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.
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.
There is now a new document card view to display extracted model information (metadata) in a tile view in libraries that have a SharePoint Syntex document understanding model (DUM) applied. When a document understanding model is applied from a Syntex Content Center to a new library there are now three options (under advanced settings) to choose the default view of the library. Users do not have to choose to have this new document card view as their default view but it looks very good!
Over the past year Microsoft have released Sites.Selected permissions for both Microsoft Graph & SharePoint which can be given to an Azure AD App (App Registration). When created the app by default with Sites.Selected permissions does not have access to any SharePoint sites and has to be explicitly added added using Microsoft Graph or PnP PowerShell (Grant-PnPAzureADAppSitePermission) to the site(s) to be administered. Both processes only give the access Read or Write permissions to the site and not Full Control.
Today some people who are running targeted release on their M365 Tenant have been able to add the Board view to new and existing Microsoft/SharePoint Lists. I wanted to automate this creation of the Board View and following on from a previous blog post I did where I created a Modern Calendar on a list. I realised to add board view it followed the same pattern – using SharePoint Rest API. Through using the Edge Developer tools I figured out the JSON & Rest call required and that the view type was ViewType2: “KANBAN”
Today quietly Microsoft released a SharePoint Azure AD app registration permission level Sites.Selected. This allows PnP PowerShell cmdlets and CSOM to be used using SharePoint application permissions to a specific site(s). This is independent & different to the Microsoft Graph permission level Sites.Selected.
One of the most exciting new features I have used recently is the ability to train SharePoint Syntex forms processing to extract rows of data from a table where the row count is variable. Before you could not extract table data from a form where the number of rows was variable and the table size varied. Read on for a guide on how to implement this in your organisation.