Updating content management for the cloud
Published Sep 26 2017 06:09 AM 47K Views

SharePoint powers content collaboration and content services (also called enterprise content management or ECM) throughout Office 365.  Today at Ignite, we’re thrilled to announce the following new capabilities for SharePoint content services: (First Release dates in [BOLD].)


  • When content is distributed between Office 365 and on-premises SharePoint, hybrid content types allow administrators to deploy a unified information architecture, governing metadata, templates and retention regardless of where content lives. [Now]
  • Attention Views aggregate files that require custom metadata into actionable screens that enable bulk management and updates.   [October 2017]
  • You can view and edit document metadata directly inside Word 2016 on Windows with the Word SharePoint Properties Pane. [January 2018]
  • You can work with the largest document libraries, using performance improvements from predictive indexing and queries. And you can find the files you need with the new filter pane.  [Now]
  • Automate document review and feedback with integrated review flows.  Built with Microsoft Flow and available on all libraries, you can easily route any file for review. [October 2017]
  • Build custom processes with Flow, to approve and publish content for libraries requiring formal check in and approval. [November 2017]
  • Event-based retention allows you to trigger document disposal from external events like project closure, financial events, or manual review. [Q4 2017]
  • Sync files from document libraries protected with information rights management policies. Files from IRM-protected document libraries can now be synced to your PC or Mac.  [Q4 2017]

Let’s look at each of these.


Unify information architecture with hybrid content types

Content types define taxonomy, retention and templates. By associating files with content types, you can group related files and manage them accordingly.  In 2016, we introduced hybrid taxonomy, which let you manage your term sets in Office 365 and replicate them to SharePoint Server 2013 and 2016. 


This year, we have introduced hybrid content types, which also allow you to manage content types in Office 365 and replicate them to on-premises SharePoint Server 2013 and 2016.  This allows you to facilitate co-existence with a unified information architecture of content types and tags across hybrid content.


Gather metadata in Word documents with the SharePoint properties panel

While you can edit the metadata for a document in a SharePoint document library, it is often easier to display and edit document metadata inside the document itself.  Earlier versions of Word provided a way to view and edit SharePoint metadata in a document.  This capability was not originally provided by Word 2016.  As a result, many users continued to rely on Word 2013. Now, the Word SharePoint properties panel, currently rolling into First Release for Word 2016 on Windows, provides an easy way to display and edit column values in context with the document.

Word SharePoint properties panelWord SharePoint properties panel


Prioritize content management tasks with attention views

Document metadata is essential for focused, precise use of enterprise content in SharePoint.  However, managing groups of files with missing metadata, pending check-ins, missing approvals and expiration dates requires a way to "zoom in" on files that need attention.  Attention views provide a visual reminder that files require additional action, and allow you to focus on those files with an actionable view for metadata updates. 


Attention viewsAttention views


The first version of attention views will begin in October 2017 and will identify any files that are missing required metadata.  Future updates will add additional conditions, such as files requiring check-in.


Work effectively with the largest libraries, with predictive indexing and queries

SharePoint lists and libraries can house up to 30 million items or documents – and each tenant can store a maximum of 30 trillion documents. 


Predictive indexing lets you use the full capacity of SharePoint libraries while minimizing the need for active administration and performance throttles.  When we detect a query that might result in thousands of records, SharePoint automatically adds the index on the fly – and we’re working on automatic indexing for queries of any size.   In the modern user experience, library views are smarter about using queries and paging behind the scenes to grab records in manageable sets as the users moves through a large view, without needing to throttle the view completely. 


Our new predictive logic is an ongoing deployment and will be available to most customers in Q4 of 2017.


Automate document reviews with Microsoft Flow

Use out of the box automation to optimize creativity with integrated review flows.  Every document library will allow you to route a document for review and feedback.


Send for reviewSend for review

For more formal processes that use SharePoint versioning and publishing approval, you can build a custom Flow with a new action that supports SharePoint check in and approval.

Protect and govern content to support your compliance requirements

Our data governance features allow administrators to create labels, shared across Office 365, that can be applied to files and thereby enforce policies for records management or retention.


