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R2's File Classification Infrastructure generates buzz

Windows Server 2008 R2Of the many new features set to debut in Windows Server 2008 R2, one that has received a steady amount of attention is the File Classification Infrastructure (FCI).

The inclusion of FCI with R2 came as a surprise to a lot of folks in the IT community. The technology, at least in theory, has been talked about since back in the days of Windows XP, but had been put on the backburner until suddenly BOOM – it was here.

So what’s the word on the street?

Well thus far it’s been pretty positive. I spoke to one IT expert who described it as an “interesting feature” and a “great start” in terms of data organization. He went on to say, however, that Microsoft has really just provided a framework with this version of FCI, and a certain amount of manual labor still needs to be done in order to make it work with R2. This primarily means that administrators still have to work out how they want to classify their data (i.e. the terminology that is to be used) ahead of time.

A ton of information has been posted recently on FCI from a variety of different angles. Here is a sampling of what’s out there:

  • The basics of how FCI works – Those looking for a fundamental overview of what FCI has to offer can check out this article by Greg Shields for details on how it can truly benefit admins.
  • Using FCI and Microsoft SharePoint – In this TechRepublic article, MVP Derek Schauland describes FCI as “a huge step forward in getting existing files classified.” Here he explains how FCI and SharePoint work together (as well as how they don’t).
  • Inside the Content Classifier – This is a tool within FCI that extracts text from files in Windows 2008 R2. This Microsoft TechNet post breaks down which file types can be filtered out-of-the-box using the Content Classifier.

We’ll be posting more on FCI as we get closer to the official release of Windows Server 2008 R2. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding FCI or R2 in general, post them in the comments section below and we’ll see what we can dig up.

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