Best practices for Microsoft Search floor plans

To successfully implement Microsoft Search floor plans, you need to coordinate three pieces of data:

  • Building location data: What format and how to add?
  • Floor plan map in DWG format: How to view and what data should it contain for maximum success?
  • Employee office location in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD): What format to use and how to add?

The best practices for deploying Microsoft Search floor plans are also described in the following sections.

Building location data

Before you add floor plans, you need to add your buildings to Microsoft Search locations. Provide the following required building data:

Required building data Example
Name Building 1, New York City
Street address 123 Any Avenue, New York, NY 10118
Latitude-longitude (optional) 40.760539, -73.975341
Keywords New York Office, Building 1, main office, headquarters

You can add many buildings at a time by using the Import feature in the Locations tab instead of adding locations one at a time. With the Import feature, you can specify the latitude-longitude. For more information, see Manage locations.

Floor plan map in DWG format

To build maps in Microsoft Search, you need to upload floor plans in DWG format with specific information. To learn how to create and view DWG-formatted files, see DWG Viewers.

Floor plan maps display four elements:

  1. Room numbers: In the following example, room numbers are defined as B1 1001 and B1 1002. B1 is the building code, and 1001 contains the floor number 1 and the office number 001.
  2. Room layouts.: To help clarify details when multiple users share an office, you can define layouts like chairs and desk.
  3. Room types: Some examples include office, corridor, open area, and toilet.
  4. Asset info: If users are in an open space, you can denote which desk they sit at. In this example, the desks are denoted by TB1 and TB2.

Simple office map showing how to label room numbers, assets, and room types

In this diagram, room numbers are the most important item. They're mapped to a person’s office location on their user account as shown in the following image.

Overview tab of the people search result card showing the user's details, including office location

This information is stored in Azure AD in the PhysicalDeliveryOfficeName property. In the Microsoft 365 admin center, it’s called the Office property and can be added in Active users.

DWG files

Microsoft Search requires floor plan files in DWG, which is an AutoCAD drawing format. The files must contain layout and label data. Room numbers are the most important labels for floor plans.

We recommend that you create your office numbering system with the exact-match method shown in the following table. But you aren't limited to that labeling. For example, if the user's office location in Azure AD is B1 1001, you can label the room number in the DWG file with any of the options that follow.

Match Layout
Exact match to office location (Recommended)
B1 1001
Building code: B1
Floor: 1
Room number: 001
Single office floor plan with the office number "B1 1001"
Match floor and room number
Floor: 1
Room number: 001
Single office floor plan with the office number "1001"
Match room number only
Room number: 1
Single office floor map with the office number "1"

User account office location

To map an employee’s location, the room numbers in DWG files are mapped to office locations in the user’s account in Azure AD. The Office location property needs to match the office location information in the DWG file.

The following table explains best practices for mapping location data:

Best practice Explanation
Include building code, floor, and room number. This data gives you the best chance to make exact matches.
Include a separator after building codes and floors. Separate building codes from floor and room numbers with a separator or a space, as in these examples:
B1 1001
Room number always follows building code, wing, and floor information. If the room number is 1001, then set the office location to B1 1001, B1/1001, or B1-1001.
If the room number is F1-001, then set the office location to B1 F1-001 or B1/F1-001.
If the room number is 1, then set the Azure AD location to B1 1001, B1/1001, or B1-F1-001.

Next steps

Manage locations
Manage floor plans