Principles of Retention Challenge | Scenario 3 Answer

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Scenario 3 “Official” Answer

Disclaimer: This is my answer, not endorsed by Microsoft, which is why I put quotes around “Official”. 🙂  To provide you confidence in my answers, I’ve tested this scenario end-to-end in a SharePoint Online site in the past month to validate all results.

SCENARIO:

A retention policy is configured to delete content 1 year past created date and is published to a SharePoint Online site.

A retention label is configured to delete content 6 months past created date. It is published to the same SharePoint Online site as above, and applied to 3 documents on the site.

If you haven’t had a chance to respond to the anonymous survey yet, why not fill it out now and check your answers against mine? Link to form: https://joannecklein.com/Scenario3

Please refer to my Principles of Retention in Microsoft 365 post for an explanation of how to use the Principles of Retention levels when determining the retention/deletion outcome for each piece of content.

Here are the principles for your reference:

Scenario Questions and Answers

Refer to this Microsoft documentation to support my answers: How retention works for SharePoint and OneDrive


Based on the scenario, what is the lifecycle of LABELED documents in the SharePoint site?

Answer: The 3 labeled documents will be automatically deleted 6 months after created date at which time they go into the first-stage recycle bin where they will follow normal recycle-bin processing.

You are NOT prevented from deleting a labeled document prior to the deletion period because the retention label only has a delete component. The retention label just ensures it is deleted after the period specified. If manually deleted earlier, the document will go directly into the first-stage recycle bin. There is no Preservation Hold library in this scenario because there is no retention component.

Explanation: In this scenario, there are 2 retention mechanisms (with delete only actions) in effect for labeled documents: the retention policy and the retention label. Using the Principles of Retention, we can immediately proceed beyond Levels 1 and 2 because neither of them have a retention component. At level 3, a retention label is always considered explicit so it “wins” over any retention policy.


Based on the scenario, what is the lifecycle of UNLABELED documents in the SharePoint site?

Answer: All unlabeled documents are automatically deleted 1 year past created date at which time they go into the first-stage recycle bin where they will follow normal recycle-bin processing.

You are NOT prevented from deleting an unlabeled document prior to the deletion period because the retention policy only has a delete component. The retention policy just ensures content will be deleted after the period specified. If manually deleted earlier, the document will go directly into the first-stage recycle bin. There is no Preservation Hold library in this scenario because there is no retention component.

Explanation: There is 1 retention mechanism in effect for unlabeled documents: the retention policy.


Based on the scenario, for LABELED documents on the SharePoint site, what principle “wins” in the Principles of Retention?

Answers from 5 anonymous respondents are below:

 

Answer: Level 3.

Explanation: Since both the retention policy and the retention label are in effect for labeled documents, we compare them against each other. They both only have deletion components in their configurations, so the comparison can proceed beyond LEVEL 1 and 2. At LEVEL 3, a retention label is always considered explicit so it “wins” at that level. Even though the retention policy was published to a specific SharePoint site, the retention label applied to the item will always take precedence over a delete action from ANY retention policy,


Based on the scenario, for UNLABELED documents on the SharePoint site, what principle “wins” in the Principles of Retention?

Answers from 5 anonymous respondents are below:

 

Answer: Level 3.

Explanation: The retention policy only has a deletion component to its configuration, so we immediately proceed beyond LEVELS 1 and 2 in the Principles. The “comparison” stops at LEVEL 3 because there’s a “winner” at the level. A retention policy published (i.e. scoped) to a specific SharePoint site is explicit; if it was published to ALL SharePoint sites, it would be implicit.

You could argue that “Not applicable” is also correct for this answer since technically there is no comparison required with only 1 retention mechanism in effect for unlabeled documents. Since that wasn’t an option… LEVEL 3 is the correct answer. 🙂


Thanks for joining in my anonymous challenge! Answer 4 post coming soon… 🙂

-JCK

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