Records management has evolved from centralized storage of all records into a single repository to leaving records in place throughout their entire lifecycle. Records would get locked in place when they were officially declared a record, but over time record managers came to realize that these documents may still have to forgo changes, while remaining a record.
In addition, legal holds have presented another problem. They were being locked in place, but like records, this wasn’t always working. Legal teams may not want users to know that records were being placed on legal hold, and like records, they were blocked from continuing their lifecycle while on hold.
Today Gimmal is releasing the ability to create preservation copies, rather than locking content in place, for both declared records and documents placed on legal hold. This first release is focused only on SharePoint Online, but this capability will soon be added to our other supported data sources.
Preservation copies are created by placing a copy of the content and its metadata into an Azure Storage account managed by your organization. Record Classes can have preservations enabled with the following options:
- New Versions – preserve all new versions of a document, as well as the current version.
- All Versions – preserve all previous versions and all new versions of a document.
Legal holds will automatically create a new preservation copy for every version of a document in created after it has been placed on legal hold.
This initial release of Preservation will focus on SharePoint Online, and the rules of preservation will be based on the SharePoint version settings configured for a Document Library in which documents reside. Major or major and minor versions will be retained as a preservation copy depending on the library’s configuration. Future releases will have different rules to work best with the given data source.
Preservation copies are retained within each customer’s Azure Blob Storage account and will persist indefinitely until the original record is officially disposed and/or the legal case is closed.
While the existing capability of locking a record in place when it is declared has been deprecated (SharePoint Online only), declared records can now be assigned a Microsoft 365 retention label to lock a declared record and prevent it from being deleted.
Record declaration and preservation are separate features and are not mutually exclusive. You can choose one or both depending on your records management needs.
If you are an existing customer using Gimmal Records and Microsoft 365, we recommend you contact your sales representative today and learn how to prepare your deployment for this new functionality.