A retention class is a named value that, when used as the retention setting for an object, specifies how long the object must remain in its namespace. This value can be:
- An offset from the time the object is created. You specify an offset as numbers of years, months, or days.
For example, you could create a retention class named HlthReg-107 with an offset of 21 years. Then, all objects assigned HlthReg-107 as their retention setting could not be deleted for 21 years after they’re created.
- One of these special values:
The object can be deleted at any time.
The object can never be deleted by means of a normal delete operation. If the namespace is in enterprise mode, however, the object can be deleted by means of a privileged delete operation.
The retention period for the object is unspecified. The object cannot be deleted by means of a normal delete operation while it has this retention setting. If the namespace is in enterprise mode, however, the object can be deleted by means of a privileged delete operation.
- A fixed future date that the object will be deleted.
The retention period for an object assigned to a retention class is calculated from the value of that class. So, for example, if an object stored on October 8, 2011, is assigned to a retention class with an offset value of seven years, the retention period for that object expires on October 8, 2018.
You can choose to have HCP automatically delete the objects assigned to a retention class when they expire. This applies only to retention classes with a value that’s an offset. It does not apply to retention classes with special values.
Automatic deletion of expired objects in retention classes occurs only if disposition is enabled.