Highlights from Alan Eardley – Ignite 2018


28 Sep Highlights from Alan Eardley – Ignite 2018

Day 4 and it is the first day my alarm has woken me up, that has to mean it is almost time to go home!

Data Governance

Wow! That sums up the session nicely. It was full of demos and new features that are all coming together to present a comprehensive, integrated, intuitive set of tools offering sophisticated capabilities for applying and monitoring governance policies.

Automatically Apply Labels

We have had the ability to apply labels automatically based on the content matching particular regex terms, with over 90 standard data types provided out of the box, and the ability to add our own regex terms. This has covered a small amount of data, and by no means all of the data.

We will soon have the ability to use 30 different types of metadata, including content type to automatically apply labels. This is massive as it means that we can have content types like contract and CV which will have appropriate labels, no matter where in Office 365 they reside.

Default Labels

We will be able to default the labels based on the site, the library or a folder within a library. Again, a great step forward making it easier to secure content.

Classification Assistant

For the data that we know should be classified in some way, but which may be based on less rigid rules, the Classification Assistant is being introduced. This is a tool based on Machine Learning that make use of deep and active learning algorithms to provide suggested labels based on the format and content of documents. It can be trained to tailor the results for each tenant.

When it ships, there will be out of box assistants such as offensive language, but it will be possible to build organisation specific models to suit the business needs.

The classification assistants will be available to within the automatic labelling flows.

File Plans

These are intended to be used to define the overall governance of labels and policies from one location so that they can be used by multiple tools but centrally managed. Built in to the File Plans will be the ability to access Label Analytics.

Starting off with File Plans is very easy as they can be defined in a CSV file and uploaded to create all of the File Plans in one go.

Event Triggered Policies

Since April, the ability to define policies that are triggered by specific events has been available. The challenge with this has been the need to manually create the event that will be the trigger. Soon Flow will be able to be used to trigger the events allowing events in external systems to be used.


It is easy to get confused with the term OneDrive as it applies to multiple scenarios:
• Personal storage area in Office 365
• Sync client to allow access to files in Office 365 through Windows Explorer, including both personal files and shared files stored in SharePoint Online

And now it seems to also be synonymous with document libraries in SharePoint Online. This is kind of expected as the OneDrive applications are on Mobile, Mac and Windows all allow access to files wherever they are stored in Office 365, but it is still confusing.

The great thing about OneDrive (in all its guises) is that it continues to build on a set of capabilities that enable users to benefit from a great set of features.


When sharing documents, the experience will be the same on all devices, and from all locations, including Windows Explorer, Mac, Mobile Devices, document libraries and Microsoft Teams.

The approaches to sharing continue to offer great flexibility and security:
• Anyone
A transferable link that has an embedded token granting access. This allows recipients to share the link with confidence that others will be granted access
• People in Org
This is the same as Anyone but the user must authenticated in the tenant
• Specific people
This works for specific authenticated users with the link or specific external users. External users are emailed a one-time code that is valid for 15 minutes and they need to enter the code to gain access to the content

Additional capabilities coming to the sharing experience include:
• The ability to block downloads of content
• The ability to password protect a link
• The prompts for codes will be branded with corporate identity used in Azure AD

As the recipient of a link, if you do not open it, you will receive a reminder after 7 days.


As the administrator of a site you will have the ability to configure the default type of sharing link sent, or even turn off sharing. This is a great feature as it will allow much better management of content sharing.

Networking for Office 365

There have been some good practices for decentralising break-out points so that users get to the “Service Front Door” as quickly as possible, ideally avoiding long trips to data centres thousands of miles away.

Microsoft having been working hard to build routing algorithms that re-enforce this advice through the introduction of Anycast to allow connection to the same IP globally but then route traffic to the nearest node to connect to, thus reducing significantly the time required to serve up content to the end user.

A current project that is in beta is the ability to estimate the network bandwidth that may be needed by an organisation. This is being built through the use of Azure Log Analytics to capture data from client machines via an agent. The data will then be able to be exported and analysed with PowerBI providing more insight into the bandwidth needed.

This will be a great tool as the current calculators work on specific data that is plugged into a calculator, and the data tends to be hard to get and the calculators all work independently.

Get in touch with CPS today.

Contact Us

About the author
Alan Eardley

Alan Eardley, ProSci, MCP, CSM, PRINCE2, P-TSP, has nearly 20 years of experience working with web-based, data-driven solutions and brings a wide understanding of the way that solutions can provide benefits to an organisation. Alan has extensive experience of delivering Office 365 and SharePoint solutions, and he has been involved in different types of solutions ranging from public facing branded sites, through to technically challenging Line of Business portal solutions. Alan has a widespread knowledge of database development, configuration, high availability, disaster recovery and business intelligence. In combination with a broad understanding of infrastructure including networking, virtualisation, clustering, load balancing and licencing, Alan can provide a clear view of how Microsoft technologies can be best used to provide tangible business benefits.

No Comments

Post A Comment