The team are pleased to announce the general availability of Version 8.2 of the HPRM Governance and Compliance SharePoint app.
We’ve managed to include a whole host of new features, along with performance/usability enhancements, and bug-fixes into this release. This post will give you an overview of all that is new in version 8.2.
In summary 8.2 includes the following:
- Rules based management
- Federated searches of HPRM using SharePoint search
- Exposure of existing HPRM records into SharePoint
- Lifetime management enhancements
- Management details page overhaul
- Integration with the HPRM web client
- Performance improvements
- Hardware sizing guidance
As well as this blog post, we have also made a short video summarizing and demonstrating the changes.
Rules based management
Up until now, records management options (RMOs) provided configuration options to determine where content goes in HPRM. RMOs can be used to capture SharePoint content into HPRM containers, based on site and list settings. Whilst this addresses a large number of compliance scenarios, we felt it wasn’t flexible enough in those scenarios where more granular control was needed.
In simple terms, all items from a specific list, or all items from a specific list, could be assigned to a classification or container:
Management rules are a much more powerful way of explicitly controlling how content is managed.
They can be summarized as the ability to define a set of conditions to identify particular types of records, and when satisfied, use a set of instructions that describe how to create the item in HPRM.
They can be used to set the value of any editable record property. These values can actually be based on the value of a column in the item being managed or on the property of a site or list.
You can even define a set of rules that can determine the value to set for the property based on a search of HPRM or on a set of conditions.
For example, you could specify that when title contains 'annual', content type equals policy and site title contains finance, assign the record to the 'Annual Reports' container, with the Finance-->Reports-->Public classification.
Management rules can also be used to dynamically create new containers as they are required. Containers can be named by utilizing values from SharePoint (e.g. Site, List Titles, item column values).
In simple terms a management rule looks like this:
Rules are made up of three components:
- Management Rules (MR)
- Management Instructions (MI)
- Management Selectors (MS)
All components are defined in central galleries, and once published can be consumed across all site collections and sites. Rules use a flexible and capable priority system to ensure complete coverage for complex business needs. These three management components are interlinked.
Management Instructions can be used to set any number of HPRM values at the point of capture. For example:
- Record Type
- Retention Schedule
- Security Level
Let’s look at a specific scenario. You have an ‘ABC Project Site’, and within that site a document library that contains all the documents for the project. But the documents include financial information, correspondence, project documents, planning information, and trivial content. You don’t want to put all the records in a single container, but instead want to group them together by their document type, for retention purposes.
Management rules can be defined to identify the content in the library, this could be based on content type, a piece of metadata, or even just information in the title.
Once identified, documents can be correctly routed to existing containers using search parameters. Instructions can even be used to create new containers based on the project name and document type.
Once created, these rules can be re-used across multiple projects, ensuring a consistent governance approach.
Management details page
Hand-in-hand with the new management rules, is the management details page. This page has had a complete overhaul in this release:
This page can be accessed from any list item, and is an ideal mechanism to ‘test’ the impact of published management rules, before actually managing any content.
The topmost section shows whether or not the item is already managed by HPRM, and if not, will show how it will be managed once captured. This includes display of any HPRM properties that will be set, with a link to the management rule, or configuration that is responsible for that value being set. Rules and configuration pages are hyper-linked, allowing rapid assessment and tuning of configuration prior to any content being captured.
The bottom section shows any lifetime management policies that are in effect on this item, again with direct links to the policies themselves.
This additional detail is now also shown when you manually manage an item, as a last minute check before committing.
In addition, for managed items, the management details page now includes the ability to directly view and edit record relationships and contacts:
Whilst earlier versions had a level of SharePoint search integration, the change to SharePoint 2013 and the app model required a significant change to the architecture.
Using SharePoint supported federated search capabilities, staff can now perform searches in SharePoint that not only bring back results from SharePoint but also from HPRM.
This federated searching leverages the built-in capabilities of SharePoint search to search across multiple sources.
This allows finding not only content that has been relocated or archived to HPRM, but also content that exists in HPRM that comes from other sources.
Results can be integrated into SharePoint results using a result block. For example, searching for ‘project’ might return results like these:
The topmost section is showing results from HPRM, the bottom is showing results from SharePoint.
We provide two display templates, a summary and detail. The detail template looks something like this, the search center can be configured to show this when you click on the 'SHOW MORE’ link.
It is also possible to configure which HPRM fields get returned in this view, via Search Options, accessed from the app start page. This page also allows you to define the search template that is determines what is searched during a simple keyword search of HPRM.
And finally, the search integration supports SharePoint advanced searching, so that you can perform AND/OR searching using HPRM fields and values.
Again, exposure was available in earlier versions of the SharePoint integration, but the change to SharePoint 2013, and consequently, the app model, forced us to rewrite and revisit this capability.
We have of course taken the opportunity to streamline and improve on exposure functionality!
Exposure is a feature that allows surfacing existing records into SharePoint as a SharePoint list item. This means that once surfaced, the item is accessible through SharePoint. In version 8.2, the exposed list item is read only.
Exposure is now configured purely as an HPRM search string. This provides the greatest flexibility in terms of choosing which records will be surfaced into a given list. If you can perform a specific search, however complex, in HPRM, then you can use this same criteria to filter exposed records.
Exposed content is updated dynamically, if new records are added in HPRM that meet the search criteria, they will be automatically surfaced into the SharePoint list. In common with previous releases, you can choose to expose the original record, or a specific rendition.
Here is an example of the new Exposure Options page, accessed from the list ribbon:
Lifetime management enhancements
We have added a new ‘delete’ action to lifetime management policies. This allows you to define rules to clean up trivial content from SharePoint. When defined conditions are met, the content will be deleted instead of being managed.
Web client integration
If using the HPRM Web Client, it can now be configured to work with the app. Once configured, record number links will appear in both management details, and search results. Clicking on these links will open the specific record details directly in the web client.
We have included a number of performance enhancements in 8.2. These are in three main areas:
- Better performance of the job queue with large numbers of jobs
- We’ve optimized the queue in a number of ways, such that it scales to much larger deployments and longer queue lengths
- Whilst it’s possible to tune the queue based on the capabilities of your HPRM servers, we can’t always control or configure the SharePoint server end of the equation, particularly when it comes to Office 365. The queue now self-throttles if it detects that SharePoint is not coping with the volume of requests. The number of concurrent jobs will be reduced until an acceptable level is reached.
- Guidance to reduce impact of SharePoint throttling
- We’ve included documentation to explain the throttling behavior and the impact of job queue configuration options
Hardware sizing guidance
The installation guide now includes an entire section on suggested hardware sizing – ‘Performance Planning’. This is a result of us working with a number of larger enterprise customers, and helping them to understand how to size for initial ingestion of legacy content, and sizing for ongoing records capture once the initial capture phase is complete.
Guidance is given for the three main phases of managing content:
- Backlog phase
- Ongoing phase
- Crossover phase
This section will allow you to determine the number of HPRM servers that will be required for your implementation.
Upgrading from older versions
Full details are provided in the installation guide.
If you are upgrading from 8.1+ the process is straightforward.
If you are upgrading from older versions running against SharePoint 2010, then there is no direct upgrade path, you need to uninstall the old SharePoint 2010 solution, upgrade to SharePoint 2013, and then install the new app-based integration. Clearly this involves much more thinking, we provide additional information and scripts in Chapter 6 of the installation guide.
New supported environments
Version 8.2 adds support for the following platforms:
- SQL Server 2014
So that's it for Version 8.2. As you can see, we've packed a lot in to this release! We hope you can make good use of all these new features.