The frequently asked questions (FAQ) below have been harvested from our customer and partner interactions in the Project Cortex Preview Program, Knowledge & Content Services Office Hour series, and Microsoft Content Services Partner Program activities, as well as internal conversations with our field team members.

Want to learn more about SharePoint Syntex, visit the SharePoint Syntex page at https://aka.ms/SharePointSyntex.

What is SharePoint Syntex?

Microsoft SharePoint Syntex uses advanced AI and machine teaching to amplify human expertise, automate content processing, and transform content into knowledge.

SharePoint Syntex supports two types of models – form processing and document understanding. Form processing models using AI Builder help you capture information from structured content, like invoices. Whereas document understanding models help you capture information in unstructured content, like CVs/resumes.

What about pricing and licensing?

SharePoint Syntex is available as a user-based add-on for Microsoft 365 plans for commercial customers. For more details, visit our Microsoft 365 Enterprise Licensing page.

Which users need a license for SharePoint Syntex?

Anyone using, consuming, or otherwise benefiting from SharePoint Syntex capabilities requires a license. This includes the following scenarios:

  • Access a Content Center
  • Create a document understanding model in a Content Center
  • Upload content to a library where a document understanding model is associated (whether in a Content Center or elsewhere)
  • Manually execute a document understanding model
  • View a library where a document understanding model is associated
  • Create a form processing model via the entry point in a SharePoint library
  • Upload content to a library where a form processing model is associated

To illustrate this with an example. Imagine a recruitment team using a SharePoint Syntex document understanding model to extract data from CVs/resumes. In this scenario, there’ll be multiple roles:

  • A model builder
  • One or more individuals uploading CVs as they are received
  • Recruiters and hiring managers reviewing the files and extracted metadata in a SharePoint library

In this case, all individuals involved in this process will require a SharePoint Syntex license.

What languages does SharePoint Syntex support?

Available to customers worldwide, SharePoint Syntex currently offers English language support.

For form processing with AI Builder, we plan to add support for Spanish, French, German, and Italian in the second half of 2021.

For document understanding models, we plan to add support for additional languages in the future.

Will SharePoint Syntex be available on government cloud? If so, when is GCC release planned?

Yes, SharePoint Syntex will be available on government cloud (GCC). Microsoft is working through the FedRAMP certification process. We anticipate that SharePoint Syntex will be available at least in GCC by the middle of 2021.

How does SharePoint Syntex relate to classic and modern SharePoint experiences?

The creation of models in SharePoint Syntex uses the modern UI. For form processing models using AI Builder, the menu item to create a model is only displayed in the modern library UI. Note that a site based on a classic template can still have modern list and library UI applied. Document understanding models are only created in a Content Center, which is a modern site.

Admin and controls

Will admins be able to turn SharePoint Syntex “On” / “Off” at the tenant level?

Yes, we have a full set of admin controls for the functionality. It will ship “Off” by default so that you are able to plot the right adoption journey for your organization.

How does SharePoint Syntex protect the security and compliance of content?

SharePoint Syntex is based on the security and compliance of content enforced across Microsoft 365. For example, access, retention labels, data sovereignty, and information barriers are all maintained consistently before and after the activation of SharePoint Syntex.

Content centers and content types

What are content centers?

Based on the leading content services of SharePoint, SharePoint Syntex introduces a new experience for managing content at scale, integrating metadata and workflow, and delivering compliance automation – the content center. Content centers are where a trainer can create and teach a model how to read and process documents the same way you would manually. After the model is trained and applied to a library, SharePoint Syntex uses those insights to automatically recognize new content added to the library, extract important information, and apply metadata tags. In addition, you can track the effectiveness of your models with integrated visual analytics.

Learn more about Content Centers and content understanding models by viewing our May 20 Office Hours meeting on content understanding.

How are models related to content types?

The models you create and train use content types to classify content. The information you select to extract from the structured or unstructured files is reflected as columns in that content type’s schema. This is intentional, to provide an “intelligent” content type that can be used to fulfill other use cases, like search filtering, defining file plans to apply information protection labels by schema, etc.

Will the content type gallery replace the content type hub for content type publishing?

No, the content type gallery won’t directly replace the content type hub; there will still be a content type hub. The content type gallery is intended to be a more flexible and more centralized way than the content type hub for you to create and manage the enterprise content types that you want to provide across sites in your organization.

Model training

With what formats does model training work?

You can apply machine training to Office documents, PDFs, and images. Our documentation will be clear about the supported file types. While certain Office file types are supported, it might be a more difficult to build models from file types with a lot of layout and formatting nuance. The goal is to support all Office file types, PDFs, and images.

Do you need to create a library for each model?

There are two different types of models – one for structured content and one for unstructured content. You apply form processing models for structured content to a library, because you start from a library to go into AI Builder to build your model for that library. You can apply the models for unstructured content, which you build in the Content Center, to multiple libraries.