Managed Metadata Superpowers and Syntex Document Processing

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If you’re new to SharePoint information architecture and the managed metadata service and you want to build a Syntex document processing model, this post is for you! If you’re already familiar with SharePoint information architecture, then read on to see how Syntex can leverage a managed metadata’s superpowers.

Note: let’s level set on terminology. In a Syntex unstructured document processing model, an entity extractor is what extracts values from a document and equates to a column in SharePoint. An entity extractor can either reference a pre-existing site column or automatically create one for you. If you want to use a managed metadata column however, you must pre-create it and reference it when creating the entity extractor. As of the time of this writing, only a Syntex unstructured document processing model can use a managed metadata column. A Syntex structured document processing model cannot.

Whenever I demonstrate a Microsoft Syntex unstructured document processing model, I always spend time talking about managed metadata and the tenant level term store. I do this because a managed metadata column is fully supported in a Syntex unstructured document processing model and has some unique superpowers that other column data types don’t have when it comes to extracting values from a document.

This post will share some super-powers they have with Syntex. Decide if these will help you before building your own model and selecting the data types of your entity extractors.

Superpower 1: Control the values extracted

You can pre-create a managed metadata column pointing to a closed tenant-level term set and then reference it when creating a model’s entity extractor. This will ensure the values extracted from a document will always match one of the terms rather than being some random string value. This provides consistency in your metadata which helps in follow-on workflows, search, grouping, and filtering.

Use-case: A rental agreement Syntex model for a property management company where the rental categories reference a closed term set:

The terms are defined in advance so the values extracted must match one of the three pre-defined term values below:

Superpower 2: Allow for variations in the values extracted

If you have term synonyms defined in the tenant-level term set, the Syntex model is smart enough to match to any of the synonym values as well! This provides consistency in your metadata which helps in follow-on workflows, search, grouping, and filtering.

Use-case: A statement of work model where the services provided are being extracted. If the term Training has synonyms Education, Guidance and Presentation defined, then the Syntex model would be able to match any of the synonyms in a document and store the value Training in the column instead.

Superpower 3: Allow for new terms automatically

A Syntex unstructured document processing model understands open term sets. A term set is closed by default which means an administrator is in control of all term values added to the term set and a term must be present in the term set before an entity extractor can use the value (superpower 1). Alternatively, a term set can be open. This will automatically add new terms to the term set if a value other than an existing term value is extracted from a document. This will ensure the Syntex model will still populate the metadata column with the new term and add it to the term set even if the term didn’t previously exist.

Use-case: Client names extracted from an invoice Syntex model if all client names aren’t pre-created in the open term set. The Fake client term set below is open and will therefore allow values other than those that are pre-created to be added to the term set when the Syntex model extracts the value:

Superpower 4: Create a Viva Topic from the term to highlight classified documents

If you have a license for Viva Topics, you can create a Topic from a term in the term store. If you are using a managed metadata column to extract information from a document with a Syntex model AND it references a Viva Topics term, documents will automatically appear on the Topic page tying these two capabilities together in an efficient and intelligent way.

Use-case: Rental Agreement Syntex model where the Rental category is defined as managed metadata and extracted from the document. The Rental Category term set values are all configured as Viva Topics:

When the rental category terms are published as Viva Topics, documents tagged with that rental category would appear on the respective Topic page. Additionally, the topic page for the rental category could  be edited to contain related information such as property manager, property address, current property rental agreements, maintenance schedule, etc.

This is a great way of consolidating information in an intelligent and scalable way. #knowledgemanagement

Managed Metadata Ideas

Are you curious about ideas for using managed metadata in Syntex models? Based on some common Syntex use-case scenarios, here are some ideas:

Refer to these reference links for supporting details:

Thanks for reading.


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