Welcome!

Silverlight Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Greg O'Connor, Trevor Parsons, Sandi Mappic, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: .NET, XML, SOA & WOA, Silverlight, Open Web, SDN Journal

.NET: Article

SharePoint Gone Wild: When Governance Lacks Compliance

Part four of the SharePoint Gone Wild series

If you've missed any previous part of this blog series, you can read them here.

When people think of "compliance" from a Microsoft SharePoint perspective, it can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. Every organization will have different considerations for compliance: Essentially, which regulations they need to comply with according to their specific industry vertical, including HIPAA/HITECH, DOD 5015, Section 508 and WCAG 1.0 and 2.0.

There are two main drivers for compliance I see in organizations for SharePoint, due to the risk of non-compliance and subsequent legal and financial penalties:

  1. Records Management
  2. Legal e-Discovery

In my post last week on governance and discoverability, I focused on the typical stories I hear around people not being able to find content they need. Compliance takes this a step further, because legal teams and records managers require that the content be available for years to come.

Being in Manhattan, I work with a lot of large financial organizations and one of the most important requirements involves tracking "Regulated Users" activity in SharePoint. These users - based on the sensitivity of their work - are required by law to be tracked for all activity within SharePoint. At any point in time, a court of law can request the organization provide evidence of what content that user has accessed, created, or modified in SharePoint. In the industry this process is called the e-discovery process, and it is essential that the business expectations are set of:

  1. How you obtain information for the courts.
  2. What information you will be able to provide.
  3. An estimated time of delivery for the promised information.

The out-of-the-box auditing features in SharePoint 2010 have some key limitations in this space, specifically regarding the storage of this data over a prolonged period of time (most acts seem to be approximately seven years) as well as the ease of producing a report of an individual user's activity and attached content. The most common format followed by customers with whom I work is Concordance, which is supported by LexisNexis. But more importantly, from a content perspective, the attached content should be exactly what the user viewed, modified, or created at that point in time so versioning here is the key. This can prove hard for wiki pages that have dynamic web parts, and therefore will always render the real-time information rather than the point-in-time information (e.g. a weather web part or stock web part). Consequently, it is important to set the expectations with all involved with this issue as soon as possible.

The legal holds capability of SharePoint 2010 is also required when providing information to the courts concerning records. Although legal holds can be applied to individual documents, there is no easy way of setting legal holds on multiple documents based on reports generated on a user as part of the e-discovery process. The common issue I see with our customers is that business users often assume that this will "just work" and have experienced this streamlined approach in other records management systems. So records managers and those involved in the e-discovery process will have to be aware of this in order to set the proper expectations.

With the business requirement to maintain content to be discoverable for the e-discovery process, a suitable archiving policy needs to be put in place to manage the growth of content within SharePoint. It is important to understand which content is required to be maintained in SharePoint for compliance perspectives, and which content can be archived out of SharePoint to reduce storage consumption. Customers I speak to often struggle with how they plan for growth, especially when maintaining versions of documents. A customer spoke to me recently who said that they had one document with 90 versions which took up 8 gigabytes (GB) of storage space, essentially because SharePoint does not store differentials of files and each version is a complete file. Any "save" command in Word for instance, would mean a new version of the document. It is essential that the planning of the information architecture takes into account the configuration of Lists and Library version settings to be consistent across the environment - and not all these scenarios - unless it is necessary. The best approach to mitigate this is to store all Major versions, but only a set amount of Minor versions and train and encourage users to create Major versions when distributing to other users.

SharePoint is not always the only content repository within an organization, as we talked about in a previous blog post which homed in on appropriateness of content in SharePoint. To reiterate from a compliance perspective, in my experience I have seen customers' concerns around particular sensitive data being stored in SharePoint when it should be stored in other repositories. It is hard to enforce out of the box that users follow the guidelines on where content should go depending on the type of content it is.

From a usability perspective, SharePoint 2010 added many improvements by stating WCAG 2.0 AA compliance. In my experience at customer sites, although organizations are required to obtain Section 508 compliance, the business is not driving this as a priority over other issues mentioned above. In my opinion, I believe it will take a few public financial penalties set out by the courts around Section 508 to drive this requirement. To reach full compliance on Section 508, however, would take significant effort and expertise by modifying how SharePoint 2010 renders.

Edward Cedeno, Product Manager here at AvePoint, has also recently written a related post on Risk-Based Approach to FRCP Rule 26(f) Compliance with DocAve.

More Stories By Jeremy Thake

Jeremy Thake is AvePoint's Chief Architect. Jeremy’s 10-plus years of experience in the software development industry, along with his expertise in Microsoft technologies, earned him the label of “expert” in the global SharePoint community. He was named a Microsoft SharePoint MVP in 2009, and continues to work directly with enterprise customers and AvePoint’s research & development team to develop solutions that will set the standard for the next generation of collaboration platforms, including Microsoft SharePoint 2013.

Jeremy was one of only eight Microsoft MVPs from Australia, where he lived for seven years, who was recognized by the SharePoint Product Team in 2010 for his extensive contributions to the global SharePoint community. He also played an instrumental role in organizing the Perth SharePoint User Group during his time living there.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...