Adaptive Policy Scopes – M365 Retention

Kunal Kankariya


If you follow the latest announcements from the Microsoft Information Governance product team, then you must have already heard about a new feature in the Microsoft Information governance and retention management solutions space. Its called the Adaptive Policy Scopes.

We have been a part of the preview program and have been testing this amazing feature. Adaptive policy scopes allow you to automate, scoping of the locations of your label policies and retention policies based on certain criteria.

For example, one of the ways we have already started using it is to publish a specific retention label via an adaptive retention label policy to all sites that are of the type “Project”. Now, how would one go about tagging sites with this metadata? We were already using site property bags (indexed) for this purpose. We need to map these property bag attributes to RefinableStrings so that search is able to pick them up.

Earlier, each time a site was provisioned we would have to write custom scripts to add such sites to the retention label pol icy already in place for such sites.

With adaptive scopes, we no longer have to do that. We could just base our policy on a “SharePoint Site” adaptive scope and define the query such that any site with a custom property bag key “WorkSpace Type” that has the value “Project” would automatically get included in this policy.

This is just one example of how you could use adaptive scopes. Adaptive scopes can be used at various levels – SharePoint Sites, Users and even Microsoft 365 Groups. In essence, scopes allow you to specify target locations dynamically by using certain properties or attributes associated with that scope. Once you have defined your scopes, you can use them in both, Retention Label Policies and Retention Policies. Do take a look at the screengrabs below to understand what your policy configuration would look like for the example described above.

Another example – Lets say we want to target a retention policy on all Teams that start with the name “External”, we would create an adaptive scope of type “Microsoft 365 Group” and use the “Display Name” property in the query such that its able to identify these teams and then create an adaptive retention policy to include all such teams.

The table below, lists the details of the kind of scopes you can create, the locations that you can target with those scopes and also the properties or attributes that you can use to refine or filter the locations that are a part of the scope.

Another advantage of using scopes would be to overcome policy limits that only allow limited number of sites / locations to be targeted per policy. With adaptive scopes, these limits are no longer an issue as the inclusion of locations is dynamic.

One can also view the exact targets of the scope by viewing the scope details after the scope has been created. This would then bring up all the locations which fall under the ambit of that scope.

The licensing model for most of the solutions under Information Governance and Protection follow a pattern where anything that can be done manually is available with the M365 E3 license whereas any sort of automation would require either the add-on licenses or the E5 license. Adaptive scopes follow this pattern and would require an E5 license.

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