Hands-on with Windows Server 2008 R2: The Windows File Classification Infrastructure

Missing from Windows until now, file classification lets a business manage data based on its value and sensitivity

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1. In the left pane, expand Classification Management and then click on the Classification Properties node.

2. In the right pane, click on Create Property.

3. Give the property a name and a friendly description, and then in the Property Type drop-down box, choose Yes/No. Then, click OK.

Now, we can create the rule by which items will be classified.

1. In the left pane, expand Classification Management and then click on the Classification Rules node.

2. In the right pane, click on Create a New Rule.

3. On the Rule Settings tab, begin filling out the form. First, give the rule a name -- for this example, we'll use "HR Information" -- and then enter a brief description of the rule, just for reference.

Windows FCI classification rules

The second step in using FCI is to create the rules by which items will be classified.

Click to view larger image

4. In the scope section, select the folder or volume to which this classification rule will apply. You can add an entire disk, select multiple folders or just give the name of a specific location.

5. Now, click over to the Classification tab. Select Folder Classifier under the Classification mechanism section, then choose the property we just created in the Property name field, and then select Yes in the Property value field. Then, click OK.

Now you have set up the rule. You can then click Run Classification with All Rules Now in the right pane and the system will go to work looking for matching criteria. It will then open Internet Explorer and give you an HTML report of what files matched the criteria, where they are located, who owns them, what the date of last modification is and so on.

This was a simple example of how to get your feet wet with the feature. You can create classification properties that go far beyond a simple yes/no, however, including:

  • Date-time
  • Number
  • Ordered list
  • String
  • Multi-choice
  • Multi-string

Once the classification engine is finished running, you can set up file management tasks to actually do something with the classifications, including expire files and so on.

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