Introducing Syntex repository services: Microsoft 365 superpowers for your app

Zach Rosenfield

Enterprises around the world are managing ever greater amounts of documents as part of every core business process. Building apps to manage these documents is complicated, time consuming, expensive, and takes significant time away from solving the actual business problem.

Last week at Microsoft Build we announced Microsoft Syntex repository services, a faster way to build file and document focused apps. Syntex repository services are powered by SharePoint and make it easy for every developer, ISV and enterprise, to include critical Microsoft 365 file and document capabilities in every app they build. Repository services have no user experience layer (it’s completely headless) and is fully API driven.

Microsoft Syntex repository services are open for private preview today. Click here for more information.

Syntex repository services enable incredible new app capabilities, dramatically accelerating your content management roadmap

  • Build inside the Microsoft 365 tenant boundary for both enterprise and ISV apps.
  • Extend advanced Microsoft 365 security and compliance to your app.
  • Deliver Microsoft 365 collaboration to your customers, users, and guest users as part of your app.
  • Embed Microsoft’s trusted content management capabilities in your app.

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Embedded file and document management for both ISVs and enterprises

Microsoft Syntex repository services deliver something unique: the ability for app developers to manage files and documents within their customers’ individual Microsoft 365 tenants, rather than setting up a separate repository solution outside of tenant boundaries. The innovation behind this new capability is a special type of partition in the Microsoft 365 storage layer that we call repository containers. Repository containers are not accessible through regular Microsoft 365 UX but are instead completely controlled and managed by the app that creates them.

Repository containers create a new, horizontally scalable way of delivering file and document management capabilities, and are designed for use by customers, partners, and first-party Microsoft apps. My earlier blog on the Microsoft Loop preview alludes to the fact that the Loop app is 100% powered by Syntex repository services, as are apps such as Edge Spaces and Designer.

For ISVs, this means you can use this same scalable and performant technology to deliver Microsoft 365 file and document management capabilities as part of every app you write, all accessible via the easy-to-use Microsoft Graph API. When you adopt Syntex repository services in your app, documents are managed within the end customer’s tenant, meaning you now deliver a complete content management roadmap including global security and compliance, collaboration, and the many detailed features we’ve built into the product over 20 years of engineering.

Bentley Systems, Incorporated, the infrastructure engineering software company, is working with Microsoft to enhance Bentley Infrastructure Cloud, a combination of enterprise systems spanning the end-to-end lifecycle and value chain of the world’s infrastructure. Bentley Infrastructure Cloud leverages digital twin technologies, powered by iTwin, to become more fundamentally data centric while supporting critical file-based workflows. “We are collaborating with Microsoft to further enhance existing file-based, co-authoring workflows with Syntex repository services. We’re removing IT barriers to adoption and increasing users’ productivity with evergreen data that is easily shared and enriched throughout the project lifecycle,” said Lori Hufford, VP, Engineering Collaboration with Bentley Systems.

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Industry leading collaboration powered by Microsoft 365

In addition to security and compliance, apps powered by Syntex repository services also make it easy to deliver rich collaboration experiences for Office document types as part of your application. This includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and it supports apps built on the Fluid Framework.

Collaboration in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint delivers the features you know and love. This includes things like presence indicators, @ mentions in comments to draw attention and drive document sharing, real-time co-authoring, and more. Syntex repository services also lets you provide web access to all users, regardless of their Microsoft 365 subscription status.

The Fluid Framework is the real-time collaboration system behind Microsoft 365 apps including Office and Teams. Syntex repository services provide critical back-end support that makes it easy to use Fluid as part of any app, turning every business process into a multiplayer collaboration.

Syntex repository services helps turn your app into a collaboration hub for all users, both internal and external.

Peppermint Technology Limited, a global ISV provider of a law firm software solution delivering client engagement, case, and matter management, has partnered with Microsoft to integrate Syntex repository services with Peppermint CX365. “Adopting Syntex repository services enables us to offer a comprehensive document and records management system in our joint customers’ Microsoft 365 tenants, including the rich collaboration capabilities of Office. Peppermint and our customers can now harness the power of Office and their Microsoft 365 security and compliance configuration right in our app. Peppermint already builds on top of Power Platform, Dynamics 365, and other core Microsoft 365 features required by law firms, and this is a natural extension of that architecture that streamlines customer productivity using Peppermint CX365.” says Mike Walker, CTO.

