Principles of Retention Challenge | Scenario 4 Answer

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Scenario 4 “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 and Exchange Online mailbox in the past month to validate all results.

SCENARIO:

A retention policy is configured to retain content for 1 year past created date and then automatically delete and is published to a SharePoint Online site and an Exchange mailbox.

A retention label is configured to delete content 6 months past created date. It is published to the same SharePoint Online site and mailbox as above, and applied to 3 documents on the site and to 2 emails in the mailbox.

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/Scenario4

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:


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

Answer: The retention label has only a delete component; it does not have a retain component. The 3 labeled documents will be retained for 1 year past the created date and then automatically deleted at which time they go into the first-stage recycle bin to follow normal recycle-bin processing.

You are NOT prevented from deleting the labeled documents prior to the end of the retention period; however, if you do, the documents will be retained in the (hidden) Preservation Hold library on the site for the duration of the retention policy period… 1 year past created date. It will also go into the first-stage recycle bin at the time it’s deleted.

Explanation: In this scenario, there are 2 retention mechanisms in effect for labeled documents: the retention policy and the retention label. Using the Principles of Retention, we can stop at level 1 because the retention policy is retaining, while the retention label is only deleting. The retention policy “wins”.


Based on the scenario, what is the lifecycle of LABELED emails in the mailbox?

Answer: The labeled emails will automatically go into the Recoverable Items partition after the deletion/expiration period of 6 months. After 1 year, the labeled emails will be permanently deleted by the Mailbox Folder Assistant  back-end process (runs every 14 days by default).

The behavior for Exchange is different from SharePoint in this way. Although both locations retain the content for the same retention period, a labeled email in Exchange will automatically move to the Deletions folder after the deletion/expiration period. If an end-user were to delete the email from the Deletions folder, it would be moved to the (hidden) Purges folder in the mailbox. Only once the retention period, 1 year, is reached will the email be permanently deleted. Currently, a labeled document in SharePoint will not move to the PHL after the deletion/expiration period.

Explanation: In this scenario, there are 2 retention mechanisms in effect for labeled emails: the retention policy and the retention label. Using the Principles of Retention, we can stop at level 1 because the retention policy is retaining, while the retention label is only deleting. The retention policy “wins” and labeled emails are retained for 1 year.


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

Answers from 4 anonymous respondents are below:

 

 

Answer: Level 1.

Explanation: Since both the retention policy and the retention label are in effect for labeled documents and emails, we compare the settings of each against each other. Only the retention policy has a retention component so it wins at LEVEL 1 – “Retention wins over Deletion”.


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

Answer: The same as labeled documents on the site – no difference. If any document is deleted prior to 1 year, it will go into the (hidden) Preservation Hold library as well as the first-stage recycle bin.

At the end of the retention policy’s retention period, 1 year, this will happen:

  • all documents in the library go into the first stage recycle bin and follow normal recycle bin processing
  • items in the Preservation Hold Library will go directly into the second-stage recycle bin and follow normal recycle bin processing

Explanation: Because the retention policy “wins” in the Principles of Retention, it determines the outcome for all content on the site and everything is retained for 1 year past created date.


Based on the scenario, what is the lifecycle of UNLABELED emails in the mailbox?

Answer: The unlabeled emails, not modified or deleted during the retention period, will be automatically deleted at the end of the retention period by the Mailbox Folder Assistant  back-end process (runs every 14 days by default).

If an unlabeled email under a retention policy is modified or permanently deleted by the end-user during the retention period, the item is moved (or copied in the case of an edit) to the Recoverable Items folder in the mailbox (DiscoveryHolds folder). The Mailbox Folder Assistant runs every 14 days to permanently delete them.

Explanation: In this scenario, there is only 1 retention mechanism in effect for unlabeled emails: the retention policy. Using the Principles of Retention, we can stop at LEVEL 1 – “Retention wins over Deletion”.


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

Answers from 4 anonymous respondents are below:

 

 

Answer: Level 1.

Explanation: The retention policy is the only retention mechanism in effect, so we do not have to proceed beyond LEVEL 1 in the Principles. Although all answers were for LEVEL 2, we don’t get that far in the principles since there is a clear winner at LEVEL 1.

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 and emails. Since that wasn’t an option… LEVEL 1 is the correct answer. 🙂


Thanks for joining in my anonymous challenge! Answer 5 post coming soon… 🙂

-JCK

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