This is a clean product with a well thought-out goal and a well-executed solution. It is part of the overall CA suite of access control products with which it integrates smoothly, and it offers dynamic classification and recognition. That means that if a user has an unclassified document and tries to add classified information to it, the tool will update the classification appropriately.

Data Classification is intended for use with Windows Server 2012, as well as with SharePoint. However, the tool does not control access directly. Rather, it works with the Microsoft operating system to perform restrictive actions. Essentially, Data Classification directs and the Windows operating system executes.

The policy editor is excellent and easy to use. Of course, lots of policies are available out of the box, but creating custom ones is quite easy. Much about this product seems familiar making it a breeze to administer and use. The user interface is well done and operation nearly is intuitive.

The classification process begins with file creation and classification by the file's creator. The file then is stored with its classification. When a user requests the file, the classification of the file and the user are looked up and access to the file is controlled based on the policy. Reclassification is allowed, but only if the reclassifier has the appropriate level of access to the file. 

Overall, we liked this because it fits so neatly into the CA architecture, but if you would rather just have the CA Data Classification product as a standalone tool you can do that too. If you are running SharePoint in a Server 2012 environment, you really need to have a close look at this one. It's a good fit.

At a glance

Product Data Classification

Company CA Technologies

Price $20,000, plus 20 percent annual maintenance.

What it does Dynamic classification
and control for SharePoint and Windows Server 2012 environments. 

What we liked Integrates with other CA products, as well as third parties; doesn't impose controls, it simply classifies the data.