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Microsoft Unveils SharePoint Embedded Preview

Microsoft unveiled a public preview of SharePoint Embedded at the European SharePoint conference on Tuesday.

SharePoint Embedded is a resource for application developers using Microsoft 365 apps and services. Microsoft's announcement did not indicate that SharePoint Embedded was a rename of its Syntex Repository Services product. However, Microsoft uses similar descriptions and the exact same architectural diagram for the two products. A reader of Microsoft's Twitter announcement had noticed the similarity.

The SharePoint Embedded name might seem like it is some new SharePoint product spinoff, but the announcement described it more like an application programming interface (API) for developers. Here's how SharePoint Embedded was characterized:

Today we're pleased to announce that SharePoint Embedded, a new way to build custom content apps for enterprises and ISVs, is available for public preview. SharePoint Embedded offers a headless, API-only pattern to build content apps that integrate management capabilities like collaboration, security, and compliance into any app by storing content inside an enterprise's existing Microsoft 365 tenant.

The Microsoft 365 tenant content storage aspect of SharePoint Embedded seems to be a key aspect. It allows independent software vendors (ISVs) to "leverage a robust and consistent content management system they already trust," along with Microsoft's security and compliance tools, the announcement contended.

Enterprises or ISVs building apps using SharePoint Embedded can leverage the following Microsoft services:

  • Content management capabilities such as "search, content preview and version tracking."
  • Microsoft 365 security and compliance tools "such as audit, eDiscovery, Bring Your Own Key and more."
  • Microsoft 365 Backup and Microsoft 365 Archive services.
  • SharePoint Premium capabilities such as "document processing" and "eSignature."
  • Coauthoring in Word or PowerPoint apps.

Microsoft also noted that SharePoint Embedded is "fully integrated with the Microsoft 365 Admin Center and Microsoft Purview, allowing administrators to use familiar tools to manage content lifecycle, security, and compliance."

SharePoint Embedded is for Microsoft developers ("first party"), as well as "third party" enterprise and ISVs. Microsoft itself used SharePoint Embedded to create Microsoft Loop, its Microsoft 365 component collaboration solution that reached general availability this month, as well as Microsoft Designer, its emerging DALL-E 3-based artificial intelligence image creation tool.

While SharePoint Embedded is currently at the preview stage, Microsoft is planning to release it at the "general availability" commercial-release stage in "mid-2024." It'll be offered under "pay-as-you-go consumption terms," which means that organizations would pay for storage, data transfers and the amount of API calls, "without the need for additional user licenses."

The billing breakdown for using the SharePoint Embedded preview can be found here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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