Principles of Retention Challenge | Scenario 5 Answer

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Scenario 5 “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(s) 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 and an EXO mailbox.

A retention label is configured to retain content for 2 years past created date and then delete. It is published to the same SharePoint Online site and EXO mailbox as above, and applied to 3 documents on the site and 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/Scenario5

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 both a retain and a delete component while the retention policy published to the site only has a delete component. The 3 labeled documents will be retained for 2 years 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.

As of the time of this writing (August 2021), you are prevented from deleting these labeled documents prior to the end of the retention period.

At the end of the retention label’s retention period, 2 years, this will happen:

  • all labeled documents in the library go into the first stage recycle bin and follow normal recycle bin processing

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 label is retaining, while the retention policy is only deleting. The retention label “wins” and labeled documents are retained for 2 years.


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

Answer: The labeled emails will automatically go into the Deletions folder in the Recoverable Items partition after the retention period of 2 years. They will be permanently deleted by the Mailbox Folder Assistant back-end process (runs every 14 days by default).

If an end-user were to delete the labeled email from their inbox prior to 2 years, they would not be prevented from doing so and it would be moved to the Deletions folder in their mailbox. Only once the retention period, 2 years, is reached will the email be permanently deleted from this folder by the Mailbox Folder Assistant back-end process.

If an end-user were to delete the email from the Deletions folder, it would be moved to the (hidden) Purges folder in their mailbox. Only once the retention period, 2 years, is reached will the email be permanently deleted from this folder by the Mailbox Folder Assistant back-end process.

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 only deleting, while the retention label is retaining and deleting. The retention label “wins” and labeled emails are retained for 2 years.


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

Answers from 2 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 label 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: Unlabeled documents will be automatically deleted 1 year past the created date. They will go into the first-stage recycle bin and follow normal recycle bin processing. They will NOT go into the (hidden) Preservation Hold library because there is no retention component in effect for them, only deletion. An end-user can delete an unlabeled document earlier than 1 year past the created date because there is no retention component in effect.

Explanation: Because the retention policy “wins” in the Principles of Retention for unlabeled documents, it determines the outcome for all content on the site and everything is automatically deleted 1 year past created date. There is no retention component in effect, only deletion. Since the retention policy was explicitly published to this SharePoint site, then Principles of Retention Level 3 wins for unlabeled documents.


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

Answer: The unlabeled emails will be automatically deleted at the end of the retention period, 1 year, by the Mailbox Folder Assistant back-end process (runs every 14 days by default).

An end-user can delete an unlabeled email prior to 1 year since there is no retention component in effect; only deletion. It will go into the Deleted Items folder and the Mailbox Folder Assistant back-end process will permanently delete it (runs every 14 days by default).

Explanation: In this scenario, there is only 1 retention mechanism in effect for unlabeled emails: the retention policy. Since the retention policy is only deleting and NOT retaining and… because the retention policy was explicitly published to this mailbox, then we stop at LEVEL 3 of the Principles of Retention – “Explicit wins over Implicit”.


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

Answers from 2 anonymous respondents are below:

 

Answer: Level 3.

Explanation: The retention policy is the only retention mechanism in effect (it only has a delete component), and the policy has been explicitly published to this SharePoint site/Exchange mailbox, so we must proceed to LEVEL 3 in the Principles.

If the retention policy was published to ALL sites and mailboxes in the tenant, it would be considered implicit and Principles of Retention LEVEL 4 would win.

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.


Thanks for joining in my anonymous challenge! Answer 6 post coming soon… 🙂

-JCK

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