Office 365 SharePoint app: site titles

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Unintended consequences. That’s what can happen sometimes when you change one thing over here and it affects something over there. This happened to an active Office 365 tenant I work in just this past week.I’m talking about the SharePoint app that’s launched when you click the SharePoint app tile from the Office 365 app launcher (yellow star below):


In the SharePoint app, you will see sites you’re following, recent sites you’ve visited and news from those sites. It’s a very handy app to quickly find sites and is heavily-used in most tenants I work in.

What I (and others) noticed in this particular tenant is many of the names for sites provisioned with an Office 365 Group as well as the new SharePoint Communication sites had the word ‘Home’ on the SharePoint tile card instead of the site title (shown below).


In the image above, the green tile is an Office 365 Group’s SharePoint site provisioned from the Outlook Web App and the blue and red tiles are SharePoint Communication sites. Stand-alone SharePoint sites provisioned independently of an Office 365 Group were appearing with their correct Site title.

Needless to say, this was extremely confusing to end-users (and me!). With the proliferation of Groups and sites it quickly became frustrating to find the one you were looking for. To identify the site you either had to click the tile to open the site or hover over the link and identify the site by the URL (something most end-users would not do).

Managed Property Mix-up

I’ve previously blogged about the Title property and how important it is in SharePoint search. As it turns out, the SharePoint app leverages search to display the Title property on the SharePoint site tiles!

In a SharePoint search schema, you map 1-to-many crawled properties to one managed property. You must also specify an order in which the crawled properties will be used for the managed property; the first crawled property in the order with a value is the one that will be used.

What was discovered in this tenant is the Title managed property had the crawled property order changed from the default order. The ows_title managed property was in position 1 and, as a result, it was being used as the Title for some of the SharePoint tiles.

For the record, here is the default order of crawled properties mapped to the Title managed property. If you have a requirement to adjust this order, be aware there may be some unintended consequences across your tenant wherever the Title managed property is being used.

  • BasicTitle | Title
  • MetadataExtractorTitle
  • TermTitle | TermTitle
  • OfficeTitle | Office:2
  • BaseName | OWS_BaseName
  • DocParserTitle | Title
  • DocParserMailSubject |MailSubject
  • Mail5 | Mail:5
  • PreferredName | People: PreferredName
  • DisplayTitle
  • OwsTitle | OWS_Title
  • DavDisplayName | Basic:10
  • DavHref | Basic:9
  • DocParserMetadataExtractorTitle

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