Syntex Repository Services: Excitingly New or More of the Same?

James Fowler
Jul 21, 2023 3:23:52 PM

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, organizations face the constant challenge of efficiently managing and extracting value from their vast amounts of data and content – which is as true for content created by business apps as for content created by people. Microsoft recently announced the release of the Syntex Repository Services – a new offering for managing content behind the line of business apps, combined with Microsoft Syntex’s ever-advancing capabilities to develop bespoke solutions and content-based applications. Microsoft’s launch release tells us: 

We’re also excited to announce a new Syntex offering for developers, Syntex repository services. Syntex repository services are the fastest way for developers to build and manage file and document centric apps that leverage the rich content platform services of Microsoft 365. Syntex repository services also make it easy for every developer to include critical Microsoft 365 file and document capabilities in every app they build. Unlike basic file storage, Syntex repository services offers developers the richness of the Microsoft 365 content management backend – versioning, co-authoring, sharing, search, security, compliance and more. Syntex repository services will allow developers the freedom to design user experiences outside the constraint of the SharePoint and Teams user experience. Syntex repository services are completely headless, and fully API driven.” 

So, could Syntex Repository Services be a viable solution for enterprise customers and application vendors – maybe even solving some of those long-standing, ever-present challenges around managing vast volumes of unstructured content in genuinely user-friendly ways? Microsoft’s launch partners seem to think so, with Microsoft commenting: 

“Syntex repository services are in private preview with a rich ecosystem of ISVs and customers who are already developing custom apps for use cases across a diverse set of verticals. Customers who use ISV applications based on Syntex repository services can leverage their existing content management and governance uniformly across user and app content hosted in their own tenant.”   

It’s common knowledge that Microsoft has had a gap in its ever-expanding armory when it comes to content management for a line of business apps, so where do we think the value is here, and should you be interested in finding out more? Here’s a starter for where we believe the value and potential interest for you and your organization might be: 

AI, ML, and all that stuff… 

Syntex Repository Services employs machine learning and natural language processing to analyze unstructured data, enhancing content understanding. By automatically extracting metadata, including keywords, topics, and sentiment, Syntex enables enterprises to organize and classify their content more efficiently. This capability saves time and improves search accuracy, allowing users to locate relevant information swiftly. Moreover, this metadata extraction provides valuable insights into content trends and patterns, empowering enterprises to make data-driven decisions easily. 

Workflow Automation and Efficiency 

Another key benefit of Syntex Repository Services is its ability to automate workflows and streamline business processes. The platform leverages AI-driven document understanding, enabling enterprises to automatically extract relevant information from documents, trigger actions, and route content to the appropriate teams or individuals. By eliminating manual, time-consuming tasks, Syntex enhances operational efficiency, reduces human errors, and accelerates decision-making. This empowers employees to focus on higher-value activities, driving productivity and innovation across the enterprise. 

No ‘out of the box’ UI 

The gateway for you to do, well… whatever you want with your new apps. With all the different UI development frameworks and tooling out there these days, the options are too many to mention. We have to assume that Microsoft has done a better job with the APIs that are available with Syntex Repository Services, and some of those pinch points are to be left behind in the SharePoint Online world. We hope so, anyway… 

This is the beginning of the journey.

The Syntex Repository Services journey is just starting. And as always, this new offering is set to be a tightly integrated component of a much bigger Microsoft ecosystem, so the potential is huge. The packaging of advanced content understanding, information governance, and workflow automation capabilities, with all the other tools in the Microsoft ecosystem - Delve, Graph, Fabric (take a look at Microsoft’s Project Archimedes if you have a minute) gives architects and developers at enterprises and ISVs alike a smorgasbord of capability that we wouldn’t have dared dream about a few short years ago. Get out there, take a look, and call Team IM if you want to chat about our plans in this inspiring space. 

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