Add or Edit a SharePoint Online Legacy Source


SharePoint Online legacy sources are unavailable in organizations created after February 28th, 2018. Customers with such an organization must create regular SharePoint Online sources instead.

When you have the required privileges, you can index SharePoint Online content and make it searchable.


The SharePoint Online legacy source requires an identity provider URL (when using a federated authentication) and a SharePoint trust identifier to make secured content searchable (see Authentication Section). To authenticate with OAuth 2.0, create a regular SharePoint Online source instead.

Leading practice

The number of items that a source processes per hour (crawling speed) depends on various factors, such as network bandwidth and source configuration. See About Crawling Speed for information on what can impact crawling speed, as well as possible solutions.

Source Key Characteristics

Features Supported Additional information
SharePoint Online version Latest cloud version  
Searchable content types check Sites, sub-sites, user profiles, personal websites, lists, list items, list item attachments, document libraries, document sets, documents, web parts, and microblog posts and replies.
Content update operations Refresh check

Takes place every hour by default. A rescan or rebuild is required to take account of deleted user profiles.

Rescan check  
Rebuild check  
Content security options Determined by source permissions check  
Source creator check  
Everyone check  


DNS Records Configuration for Office 365

  1. Log in to Office 365 admin center with an administrator account.

  2. In the navigation bar on the left, select Domains.

  3. On the Manage domains page:

    1. Under Domain Name, select your corporate domain (not checkbox.

    2. Next to the Action column, under the domain name, click Domain settings.

  4. On the domain page, in the DNS records section, take note of the DNS records.

  5. Configure these DNS records in your DNS host provider.

  6. On the domain page, in the DNS records section, click the Troubleshoot domain link to ensure that the DNS records were correctly configured.

SharePoint Online Account With Appropriate Permissions

When you want to include SharePoint Online content, you must create a specific SharePoint Online account that will be only used for the source. Otherwise, you will need to also change the source Password value each time the account password changes to prevent authentication errors.

  1. Access your SharePoint Online tenant with an administrator account.

  2. On your SharePoint Online tenant:

    1. Select or create a user that the source will use to retrieve your SharePoint Online content. See the following table to identify the required type of user for your web application enabled authentication.

      SharePoint web application enabled authentication Type of user User format
      Native Native Office 365 account
      SSO with ADFS Single Sign-On Office 365 account
      SSO with Okta
    2. Grant appropriate SharePoint permissions to the SharePoint Online account you selected to ensure it has access to all the content that you want to include.

      The following table presents the minimal required permissions that the source credentials must have to perform the specified action.

      Action to perform Minimal required permission
      Content and security indexing, incremental refresh, and site collection discovery

      Personal site, user profile and social tags indexing

      When including personal sites or user profiles, the source credentials (indexing account) must not have a personal site on the SharePoint server being included to prevent connector failure cases when attempting to retrieve the list of personal sites.

      Owner of all personal sites collections (see Adding the Personal Sites Collections Owner Permissions for SharePoint Online).

Add or Edit a SharePoint Online Legacy Source

Before you start, ensure that your SharePoint Online Legacy instance meets the source requirements.

When adding or editing a SharePoint Online Legacy source, follow the instructions below.

"Configuration" Tab

On the Add/Edit a SharePoint Online Legacy Source subpage, the Configuration tab is selected by default. It contains your source general and content information, as well as other parameters.

General Information

Source Name

Enter a name for your source.

Leading practice

A source name can’t be modified once it’s saved, therefore be sure to use a short and descriptive name, using letters, numbers, hyphens (-), and underscores (_). Avoid spaces and other special characters.


Enter the URLs of the SharePoint Online site sections that you want to make searchable. Ensure to include the protocol (http:// or https://).

  • For the whole SharePoint Online site:

  • For a Web Application: https://site:8080/

  • For a site collection: https://site:8080/sites/support

  • For a website: https://site:8080/sites/support/subsite

  • For a document library: https://site:8080/documentLibrary

  • For a list: https://site:8080/sites/support/lists/contacts/allItems.aspx


Indexing a specific folder in a list isn’t supported.


