On the April 8, 2020 meeting of the Project Cortex Office Hours series, we went through some of the questions we get asked most frequently about Project Cortex.

We started with some fundamentals about Project Cortex, like its purpose, availability, preview program, and resources. Next we discussed how Project Cortex relates to SharePoint, maintains content's security and compliance, and integrates with the Microsoft Graph. We then provided some information around administration and configurations. We ended the meeting fielding a variety of audience questions.

Resources

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Recording - April 8: FAQ

View the recording of the April 8 Project Cortex Office Hours meeting

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Presentation - April 8: FAQ

See what we presented in the April 8 Project Cortex Office Hours meeting

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Project Cortex demos

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Q & A

We received more than 100 audience questions on this Microsoft Teams live event. While we answered many, we couldn't get to all of them. We use your questions (even if we don't answer them on the air) to inform our Project Cortex FAQ and technical documentation.

The top five questions and responses from the Q&A portion of the meeting follow.

Q: How is Project Cortex integrated with Microsoft Search?

A: There's tight integration with Project Cortex and Microsoft Search, and the product teams are well aligned.

At Microsoft Ignite we talked about Microsoft 365 as the ecosystem of content and we recognize there’s a lot of other places that you have documents stored inside of your organizations. We’re going to use the Microsoft Search connectors to bring additional content into the Microsoft Graph, which is the basis of Project Cortex. Microsoft and our partners have built more than 100 different connectors. (There’s a preview of the Microsoft Search connectors available now. Learn more and sign up on the Overview of Microsoft Search connectors page.)

In addition, Project Cortex and Microsoft Search integration goes further. For example, you can create a custom search results page within an intranet site. You can bring in the data you want and create a tailored content experience for Project Cortex. We see opportunities for organizations, ISVs, and developers to create those tailored experiences bringing in information from Microsoft 365 and third-party sources.

Q: What is Project Cortex for developers?

A: Later this year, we intend to ship a rich set of APIs through the Microsoft Graph to let you go beyond Microsoft and beyond search. See what we announced about the developer experiences for Project Cortex at Microsoft BUILD.

Q: Can we apply cobranding and custom themes to knowledge center sites?

A: Because Project Cortex leverages SharePoint, we want you to be able to use all the customization features inside of SharePoint to make this really yours. This is about helping you to populate what you would want in your knowledge center and to be able to use the branding that's appropriate for you and your culture.

Q: Will Project Cortex be available on government cloud?

A: Project Cortex will not be available for government cloud at GA. However, we plan to make it available on government cloud in the future.

In the U.S., we go through a FedRamp certification process that happens twice a year – in April and December. Given the timing of GA, we intend to start the certification process in December. The earliest Project Cortex could be available for government cloud is some time in 2021.

Q: You said there are updates to Managed Metadata Services (MMS). Where can I learn more about the updates?

A: As we prepare for the general release of Project Cortex later this year, our first step is to update the MMS in SharePoint. In April 2020, we're starting to release enhancements to Targeted Release, including a modern term management system and a content type gallery in the SharePoint admin center, as well as an update to the tagging and filtering interface for MMS columns in lists and libraries. See the Modernizing SharePoint MMS blog post to learn more about these updates.

We spoke more about MMS and Project Cortex in the May 20 meeting – Content understanding and MMS.