Policy Service from Autonomy Beginner’s Guide

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 | Autonomy | Scott Randall

Law firms must apply the same document retention policies to paper and electronic documents. That’s why many firms implement Policy Service from Autonomy. If you’re starting to use Policy Service, this post is for you.

The Technical Setup

We work with the great Autonomy products Worksite and Records Manager. Worksite helps law firms manage electronic documents, while Records Manager does the same for paper documents.

Autonomy customers need to apply consistent retention policies to both electronic and paper documents, so Autonomy developed the Policy Service server within Records Manager to help its customers do just that.

The Policy Service server extends the Records Manager retention schedule to documents in Worksite. In other words, you apply the retention schedule that you create for paper documents to the system that handles electronic documents.

The Client Scenario

One of our clients installed and integrated Policy Service. Our client uses Elite Enterprise for accounting.  Elite Enterprise populates records in Worksite with client matter information.

When a matter is closed in Elite Enterprise, a records disposition process kicks in. The process sets records to a status of “inactive” and keeps records at that status for seven years before they’re eligible for destruction.

Note: in this scenario, “disposing” of records doesn’t mean you actually destroy them. You simply change their disposition status. Keep this in mind as you read on.

The Learning Experience

In late July, we tested Policy Service retention schedules on a test data set, changing the status of a matter’s records in Elite Enterprise from active to inactive.  Policy Service promptly destroyed all the matter’s electronic content in Worksite.  No, that wasn’t supposed to happen, but since it happened on a test data set, we could (nervously) laugh it off.

What We Learned

The default value for the Records Manager event type causes destruction of electronic records when that event is applied to Worksite.

In specific technology terms, the DESTRUCTION_CODE Event Types (found in the Library Manager for Records Manager) is set to zero. If you apply this event to documents in Worksite, DESTRUCTION_CODE must be set to NULL to prevent the premature and involuntary destruction of documents in Worksite. (Thanks to Autonomy for helping us figure this out.)

How We Fixed the Problem

We had to change a bunch of zeros to null values using Library Manager.

Our Advice

Before you start disposing of records using Policy Service, review your event type definitions in Library Manager (in Records Manager) and make sure all DESTRUCTION_CODE event values are NULL, not zero.

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