SharePoint sites will have large amount of data in documents, Social data, web pages and email messages. We may have some legal risks with keeping the data and searching the data. In that scenario we can search and export it into usable format. In SharePoint, eDiscovery capabilities will help to achieve the requirement. eDiscovery requires searching for documents, sites, pages, emails from all the email servers, file servers and collect the data as per the format of legal case. We can simply define the eDiscovery as “the process of finding, preserving, analyzing and producing the content in electronic format as required format of investigators.”
Microsoft people introduced the Hold and eDiscovery feature in SharePoint 2010. In SharePoint 2013 added few capabilities to reduce the cost and complexity of the discovery. Following are the new features introduced in SharePoint 2013,
- eDiscovery center: it’s SharePoint site used to manage preservation, search and export the content stored in Exchange and SharePoint in SharePoint farms and Exchange servers
- SharePoint In-Place hold: SharePoint In-Place hold will keep all SharePoint sites. It protects all the pages, documents, list items in the site and allows users to edit and delete the content.
- Exchange In-Place hold: like SharePoint In-Place hold, Exchange In-Place hold will keep exchange mail boxes. It protects all the mail box content as same UI and API uses for SharePoint In-Place hold.
- Query Based Preservation: it allows users to apply query filters to exchange mail boxes and SharePoint sites.
We have eDiscovery site collection in SharePoint 2013, contains identification, preservation, processing and analysis. eDiscovery center is also available in Office 365 site and can be connected to exchange. So that we can conduct the eDiscovery in SharePoint site and Exchange, Lync. In eDiscovery site collection we can create case sites that used for manage in-place holds and queries.
eDiscovery will use Search Service Application to crawl SharePoint farm. We will create a central search service farm that crawl all the data from all the SharePoint farms. We can use central level search service or specific region service. To crawl the SharePoint farm, search first uses the service application proxy. eDiscovery center uses the proxy to connect and send the preservation to SharePoint sites in SharePoint farms. We should have search service infrastructure to configure the eDiscovery feature.
Using In-Place Hold: as explained earlier we can In-Place hold to manage the data in SharePoint and exchange. Content will spread across different locations like email servers, files, CMS. In previous SharePoint versions we have a challenge for e-discovery because of many types of content like pages, lists. So it is difficult to export offline data. In SharePoint 2013 it is easy to maintain with eDiscovery sets. eDiscovery sets will identify exchange mail boxes and SharePoint sites and group them together, applies the filter to them.
Querying: We can identify the data by using querying in the eDiscovery process. eDiscovery query page will help us to identify and reduce the data by using keyword syntax, property restriction and refinements. We can preview exchange and SharePoint content to identify the results.
Data Export: The main thing in eDiscovery system is to export the data (SharePoint farm and Exchange server data). We can export the data after finalizing the query by selecting the options. We can download the search results to the machine. By using export option we can remove the duplicate Exchange content and document versions.