Get started with trials for Microsoft Viva Topics

Published 03-25-2021 09:00 AM 6,016 Views

It has been awesome to watch customer excitement growing since last month’s launch of Microsoft Viva Topics. Viva Topics applies AI to empower people with knowledge in the apps they use every day, automatically organizing content and expertise across your systems and teams to create topics with built-in security, compliance, and workflow. Across the team we’ve been humbled by the enthusiasm and uptake.


We know many of you are eager to start working with Viva Topics, and we want to provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.



How can I set up a trial of Microsoft Viva Topics?

You can start today by registering for a free 30-day, 25-user Viva Topics trial. You’ll need to be a global admin or billing admin to activate the trial, and you need to use a standard commercial tenant. Trials aren’t available for development or educational licenses. Once you activate a trial, a global admin or license admin needs to assign a license to the specific users who’ll be involved in the trial.


What if I need more time for my testing?

You can always work with your Microsoft account team to request an extended trial for a pilot or proof of concept. Additionally, members of our Microsoft Content Services Partner Program also have access to expanded trial licenses to help you get going as part of a pilot or proof of concept.


How should I get started?

This has been an incredibly frequent question! In general, it’s a good idea to start with a focused set of users, rather than turning it on for everyone in the entire organization, to take a phased approach to adoption. Microsoft Viva Topics was built to work on extremely large pools of content. Because it respects the pre-existing security of your files, we strongly recommend indexing a larger set of content --  ideally at least 20,000 documents -- for the best quality and quantity of topics.


What if I have to start with a smaller set of content?

We still encourage you to think big. Microsoft Viva Topics is based on statistical analysis of text patterns and components of contact. The more content we have, the higher the quality of the generated topics.


Trials work best on production data – not on test tenants with low usage and small numbers of files. Generally, we start seeing good results above about 20,000 documents, and at least 50-100 active users in the organization. We also look for file activity to determine processing priority and relative relevance.


OK, I just activated Microsoft Viva Topics and told it to scan all my content. Where are my topic cards?

Topic indexing is based on search indexing in the Microsoft Graph, but it runs as a separate process with a different timetable. It can take anywhere from 10 to 14 days for Microsoft Viva to work through all your content to generate an initial set of topics. Once the initial scan completes, topic indexing will continue as new content is added or modified.


When Microsoft Viva discovers topics, they are proposed as suggestions on SharePoint news posts. All topics, except removed topics or ones excluded by name, will be proposed as suggestions, but the administrator can identify the people who can view topic highlights.


It’s been a few weeks and I have 50 topics - when and where can my users start to see them?

If you’ve assigned licenses to users and given them permission to view topic highlights in the admin center setup, you’re in good shape. If your user has rights to access the underlying content for a topic, they’ll start seeing topics  in modern SharePoint pages, pages in Microsoft Viva Connections, SharePoint mobile, and Microsoft Search results.


They can also see topic cards inside the Office clients. If they run a highlighted search inside Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, if that word matches a known topic that the user has permissions to, they will see the topic card there.


We are working to bring topic experiences to the rest of the suite, including Outlook, Yammer, and Microsoft Teams soon.


What happens at the end of my trial?

If you’ve purchased licenses, you can assign those to your users and Viva Topics will continue running as it had throughout the trial. If users do not have licenses, at the end of the trial, they will no longer be able to see topic highlights, topic cards, topic pages, or the topic center. Any topics that have been updated with additional content will remain in the Topic Center pages library, although AI discovered content will be removed from those pages.


What happened to Project Cortex?

Project Cortex was the code name used when we first announced our Knowledge & Content Services solutions. They’ve now been released as SharePoint Syntex (October 2020) and Viva Topics (February 2021).


 Thanks again, and please share your feedback here on the TechCommunity.



Regular Visitor


It took forever to get the topic ready.

New Contributor

Seems like some javascript errors preventing me from manually creating topics too, if i load up the page to create a new topic page the publish button disappears so there is no way of saving the page. :(

New Contributor


First load on the page



After a few seconds for the full page to load the publish button is gone

Regular Visitor

I think Viva Topics is a great idea; however, in my testing, managing topics is still a little clunky. Also, I'm wondering, how a user would perform "a highlighted search inside Word, Excel, or PowerPoint?" I tried several methods but nothing produced a topic card. Thanks!

