive, or Outlook. Once a labeling policy has been successfully published and synchronized in SharePoint or OneDrive, each item is assigned the new Apply retention label property, which has a drop-down from which the user selects the policies.

In Outlook, you can use the context menu of a folder or an email message to open the Assign Policies item. This item is also available in the Message ribbon when composing an email. Please note that it also contains further Exchange-specific policies.

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