Microsoft on Tuesday showed off a new feather in its cap for its SharePoint product as the backend server version of its Office collaboration and document management tool recently received U.S. Department of Defense 5015.2 certification.
The certification is endorsed by the National Archives and Records Administration as the benchmark for government and corporate organizations that manage records and documents. Other enterprise software products that fit the government's criteria include IBM's DB2 Records Manager v4.1.2; SAP's Public Sector Records Management v2.1; EMC's Records Activator v5.3-MS SharePoint Integration; Interwoven's RecordsManager v6.0; and CA's Records Manager v7.5, SR4 (formerly known as MDY FileSurf v7.5, SR4).
Microsoft said it would make add-on packs that will be available free to customers later this year that meets the DOD's 5015.2 criteria, integrate Exchange Server 2007, and extending SharePoint Server 2007's records management capabilities.
The 5015.2 certification has grown in importance as government regulations around information management and preservation have increased.
"While highly regulated industries such as financial services, utilities, and pharmaceuticals have always had records retention requirements, changes in government regulations, such as the U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, will have an impact on companies across the board as they realize the need to implement records management to address new electronic discovery requirements," said Kenneth Chin, research VP at Gartner
Office SharePoint Server 2007 has been a work-in-progress since its debut in 2001 as the SharePoint Portal Server. Developed on top of the Microsoft Exchange Server database, the document tool has shifted from an Office extension to a development platform where companies can personalize the collaboration software and document access rules.
The latest iteration of SharePoint Server includes functions that record routing, information management policy enforcement, and the ability to add records that are subject to litigation or investigations to a hold list.
Other abilities in SharePoint Server include document retrieval with integrated search and a document rights management tool that lets a corporation limit what documents users can take from SharePoint lists or libraries. The feature also limits the rights of the users who are allowed to read files so they cannot take actions such as printing copies of the files or copying text from them.