New Contributor

Yep i'm still waiting for my published topics to appear, even after over 8 days of waiting :(

Regular Visitor

it will never appear in the published topics, but you can use it in Sharepoint by using #tag

New Contributor

Hi Andrew, thanks for the reply are you saying after you publish a topic manually it should be able to be used immediately in your case? I was under the impression that the topics would show up in the list of suggested (when microsoft manually discover them) or via the published screen and from there you some how make them "live" for use. In my testing so far i have created 7 topics manually and every now and then when i go to the manage topics page it will sometimes show 7 topics and published (despite not rendering in the list below) or other times it will show 0 published topics and still show nothing in the list below.


If i hash tag one of the topics that i have published a few days ago it just infers the topic doesn't exist and doesn't return in search results like the examples on the internet.

Regular Visitor

I really do not know how to narrate this because I am really confused about the VIVA mechanism.


I just publish the topic via +new topic page. 

It took very long about few weeks to appear and some times does not appear in Published. 

Eg. I have more than one published topic but it only shows one.


But no matter how I can use #tag in all SharePoint sites to relate back to the topic after a day I published.


So do not ask me what I did and it takes how long. I really have no answer it is like riding a bike in a BIG MAZE.

Another show of MAZE RUNNER. 


At last, I give up until the product starts to mature.

Occasional Contributor

I've been unable to set up a trial of Viva Topics.


It started when I received an error message on my initial attempt. I suspect that the problem was caused by my typo on naming the Topic Center (typo was "Topic Centrer") that also ended up in the URL (topiccentrer). I've since corrected the typos in both the name and URL, but I have been unable to complete the creation Viva Topics in my tenant. I've raised a few support tickets with MS support, but it's been over two weeks and I'm no closer to resolving this issue. How do I contact the Viva Topics tech team directly?

New Contributor

Yeah not sure if your the same as me Nelson but i'm getting errors on the page so its possible some ui elements are missing on the page that may prevent things working properly and the right files aren't pushed out to all sharepoint instances perhaps?

topics landing page with webpart.png

New Contributor

Yeah im starting to think there is missing resources as well in sharepoint and maybe all the files haven't been pushed out to all the data centres or something, i'm getting errors on the webpart pages within topics area if you finally get a working site up it may not render correctly as well.

topics landing page with webpart.png

Occasional Contributor

It's crazy that MS launches a high-profile product (Viva Topics) with a lot of marketing hype, but doesn't have proper support to ensure that customers can use it.  I've been waiting for this product for a long time (in the meantime using work arounds with manual links and OneNote).  I hope someone from MS responds and helps to resolve this.

Occasional Contributor
New Contributor

Hi all! So we have Topics turned on and it's working fine, but I want to confirm where these Topic Cards show up. If I search in Teams they don't come up correct? My understanding is that if there's a topic cards around for a project team for example, Project ABC - whenever you see "Project ABC" anywhere in conversations it will be highlighted and you can pull up the card to review.  But you can't search for "Project ABC" and have the topic card appear as a search results correct? They only appear as links when they're mentioned in other 365 tools?  It does not replace a company intranet search or results, but instead enhances them - am I thinking about this right @Chris McNulty ? Thank you so much!

New Contributor

Its going to be sad if the 30 day free trial expires before the Topics show up and are usable in sharepoint

New Contributor

Out of interest anyone who has topics working do the topics render out in the list in the topic centre when you click on manage topics? My pages seem to have errors in the rendering so they don't seem to show , it just says  there is 11 topics that are published but none of them work with # tagging them and the list shows zero in the list view?

Regular Visitor

@NightmareRambo77, ours is mostly working. However, the "Manage Topics" area only loads about 85% of the time. When it doesn't load, I close the tab or the window and come back later. Then it usually works okay. However, the web parts in the topic center are always slow. Pages load slow and publishing takes a long time. All that being said, I really like the product and I'm advocating for it at my company with the hope that these "bugs" will be worked out soon. Hope this helps.

New Contributor

Thanks @NightmareRambo77 it's very helpful

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