Setup overview for Graph connectors by Microsoft

This article shows the basic process required to set up the Graph connectors by Microsoft in the Microsoft 365 admin center. The basic process includes the following steps:

  1. Add a Graph connector in the Microsoft 365 admin center
  2. Name the connection
  3. Configure the connection settings
  4. Select properties
  5. Manage search permissions
  6. Assign property labels
  7. Manage schema
  8. Refresh settings
  9. Review connection

This article also includes information about troubleshooting, limitations, and next steps:

Note

The setup process is similar for all the Graph connectors by Microsoft but is not exactly the same. In addition to reading this article, be sure to read the connector-specific information for your data source.

Step 1: Add a Graph connector in the Microsoft 365 admin center

Complete the following steps to configure any of the Microsoft-built Graph connectors:

  1. Sign into your admin account in the Microsoft 365 admin center.

  2. In the navigation pane, select Settings, and then select Search & intelligence. Select the Data sources tab.

  3. Select +Add, and then select the data source of your choice from the menu of available options.

    Data sources available include: ADLS Gen2, Enterprise websites, Microsoft SQL server, Azure SQL, Oracle SQL database, ServiceNow Knowledge, ServiceNow Catalog, File share, Azure DevOps, and MediaWiki.

Note

You can add a maximum of ten Graph connections to each tenant.

Step 2: Name the connection

Specify these attributes:

  • Name (required)
  • Connection ID (required)
  • Description (optional)
  • Select check box (required)

The connection ID creates implicit properties for your connector. It must contain only alphanumeric characters and be a maximum of 32 characters.

Step 3: Configure the connection settings

The process to configure the connection settings varies based on the type of data source. See the Connector-specific information for the type of data source you want to add to your tenant to complete this step in the setup process.

To learn more about connecting to an on-premises data source, see Install an on-premises data gateway.

Step 4: Select properties

You can choose the properties that will be indexed by Microsoft Search.

The ServiceNow query can be used to filter your data before it is indexed by Microsoft Search; this gives you more control over the data that can be searched. To learn more about ServiceNow queries, see Learn about ServiceNow queries.

Step 5: Manage search permissions

Access Control Lists (ACLs) determine which users in your organization can access each item.

Some connectors like Microsoft SQL and Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 natively support Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) ACLs.

Other connectors like ServiceNow Knowledge, ServiceNow Catalog, Azure DevOps, and Salesforce support syncing of non-Azure AD users and groups.

Selecting everyone allows everyone in your organization to see search results from this data source.

Step 6: Assign property labels

You can assign semantic labels to your source properties on the "Assign property labels" page. Labels are well-known tags provided by Microsoft that provide semantic meaning. They allow Microsoft to integrate your connector data into Microsoft 365 experiences such as enhanced search, people cards, intelligent discovery, and more.

The following table lists the currently supported labels and their descriptions.

Label Description
title The title for the item that you want shown in search and other experiences
url The target url of the item in the source system
Created By Name of the person who created the item
Last modified by Name of the person who most recently edited the item
Authors Name of the people who participated/collaborated on the item
Created date time When was the item created
Last modified date time When was the item most recently edited
File name Name of the file item
File extension Type of file item such as .pdf or .word

The properties on this page are pre-selected based on your data source, but you can change this selection if there's a different property that is better suited for a particular label.

The label title is the most important label. It's strongly recommended you have a property assigned to this label in order for your connection to participate in the result cluster experience.

Incorrectly mapping labels will cause a deteriorated search experience. It's okay for some labels to not have a property assigned to it.

Step 7: Manage schema

Content property

It's recommended you select a Content Property from the drop-down menu of options, or keep the default if one is present. This property is used for full-text indexing of content, search results page snippet generation, result cluster participation, language detection, HTML/text support, ranking and relevance, and query formulation.

If you select a content property, you will have the option of using the system-generated property ResultSnippet when you create your result type. This property serves as a placeholder for the dynamic snippets that are generated from the content property at query time. If you use this property in your result type, snippets will be generated in your search results.

