A big change is happening to Microsoft Syntex in that pay as you go (PAYG) is coming and this usage will be billed though a Microsoft Azure Subscription. This is currently in a FREE public preview and only initially for Syntex unstructured document processing (document understanding) and prebuilt document processing. I will setup Syntex pay as you go in my M365 tenant and Azure subscription and provide my thoughts.
The Microsoft Syntex AI model type Structured Document Processing model (previously known as Forms Processing) has had some significant updates which were launched as part of Microsoft Syntex. In my opinion the biggest update is Structured Document Processing models now allows models to be reused across libraries and sites.
A new Microsoft Syntex AI document processing model was recently released called freeform which purpose is to automatically extract information from unstructured and freeform documents such as letters, contracts or correspondence. Initially I was a little confused with the new freeform model type and what scenario you would use it for, so I needed to test it out & learn. My key confusion was what exactly are "freeform" documents and seeing which documents would work best with the model? I will attempt to answer this question in this blog along with introducing the freeform model and other Syntex model renaming changes.
I'm excited for next weeks Microsoft Ignite 2022 conference (Oct 12th-14th) & if you haven't already registered then I DEMAND you register especially if you are a SharePoint Syntex fan! Microsoft this year is a hybrid with an online digital event & in-person event in Seattle plus several in-person regional spotlights around the world. What's great this year is there is lots of Syntex sessions planned so hopefully lots of big announcements - it's great to see SharePoint Syntex getting so much airtime! In this blog I will discuss and list the recommended Syntex sessions at Microsoft Ignite and also talk about my South Coast Summit Syntex session where I will hopefully have some big Syntex announcement news to share.
There has been a small but significant change to SharePoint Syntex Content assembly to allow you to control the format that a date/time field is expressed in the generated document i.e. DD/MM/YYYY, MM-DD-YYYY. Previously dates were expressed in only one format Day MMM DD YYYYY e.g., Thu Feb 03 2022. This update also adds the ability to control the format of the time in your date and time fields so it can be in 12 hour i.e. 05:36 am/pm or 24hr format i.e. 18:05
I've just spotted something very exciting in my M365 tenant a new PREVIEW action in Power Automate & Azure Logic Apps for Syntex content assembly. This enables users to generate personalised documents in a workflow using SharePoint Syntex Content Assembly and this opens up the doors to the whole bulk document generation story from a workflow! This is very exciting news and one that I'm sure will be very popular! The only way previously to create documents using Syntex content assembly was from a document library and only one document could be created at a time - so there was lots of mouse and keyboard clicking!
SharePoint Syntex now makes extensive use of the Term Store (Managed Metadata Services - MMS) and does so in many different ways which I will go through in this blog. When Microsoft were working on Project Cortex and before SharePoint Syntex & Viva Topics were even known, there was a big investment by the SharePoint engineering team to improve the term store. The term store when moved to SharePoint online from SharePoint on-premise was literally moved "as is" (I believe!) to the cloud by Microsoft and it came with the old slow modern UI. Adding/administering terms took ages as users had to wait for often long periods of time whilst navigating between terms, adding terms etc. It was sometimes very painful so some people would even avoid using the termstore altogether and lose the benefit to provide a unified set of terms to apply to content in Microsoft 365 that can be reused between sites/libraries. So it was great that in early 2020 Microsoft announced they had modernised the Term Store - I was instantly curious how this was going to be utilised in Project Cortex as little was still known about it.