Introducing Federated Information and Records Management

By modernizing their content management to enable stronger search, insight, and governance via Federated Information and Records Management (FIRM) techniques, IT leaders can optimize user productivity and collaboration while maintaining compliance with their organizational obligations.

Federated architecture has been around as a concept for a while and is a pattern in enterprise architecture that allows interoperability between de-centrally organized and managed IT systems and applications.

A classic example of Federated architecture is the federated identity approach wherein a single user can use the same credentials to access multiple disparate and independent applications, enabling single sign-on and a single point of management for user credentials.

Some benefits of federated architecture include:

  • Lifecycle independence Each team managing a federated application can define their own lifecycle concept, roadmap, release and sunset plan, independent of other applications and products in the overall architecture.
  • Operational independence Each team, having the know-how and operational control over their own applications, can fix and operate them without relying on others knowledge or willingness to support them.
  • Platform independence means that each team can maintain a mixed system and application platform environment that represent the best solution to the problem at hand.


In a similar way, Federated Information and Records Management (FIRM) techniques allow the application of a single policy and operational management plane while providing the ability to leave content in-place in the source systems.

These source systems could include cloud-based content systems such as OneDrive and Office 365 and on-premises solutions such as SharePoint or internal file shares.

Each team managing the content sources benefit from lifecycle, operational and platform independence for that source.

Whether located on premises or in the cloud the content source and its associated application can be managed and operated independently, have a separate maintenance schedule and even be sunset at different times.

This approach also allows the IT leaders to position the best productivity application for the job, and the one that the users are most comfortable with, rather than having to comprise on end-user systems to maintain compatibility with a non-federated information or records management system that requires centralized control.

Records365 Multiple Content Sources

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