Many retention policies are time based, such as keeping contracts for at least seven years.  However, there are other occasions when documents need to be retained until an event occurs, such as the termination of a project, or the approval of a contract.  With event-based retention, document end of life can be also triggered on demand from the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center, providing an auditable, controlled removal of content when required for operational compliance.


Sometimes, content needs even more control.  SharePoint libraries allow rights management policies to enforce encryption and policies on downloaded content, but that encryption has been incompatible with the OneDrive sync client.  Now, without compromising data encryption, SharePoint and OneDrive will allow offline synchronization of libraries encrypted by Information Rights Management.


We look forward to seeing many of you at our session this week at Ignite – Harness collective knowledge with SharePoint and OneDrive content services (ECM)


In addition, we are pleased to share our new white paper on content services in Office 365.  Please download “Modernizing Enterprise Content Management with Microsoft Content Services” for more information.  More ongoing resources on Office 365 content solutions are available on our Resource Center at https://aka.ms/sharepoint-contentservices.  Thank you, and please join the discussion to share your thoughts and feedback.

Respected Contributor

How can we tell if Predictive Indexing has been activated in a tenant?

New Contributor

This is great stuff! I have a question about Attention Views. It says:


  • Attention Views aggregate files that require custom metadata into actionable screens that enable bulk management and updates.   [October 2017]

However, I don't see anything regarding the "bulk management and updates" part--I can only see per-item updates. When I first read this, I thought it might be implemented with the Quick Edit view, which provides the brilliant, Excel-like click-and-drag functionality to fill out the same data for multiple items (in general, it seems like a Quick Edit-style view would be ideal for the goals of the Attention Views). Could you describe how the Attention Views enable bulk management and updates?


Thank you for continuing to roll out very useful features!!



@Dean Gross if you sort by a text column of moe than 2500 items and less than 20000, for example, and the coumn wasn't previously indexed, it should show in the Indexed columns view on the list/libraries setting page.


@Ryan Helmer the bulk editing will appear in the properties pane.  @Lincoln DeMaris showed this in his List and Libraries session at Ignite - when you select multiple items, the properties pane shows the columns common to all, and any edits made there are applied to all slected items.   The base attention views start in First Release on October 9, and the bulk edits will be released later this year.   Thanks for reading!

Not applicable

Great to see the properties pane more prominent! Will the Word SharePoint Properties Pane include the option to set labels (Office 365 Security and Compliance labels) as part of the properties in Word?

Respected Contributor

@Chris McNulty, thanks for the confirmation, I was assuming it was something like that.


It would be helpful if the Message Center showed the activation of new features like this in a tenant so that the admins could make the necessary communications to their organizations, @Brian Levenson and @Anne Michels

Regular Contributor

Is this supposed to work on SP sites that are still set for Classic View or only when set for the New Experience?



New Contributor

 @Chris McNulty, thank you for the reply--I'll have to check that out!


Regarding the SharePoint Properties Panel, can these easily be used so that they populate content in documents (via Content Controls, Properties, or something new), and vice versa (i.e., content in documents (Content Controls) populate the SharePoint Properties)?


Thank you!!


@Forrest Hoffman Prediciive indexing operates on classic mode lost views as well, although the query logic only works in modern.

@Ryan Helmer you could alreay insert "Quick Parts" in a Word document - thr Word SPP aggreagtes the metadata columns in a single pane.



Regular Contributor

I was interested in getting the filter for "files that need attention" to work and cannot seem to get there.  The Document navigation and settings bar is not activating with the same Look as shown in your clip above.  I seem to remember some of that being tied to New Experience.  We have turned off all the New Experience because it broke many of our Workflows.


@Forrest Hoffman yes Attention Views are not being brought to classic experience.   They just started rollout to First Release this week - so it should be a few days or weeks until the full rollout is completed, depending.

Occasional Contributor

The Word SharePoint Properties Pane is broken for date fields.


The date controls in the WSPPP interpret the date as US format (mm-dd-yyyy) when they are UK format in SP (dd-mm-yyyy).  This causes errors if the UK date coincidentally match a US date e.g. 31/6/2017 UK is read as 6/31/2017 by the WSPPP control.  Worse still, rather than erroring it changes the date when the UK date coincidentally matches another date by reversing the day and month e.g. UK date 10/1/2017 in SPO is interpreted as 1st Jan 2017 in  WSPPP which then writes the date back to SPO as UK date 1/10/2017 i.e. changes the date reversing the month and day.