Natively integrated with Microsoft Purview security and compliance

Microsoft customers around the world trust Microsoft 365 to store their most sensitive documents, uploading more than 200 petabytes of new data to Microsoft 365 every single month. Now, when you choose Syntex repository services to manage your files and documents, your customers can take full advantage of their security & compliance investments in Microsoft 365, including E3, E5, and any Purview advanced add-ons licensing.

This means that your app can do critical things like audit file level activity; run global e-discovery queries that work across all your repository containers in addition to SharePoint files, OneDrive files, emails and Teams chats; and query for specific user activity across all files as well. Customers can apply retention policies, harness data loss prevention policies (DLP), use sensitivity labels, enforce conditional access policies and a whole lot more.

If you’re building an enterprise line of business app, this keeps all the documents you need to manage within your Microsoft 365 tenant but still isolated from the rest of your Microsoft 365 user experience. If you’re an ISV, this lets you deliver incredible value that helps customers get the most of their Microsoft 365 security and compliance investment, all without having to develop it yourself.

AvePoint, a leading Microsoft Modern Work Solutions Partner that provides an advanced platform to optimize SaaS operations and secure collaboration in Microsoft 365, announced the private preview of the AvePoint Confide app, which is architected completely around Microsoft Syntex repository services. “Syntex repository services helped us deliver a new version of AvePoint Confide and open up new markets,” according to Marco Morsella, SVP, Head of Product at AvePoint. “We originally created AvePoint Confide to provide organizations a secure virtual data room fully integrated with Microsoft 365 to protect merger & acquisition (M&A) collaboration. Syntex repository services provides a new way to store data specific to organizations’ business needs and can be customized across industries – especially regulated ones such as healthcare, government and financial services – for secure collaboration beyond M&A. Now our customers can isolate sensitive documents related to all of their critical business processes, like contract management, multiparty deal collaboration, and healthcare information, while still maintaining the Microsoft 365 security and compliance features that our customers demand.”

Advanced features from the leader in content management

At Microsoft, we’ve been serving the content management market for more than 20 years and we’re grateful to be recognized as leaders by industry analysts. With Syntex repository services, you can include that expertise in your app with just a few lines of code.

These include core content management features like granular permissions, document versioning, support for large files, rich metadata capabilities, check-in/check-out, and more. It also includes critical services like thumbnailing, document preview for popular file types, virus and malware scanning, video transcoding and playback, and more.

Syntex repository services also includes all the compliance capabilities you’ve come to expect. This includes everything from the ability to meet data residency requirements around the world to being certified for a wide variety of industry and country specific compliance requirements.

BDO provides accounting, tax and advisory services in 164 countries and territories, and are replatforming their Global Portal app on to Syntex repository services.  “At BDO, we are committed to leveraging the latest digital innovations to provide our clients with high-quality services and outcomes. Our goal is to provide a more seamless and connected user experience, while also improving our operational efficiency. The Global Portal solution built around Microsoft Syntex repository services provides our clients, advisors and auditors with a universal document layer.  Syntex repository services is a key part of our strategy, and we are excited to continue building and refining it to meet the evolving needs of our clients,” said Belinda Thompson, Head of Global IT.

Built to drive developer and customer success at a global scale

Syntex repository services is designed for use by both first party Microsoft products and third-party apps created by any developer. Syntex repository services are highly scalable and performant, designed for hyperscale use cases.

Syntex repository services are built from the ground up with developer needs in mind. This includes improving existing API performance, delivering a whole new set of APIs, and providing performance guarantees.

Everything you need to work with Syntex repository services is now part of the Microsoft Graph API. If you’re accustomed to working with drive ids and drive item ids, you’ll be glad to know you can reuse those skills with Syntex repository services.

Also, we’re delivering a new set of Microsoft Graph APIs built to make it easy to work with and manage repository containers. These are highly performant, ultra-low latency, for all operations, from container instantiation to document interaction.

Finally, once Syntex repository services are generally available, it will include an industry leading SLA so that both you and your customers can be confident in its performance over time.

Join the Syntex repository services private preview today

Microsoft Syntex repository services are now available for private preview. To learn more, please visit the Syntex repository services preview page and sign up.

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