Select the content type that you want to index in relation with the specified source URLs.

By default, Web application is selected, which is the highest element type in the SharePoint Online site hierarchy. It allows you to index everything.

Value Content to crawl

Web application

All site collections of the specified web application

Site collection

All web sites of the specified site collection

Web and sub webs

Only the specified web site and its sub webs (also known as subsites)


Only the specified list or document library

Character Optical Recognition (OCR)

If you want Coveo to extract text from image files or PDF files containing images, check the appropriate box. OCR-extracted text is processed as item data, meaning that it’s fully searchable and will appear in the item Quick View. See Enable Optical Character Recognition for details on this feature.


Contact Coveo Sales to add this feature to your organization license.

"Authentication" Section

In the Authentication section, you must provide authentication information so that Coveo can access the content you want to make searchable. In the drop-down menu, select the identity provider you use to manage identities in your SharePoint site. Options are:

  • Native

  • Federated

Depending on the option you choose in the drop-down menu, you must fill some or all of the following boxes.

Username and Password

The credentials of a dedicated SharePoint Online administrator account that has access to all the content you want to index (see SharePoint Online instructions in Granting SharePoint Permission to the Crawling Account). See Source Credentials Leading Practices.


Starting March 25, 2019, when you create two SharePoint Online Legacy sources retrieving content from the same tenant, they share their security providers, which increases the speed of the security identities refresh operation. You must however use the same administrator credentials for both sources.

Identity Provider URL

Depending on the provider your users use to log in to SharePoint:

  • When using SSO Office 365 authentication, enter the URL of the identity provider server used in SharePoint Online to authenticate users.

  • When authenticating via ADFS, you can edit the identity provider URL in the ADFS settings.


    When authenticating via Okta, the URL should be of the following format:<APPLICATION_ID>/sso/wsfed/active

  • When using native authentication, leave this field blank.

SharePoint Trust Identifier

Depending on the provider your users use to log in to SharePoint:

  • When using SSO Office 365 authentication, enter the Relying Party Trust identifier for the SharePoint Online identity provider server. Unless you use a different or modified SharePoint Online identity provider, use the default urn:federation:MicrosoftOnline value.

  • When using native authentication, you may leave the default value, as it will be ignored.

"Content to Include" Section

User Profiles

Check this box to index SharePoint Online user profiles.


Indexing user profiles can take a significant time depending on their number. Moreover, including user profiles more than once creates as many duplicates in your Coveo organization index. Therefore, we recommend to index your user profiles only once for all your SharePoint Online sources:

  • When you configure your first SharePoint Online source, select the User profiles check box. For all your other SharePoint sources, ensure this parameter check box is cleared.

  • When you already have other configured SharePoint Online sources, look for your smallest web application in size, and select the User profiles check box and clear this parameter check box in all your other SharePoint Online sources.

Personal Sites

When the selected scope is Web application, check this box to include SharePoint Online personal sites.

"Content Security" Tab

Select who will be able to access the source items through a Coveo-powered search interface. For details on this parameter, see Content Security.

"Access" Tab

In the Access tab, set whether each group and API key can view or edit the source configuration (see Resource Access):

  1. If available, in the left pane, click Groups or API Keys to select the appropriate list.

  2. In the Access Level column for groups or API keys with access to source content, select View or Edit.


  1. Finish adding or editing your source:

    • When you want to save your source configuration changes without starting a build/rebuild, such as when you know you want to do other changes soon, click Add Source/Save.


      On the Sources (platform-eu | platform-au) page, you must click Launch build or Start required rebuild in the source Status column to add the source content or to make your changes effective, respectively.

    • When you’re done editing the source and want to make changes effective, click Add and Build Source/Save and Rebuild Source.

      Back on the Sources (platform-eu | platform-au) page, you can review the progress of your source addition or modification.

      Once the source is built or rebuilt, you can review its content in the Content Browser.

  2. Optionally, consider editing or adding mappings once your source is done building or rebuilding.

What’s Next?

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