Data that is created within an SAP application environment has a lifecycle: it lives in the database as long as it is required by the application, then it is archived, and eventually destroyed when there are no more reasons for retention. Holding data beyond its retention period has no value. On the contrary, it can negatively impact the use of resources, system availability, and performance. Moreover, certain laws, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA etc., even require data to be destroyed after retention is up.
Retention management, another core component of SAP NetWeaver ILM, provides you with a range of dedicated tools and functions to help you adequately control the retention of your data along its entire life cycle. This holds true for structured information, such as a sales document posted in the SAP appliation, as well as for unstructured information, for example a scanned invoice. Once a policy is set up and activated in the ILM policy engine, data is protected against destruction until its expiration date has been reached.
Retention management is based on SAP data archiving technology, so you do not have to start from scratch if you're already using data archiving - as more of 80% of SAP customers do. You can use retention management functions directly within your SAP ERP application as of SAP ERP EhP4 or higher.
- Policy engine for transparent and comprehensive policy management
- Enforce retention policies down to the storage layer
- Enable destruction of data that has reached its expiration date
- Perform E-discovery in response to legal requests
- Apply legal hold on data to automatically prevent data deletion
- Reduce TCO and business risk
- Meet auditing requirements
- Ensure legal compliance
- Automated data destruction
- Support secure storage on WORM-like devices
- ILM Solution in Detail
- ILM Overview (presentation)
- Suporting Your ILM Needs From Start to Finish (SAPinsider article)