The Activity Store is the New Source of Truth

The search for a document management solution wasn’t really being undertaken by the right people until you were asked whether or not it could either

  1. Serve as the Source of Truth, or
  2. Respect another repository as the Source of Truth

Life used to be so simple back then. At least, that was how it seemed. It turned out, that even the records management solution was never The Source of Truth – it was only ONE Source of Truth within the organization.

We will forever have to manage many Sources of Truth within our information farms and fields and domains.

It was always easier, though, when we could roll up multiple systems or at least similar systems, into a single Source of Truth.

Printed circuit board futuristic serverThe lingua franca of our information domains has changed, though. It’s no longer documents, or fragments, or reusable content. It is not even the lowest common denominator, the log file, any longer. It is now “Activity”. If that sounds like a vague term, it is only vague until you define it. Create a schema for it, and then every system can feed and consume “Activity” using JSON or other protocol (I’ll bet you still have plenty of systems/applications using REST or Javascript APIs or even .CSV files, don’t you?) and your systems can start to build on each other again.

Microsoft 365, primarily through the use of the O365 Audit Log and the Microsoft Graph, is providing an Activity Store that will power the next generation of applications.

Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services provide solid tools for managing and tracking the IaaS portion of your data center. But there is no comparison to the Audit Log and the Microsoft Graph for making sense of what is happening within your Digital Workplace.

As you build applications, you should be dropping hints, if not writing explicit updates, into the Log and the Graph. This is not only for ISVs, but also for the new breed of custom developer, or even power users.  You can choose to make your app yet another Source of Truth, but if you want your data and function to be incorporated into one of the new style of Digital Workplaces, then you may be better served by leveraging a central Activity Store.

The Activity Store is the new Source of Truth. Are you leveraging it yet? If not, your competitor might be.  There will always be many Sources of Truth. But buyers will be asking if you are yet another, or if you are able to leverage the one that they have.

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