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Atlas Knowledge Topics: powerful experience & alternative to Viva Topics


On February 22, 2024 Microsoft announced that Viva Topics will be retired ( If you are looking for an alternative to Viva Topics, following Microsoft having officially announced its retirement by February 2025, you have come to the right place.

This blog covers the following:

What are Atlas Knowledge Topics pages?

As an Intelligent Knowledge Platform, Atlas provides complete end-to-end platform for executing on your Knowledge Management strategy, from curated knowledge management, to knowledge productivity, to just simply doing more with your knowledge.

An Atlas Knowledge Topics page is an innovative new experience, which let’s subject matter experts and knowledge teams automatically collate content and experts relating to one or more key subject areas.

Atlas Knowledge Topic Page ExperienceAtlas Knowledge Topic page experience includes:

  • Pinned experts, with expertise labels and expertise based navigation
  • Aggregated content across documents, pages, emails, FAQs and much more
  • Refiners and filters across all content
  • Permission trimming
  • Content based actions
  • Option to include external content sources (such as Thomson Reuters, LexisNexis, Bloomberg, iManage, Documentum, Salesforce, to name a few).
  • Option to include integrated AI Assistant experience.

Because Atlas Knowledge Topics are created within the Atlas Intelligent Knowledge Platform, you can of course leverage any and all of the Atlas features.

In fact, a Knowledge Topic page does not have to follow one rule, you could have different ways to present Knowledge Topics, for instance depending on whether it is a technical topic, a very document centric topic, or possibly a topic that relies mostly on external insights. Each type can be set as a pre-configured layout with a few clicks.


How do you manage  Atlas Knowledge Topics?

Atlas Knowledge Topics are managed along side other types of content and knowledge within the Atlas Intelligent Knowledge Platform, this means that you will benefit from all the usual management benefits, allowing you to scale effectively, including:

  • Delegated management to 100s or 1000s of SME individuals or teams
  • Flexible and templated layout options
  • Ability to include a range of optional extensions and web parts
  • Management of default tags as well as bespoke tags


How do Atlas Knowledge Topics compare with Microsoft Viva Topics?

The table below provides a very high level comparison of the Microsoft Viva Topics features compared to Atlas Knowledge Topics. Naturally, Atlas offers a wide set of additional features as part of the Intelligent Knowledge Platform experience, so this table here should really be seen in isolation and only for comparison of Microsoft Viva Topics against Atlas Knowledge Topics.

Comparison of Microsoft Viva Topics and Atlas Knowledge Topics


Microsoft Viva Topics

Atlas Knowledge Topic

Creating a Topic

From the site/pages/new experience

From Suggested Topics in the Manage Topics experience

From a term in term store

From Atlas “Add It”

From the standard site/pages/new experience

From Quick “Add It” wizards

Topic page layout and control

Zero control over brand and layout

One section available for adding web parts from web part gallery


Complete control to the same level as any other Atlas Knowledge pages.

Options to create a new common layout that suits business requirements.

Ability to have more than one Atlas Knowledge Topic layout template.

Multiple branding and visualization options


Topic tagging and classification

High level “Types” can be selected (not linked to terms in Term Store)

No specific way to related a Topic to a term in term store (although a Topic can be created from a term)


Tagging is aligned with and leverages the term store

Flexible tagging, one or more tags can be set per Topic

Multiple categories of tags can be managed (Department, Entity, Subject, and more)


Content Aggregation


Content is suggested based on “black box” M/L and NLP algorithms that cannot be controlled or configured.

Content is aggregated dynamically and automatically based on the tags assigned to the topic, leveraging the SharePoint or Microsoft Search index, or alternatively the Atlas SmartHub extension that allows content aggregation from external sources.




People are suggested based on their name being associated to any of the suggested content, as contributor or creator.


People can be added as pinned as experts.


People are aggregated automatically based on the context of the Topic where tags match content in people profiles.


People can added specifically as spotlighted experts.


Permission Trimming

Yes – with the limitation that Topics Pages themselves are not permission trimmed as such.


Yes – including Atlas Knowledge Pages.

Content Sources

Microsoft 365, and mainly SharePoint Online based content.

Any, subject to system connector. Atlas provides out of the box extensibility to over 90 different enterprise platforms, including Documentum, OpenText, iManage, SalesForce, Dynamics CRM and ServiceNow.


Delegation of control

Viva Topics pages all sit in one Site Collection, and delegation of control (owner or member) require sharing on a Topic (page) by Topic basis.


Atlas Knowledge Topics are maintained within Atlas Knowledge Bases (AKBs). An organization can maintain multiple AKBs, each with a unique set of permissions – thus easily delegating the control of creation and management across a wider pool of Subject Matter Experts and Knowledge Managers.



Visual knowledge network

This is a unique feature of Viva Topics, which to date has only included visualising the links between Topics (and does not include People or other knowledge types as originally shown in marketing materials)

Atlas Knowledge Topics include an intuitive label browse feature, to allow users to browse through the visual labels attached to the Knowledge Topic or the Experts.








Author bio

Gabriel Karawani

Gabriel Karawani

Gabriel is Co-Founder of ClearPeople, responsible for the overall technical and Atlas Intelligent Knowledge Platform vision. He works closely with colleagues at Microsoft on roadmap alignment and innovative Content AI Services programs such as Microsoft Viva Topics and SharePoint Premium (previously known as Syntex). Gabriel was part of Microsoft's partner program for Project Cortex.

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