Going through the Retention Policy Services class at Momentum 2012 in Vienna, I could not keep from thinking of a new interface. Why? I’ve seen so much of D2 and xCP during the past days that the new user interfaces and the new way of solution building, have become to norm for me. Although brand new, this is what customers expected for a long time.

Going through the class I realized that such is not an easy thing. It’s all integrated into Webtop. Not being a records manager, I can be wrong, but it seems as if there is a mismatch between how the tool is designed and the way records management is organized. It seems tool driven rather than process driven. Just for the sake of this blog, let’s assume that my feeling is spot on.

The question is: how would one recreate this? Using D2? Using xCP? Using both?

The easy answer is: it depends. It depends on goals, objectives, budget, time, resources… Foremost it depends on the business requirements and use cases.

Recreating the RPS interface should be driven from the requirements that tell us what the user needs to have in order to do his work. One of the constraints however will be that recreating a user interface should not lead to large changes to the back-end. Only then we will be successful given the time and money spent by the companies to implement a records management solution and in some cases have that validated.

Won’t we do that, we would end up with a clone of the current interface in D2. Possible, but in my opinion a missed opportunity.

Strangely (is it?) enough I believe the answer should be 2 separate solutions. One for the average user and one for the records manager.

The one for the average user is needed because he works with documents and needs to apply a policy every now and then or promote a document to a record. Yet, I hope most of this is done automatically. In those cases that human intervention is needed, the functionality will be available through D2 solutions that exists for that average user. Not an RPS solution.

The other one is needed for the records manager. Records Management is a structured process with unstructured data. Such processes are to be implemented through xCP.

The question that is addressed above is a typical question for all current user interfaces/solutions that rely on Webtop. What will be the replacement? Something in D2? Something in xCP? Something in both? There is no single answer. Each case must be validated on its own. And unlike the above, factors like time, resources and money may do influence that choice. I strongly advice however, to make the choice first without looking into these 3 spoilers. Make sure that you take the conscious decision to cut corners for time, resource of money sake.