Creating aliases for source properties

You can add aliases to your properties under the "Alias" column on the "Manage schema" page. Aliases are friendly names for your properties, and also used in queries and in the creation of filters. They're also used to normalize source properties from multiple connections such that they have the same name. That way you can create a single filter for a vertical with multiple connections. For more information, see Customize the search results page.

Search schema attributes

You can set the search schema attributes to control search functionality of each source property. A search schema helps determine what results display on the search results page and what information end users can view and access.

Search schema attributes include options to Query, Search, Retrieve, and Refine. The following table lists each of the attributes that Microsoft Graph connectors support and explains their functions.

Search schema attribute Function Example
SEARCH Makes the text content of a property searchable. Property contents are included in the full-text index. If the property is title, a query for Enterprise returns answers that contain the word Enterprise in any text or title.
QUERY Searches by query for a match for a particular property. The property name can then be specified in the query either programmatically or verbatim. If the Title property can be queried, then the query Title: Enterprise is supported.
RETRIEVE Only retrievable properties can be used in the result type and display in the search result.
REFINE The refine option can be used as in the Microsoft Search results page. Users in your organization can filter by URL in the search results page if the refine property is marked during connection setup

For all connectors except the File share connector, custom types must be set manually. To activate search capabilities for each field, you need a search schema mapped to a list of properties. The connection wizard automatically selects a search schema based on the set of source properties you choose. You can modify this schema by selecting the check boxes for each property and attribute in the search schema page.

Schema for a connector can be customized by adding or removing Query, Search, and Retrieve functions.

Restrictions and recommendations for search schema settings

  • The content property is searchable only. Once selected in the dropdown, this property cannot be used with the options retrieve or query.

  • Significant performance issues occur when search results render with the content property. An example is the Text content field for a ServiceNow knowledge-base article.

  • Only properties marked as retrievable render in the search results and can be used to create modern result types (MRTs).

  • Only string properties can be marked searchable.

Note

After you create a connection, you can't modify the schema. To do that, you need to delete your connection and create a new one.

Step 8: Refresh settings

The refresh interval determines how often your data is synced between the data source and Microsoft Search. Each type of data source has a different set of optimal refresh schedules based on how often data is modified and the type of modifications.

There are two types of refresh intervals, which are Full refresh and Incremental refresh, but incremental refreshes aren't available for some data sources.

With a full refresh, the search engine processes and indexes the items that have changed in the content source, regardless of previous crawls. A full refresh works best for these situations:

  • Detecting deletions of data.
  • The incremental refresh found errors, and failed.
  • ACLs were modified.
  • Crawl rules were modified.
  • The schema for the connection has been updated (schema updates aren't yet supported).

With an Incremental refresh, the search engine can process and index only the items that were created or modified since the last successful crawl. As a result, not all the data in the content source is reindexed. Incremental refreshes work best to detect content, metadata, permission, and other updates.

Incremental refreshes are much faster than full refreshes because unchanged items aren't processed. However, if you choose to run incremental refreshes, you still need to run full refreshes periodically to maintain correct data sync between the content source and the search index.

Incremental crawl and full crawl interval settings showing Incremental at 15 minutes and Full crawl at 1 week.

Step 9: Review connection

You can review your entire configuration and edit settings as needed before completing the connection. Be sure to read the connector-specific information for your data source if you haven't already done so. Select Finish updating when you're ready to complete the connection.

Confirm if the connection setup worked

Go to the list of your published connections under the Connectors tab in the admin center. To learn how to make updates and deletions, see Manage your connector.

Troubleshooting

Read the connector-specific information for your data source.

Note

Not all connector-specific articles include troubleshooting recommendations at this point.

Limitations

To learn about limitations that apply to all data sources see the Overview of Microsoft Graph connectors article.

See the connector-specific information for your data source to find out if other limitations apply to that particular Graph connector.

Next steps

After publishing the connection, you need to customize the search results page with verticals and result types. To learn about customizing search results, you can review how to manage verticals and result types.