When working with event-based retention, the environment lacks a standard method to start the retention schedule, such as the modified date of the document. An event can take many forms within the lifecycle of a document, such as:

  • Fiscal year-end
  • Calendar year-end
  • Document supersedence
  • Contract expiry

Due to this, it is not possible to begin the retention using an internal, default trigger, so an administrator or process must initiate an event to start the countdown.  In this post, we’ll cover the steps to do that.

Before initiating the event, you must determine how you will identify the content to be included in the event initiation.  As discussed in previous posts  you do NOT want to initiate an event without applying a refinement search on the content.  If you fail to do this, all content that falls under the event type (and thus all of the associated retention labels) you are initiating the event for will fire.  This could result in content that is not ready for the retention process to start to begin the scheduled countdown. Some form of refinement search must be included when initiating the event.

Determine the Search String

Hopefully, when you created the content types for your data, you followed the steps to set up a  SharePoint Search Managed Property.  If not, ensure you have some identifying metadata mapped to a managed property in the search schema.  In the following example, I am closing off a completed project.  As part of this, any document linked to the project should begin the retention period as configured by the label attached to the document.  All Projects have a value in the ProjectID field, and this will be used to identify the project in question.  The organization has several project-related documents (with different retention schedules), all under a single event type.   The ProjectID field is mapped to RefinableString30.  To be able to find the correct documents, the event will include a search query built using the Keyword Query Language (KQL).  This means you can use content search to test your query before initiating the event.

In the following screenshot, you can see a view of my project folder.  We are going to be closing off Proj789, making the query I will be using RefinableString30:”Proj789″

Initiate an Event - Document Library

Initiate An Event

Once the search string is determined, you can initiate an event.

  1. Access Microsoft Purview (https://compliance.microsoft.com)
  2. Click on Records Management
  3. Select the Events Tab
  4. Click “+ Create”

    Initiate an Event - Create an Event

  5. Provide the event with a unique, meaningful name and description (optional).  Click Next.

Initiate an Event - Name the Event

  1. Select the option “Use event type” and then click on “Choose an event type” (note: alternatively, you can select the labels directly, but it is often quicker to select the event type, which includes all of the required labels).

Initiate an Event - Select Event Type Mode

  1. Select the appropriate event type (Project Lifecycle in this example)

Initiate an Event - Select the Event Type

  1. Click Add and then Next
  2. Enter the appropriate search string (“Proj789”) to the “Keywords for items in Exchange” box.
  3. As indicated above, the box “Asset IDs for items in SharePoint and OneDrive” must be filled in.  Here is where the search string is entered.
  4. Select the date of the event (when the project was closed in this case)
  5. Click Next

Initiate an Event - Event Properties

  1. Review the configuration and click Submit
  2. A message will be displayed when the event has been created

Initiate an Event - Event Created

  1. Click Done and then select the event from the list
  2. The event details will be displayed, including the number of items found.  It can take up to a week for all items to be found by the event.

Once the event has been created, you can check back periodically to see if the number of documents and emails has been found.  As the number increments, the discovered files will begin the countdown to disposition.

Initiate an Event - Event Results

Thanks for reading!