Microsoft to retire SCC’s eDiscovery experience after 30 October 2020

The Security and Compliance Center (also known by its old Protection Center name) in Office 365 has always been a strange beast, a hot mess that kept on growing for years without a clear idea. Different functionalities kept getting added, moved around, removed and at some point even Microsoft gave up on keeping a changelog and left us to explore the changes on our own.

Later on, at Ignite 2018 Microsoft announced a plan to “split” the SCC into two, specialized consoles – one for Compliance tasks and one focused on Security. While the intentions were good, the execution left a lot to be desired, as the initial versions of the two new consoles were pretty barren. This remains true for the Security center even year and a half after it reaching a “GA” status, and to date the new portal looks more like a project some intern put together and is miles away from being any real replacement of the related functionalities exposed within the SCC or other parts of the M365 suite.

But progress is progress, and Microsoft did made some significant improvements to the Compliance center, including the new Unified Audit log experience, Communication compliance, Insider Risk management, to name just a few. eDiscovery has also been a part of the new console, but hasn’t received much attention until now, with only minor improvements made to the “landing page” experience. Now, Microsoft decided it is time to move the eDiscovery experience over to its new home, as the following notice on top of the current experience informs:

In typical Microsoft fashion, the link included at the end of this notice actually redirects you to the same old Security and Compliance Center, whereas the corresponding link over at the Advanced eDiscovery page does redirect to the correct page over at the Compliance Center. But hey, why would you expect Microsoft to suddenly change their habits and start testing stuff pushed to production? 🙂

Anyway, as the notice above suggests, the redirect will happen in few days, namely October 30. A post over at the Message center (MC223174) gives a bit more info, assuring you that “there should be minimal impact to your organization”. I expect this to be the case, as the only thing that’s currently changed is the overall look and feel of the “landing” page. In all fairness, we do get better filtering capabilities, as well as option to Group cases based on status. We also get a Share functionality, which generates a deep link to a specific case, which you can share over email/Teams or copy directly. Lastly, you can also Export a list of all cases as a CSV file.

Working with the actual eDiscovery case, adding members to it, searches, holds, exports – it’s all powered by the same UI bits you’re familiar with from the SCC. Not only that, it even has the “old experience” bits from the initial release of the feature, which closely resembled the EAC UI. Overall, tons of legacy code is being carried over, and while this should ensure compatibility, it simply doesn’t “fit” within the new Compliance Center UI. But hey, that’s hardly the only such example, and if I know Microsoft, it will take them few more years to get rid of the old bits 🙂

On the positive side, this move should allow Microsoft to clean up the code and streamline the overall experience, as well as focus on providing new improvements. Whether the (standalone) Content search experience will follow suit is not clear from the notice/MCC post, but I would expect this to be the case.

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