Friday, May 24, 2013

SharePoint Online eDiscovery

One of great new features of SharePoint 2013 is eDiscovery. eDiscovery is the process of discovering (locating) electronically stored information that is relevant to litigation, audits and investigations. With SharePoint Online (Plan 2) this comes already configured. For more information about eDiscovery in SharePoint 2013 start here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/fp161516.aspx

However, I’ll at least show you how to get started with SharePoint Online in this post.

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The first steps with eDiscovery in SharePoint Online are to create a seperate eDiscovery site collection. To do that, login to the Office 365 portal as an administrator and select SharePoint from the Admin menu in the top right as shown above.

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You should now see all the site collections you have configured for your tenant.

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In the top left select the New button and then private Site Collection from the menu that appears.

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Give the site a meaningful name (here eDiscovery) and URL (here eDiscover). and then select the Enterprise tab in the Template Selection area. In there you should find an option eDiscovery Center, select this.

Complete the remaining information for the site and press the OK button to create the site.

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After a few minutes the site will be created and you can browse to it. When you do you should see something like the above. To get started press the Create new case button on the right.

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You’ll now be prompted to create a new site. Thus, for each ‘eDiscovery case’ there will be a unique subsite below the eDiscovery home site.

Give the new case site a name and URL as shown above. The only site template option you have is eDiscovery.

Scroll down for more options.

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Complete the remaining options and press the Create button.

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You should now see the new case site as shown above.

The next step is to configure the eDiscovery Sets for this case (i.e. where to look for information).

Press the new item hyperlink underneath the eDiscovery Sets at the top of the screen.

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In the eDiscovery Set you need to give it a name and then select the Add & Manage Sources hyperlink next to Sources.

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Here you can select both Exchange mailboxes and SharePoint sites to search through.

Add the desired locations and press the OK button to save.

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Once you have defined the sources to search through you need to create a query for these locations, and you can have multiple queries if you want. To create a new query select the new item hyperlink just under the Queries heading on the case home page.

You can give the query a name and then enter in the terms you wish to search for as shown above. if you press the Search button on the right hand side you will see the results below, again as shown above.

So, that’s the basics of eDiscovery with SharePoint Online. Pretty powerful but yet easy to set up and configure. It is my firm belief that we’ll see more and more eDiscovery requests as we move into the future so having that built-in ability is fantastic benefit of SharePoint 2013 and a great opportunity to understand how to make it really perform.