Thanks.  WSPPP isn't releasing until January 2018, so not sure what you're seeing @Lawrence Duff.  Adding @Michal_Bar to the dialog.

Occasional Contributor

This is what I'm seeing.  Nice (when it works).  And how about putting it into the other Office 2016 apps? ...



Occasional Contributor

Out of interest: -

Does the WSPPP reach out to the Office 365 / SPO web services directly to get and present / update the properties displayed?

Or is it accessing the locally demoted / promoted (whichever refers to the local InfoPath-based copies of the column properties embedded in Word) data that you see in File -> Properties -> Show All Properties?

I can't test to find out because it's not working.  If I make changes in the WSPPP pane the changes don't make it back to SPO let alone the File -> Properties -> Show All Properties.


Sounds Great. It is nice to see that the document management features are in focus again after modern lists lefts us high and dry.


How does Attention view behave once we hit the 5000 list view limit?

New Contributor

The new Panel is not working in our SP2016 environment. Sometimes it is empty and it does not work with documents that are created from the application. It says "Document Information Panel: No SharePoint properties found."


With Office 2010 it was easy to create a new document, but now you can't even save a newly created file to a synced folder. Word asks you for the content type and then the new add-in can't connect. If you try to do it via the the document properties you face the problem with the people picker (we have a responsible field (required)) that can't establish a connection with the server.


There are many cases users can't enter all metadata like they did with Office 2010. Does somebody else have the same problem here?


There is also the problem that files cotaining spaces in the filename like "This is a test.docx" can't also connect with the new panel. I've tested it and when I eliminate all blanks in the name the panel shows the metadata.

New Contributor

Will this be available to us users that have On premise deployments?  We're stuck with office 2010 until we get the DIP replacement back.  

 @Duy Lai the Property Panel is availiable on prem in the March 2018 CU. It may possibly have been included already with the January 2018 CU, but I have only tested the March CU. 


So no need to hang onto Office 2010 :)

What's the current plan for launching this feature? The release date keeps getting bumped out and we're now 2 months past the latest projection (Q1 CY2018). Meanwhile, users still have to create files offline and then upload them in order to fill in lookup column properties, which is both annoying and risky.

@Brad Jorgensen the Property Panel has been availiable on prem since the January 2018 CU. I have word open with the property panel working from a 2013 site right now. 



Hi, @Ole Kristian Mørch-Storstein.


I was referring to the Word Properties Pane status on the O365 roadmap, which is still marked "rolling out" and links to this article. My issue is specifically with the interaction between Word for O365 and SharePoint Online. When I create a new document from SharePoint, I'm still unable to click on required lookup fields to set their values, which prevents me from saving and checking in the document.

Frequent Visitor

The properties panel is only shown after a document has been saved (up until then the button in the View ribbon just flips to the backstage tab). Is there a way to open a new document from a template and be able to use the properties pane?  Our primary use case with the DIP in Word 2010 is to use a SharePoint content type to determine the content controls available to a template (.dotx) and then when a new document is created from that template use the DIP to populate content controls . This way authors conveniently see the properties and content in the full context of the document - flipping back and forth from the backstage tab is unacceptable. Hopefully there is a way to launch Word to create a new document from a template with the context it needs to connect the properties panel to a SharePoint library content type.

Senior Member

The properties panel was displaying great in Word until about two weeks ago and now, nothing. What changed? When will this be fixed, once and for all?

I created a new content type, new document library, uploaded the template with the properties included and still my Word Sharepoint Properties says, No SharePoint properties found.  Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

New Contributor

I'm having the same issue which has been quite frustrating, any new information on this would be great to go back to my stakeholders on a solution.

Occasional Visitor

In Word SharePoint Properties Pane BDC (External data) fields are not working properly. The fields are visible on the properties pane, but the data can not be changed/saved into Sharepoint. Is it planned to fix this problem, while there is no support for BCS in O365?BDC_o365.PNG


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‎Jan 08 2018 03:54 PM
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