Shifts data FAQ

This article covers frequently asked questions about Shifts data, including where Shifts data is stored, data retention, retrieval, and encryption.

Where is Shifts data stored?

Shifts data is stored in one of three geographies (geos): Asia Pacific (APAC), the European Union (EU), or the United States. Each geo stores data in at least two Azure data center regions for High Availability (HA) and Disaster Recovery (DR). Today, the United States/North America geo uses data centers in North Central and South Central United States. To learn more, see Where is Microsoft 365 customer data stored.

Currently, Shifts offers data residency in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom. We're actively working to expand support to more locations.

Can I choose where Shifts data is stored?

When you first set up Teams, you choose a country or region, which is set at the subscription level. Shifts honors this selection and uses the locale and region that's set in Teams if we support that region. If we aren't yet in that region, we store data in a nearby region that we support. In the future, we plan to migrate existing data, if stored in a nearby region, to the region that's provisioned in Teams.

Can I access and export or delete a user's personal data in Shifts?

Shifts is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant. A formal request by a person (known as a data subject) to take an action on their personal data is called a Data Subject Request (DSR). You can find and act on personal data in Shifts in response to a DSR.

You can use the Content Search eDiscovery tool in the Microsoft Purview compliance portal to search for and export schedule and time clock data to Excel. For all other Shifts data, you can take screenshots of the data.

To learn more, see Office 365 Data Subject Requests for the GDPR and CCPA.

What happens to Shifts data if I turn off Shifts for my organization?

Turning off Shifts in your organization does not delete data. If you turn off Shifts, and then later turn on Shifts, your Shifts data will still be available.

If you delete your tenant, all Shifts data is deleted after the retention period ends.

There's no option to delete only Shifts data. If you delete a team in Teams, Shifts schedule data that's associated with that team is deleted after the retention period ends. To learn more, see Data retention, deletion, and destruction in Microsoft 365.

Can I recover a Shifts schedule that was deleted?

You can recover a deleted schedule if the Microsoft 365 group that backs it (or the team in Teams) is restored.

By default, a deleted Microsoft 365 group is retained for 30 days. This 30-day period is called "soft-delete" because you can still restore the group. To learn more, see Restore a deleted Microsoft 365 group.

Can I use custom retention policies for Shifts data?

Currently, Shifts doesn't support custom retention policies.

To learn more about retention policies in Teams, see Learn about retention for Teams and Manage retention policies for Teams.

Can I retrieve Shifts data for a user whose license was revoked?

Today, we don't offer the ability to retrieve data for a user whose license was revoked. This capability is something we're working towards.

What type of encryption does Shifts use for data at rest and in transit?

Shifts data is encrypted at rest by Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Storage. To learn more, see Azure data encryption at rest and Data encryption in Azure Cosmos DB.

Shifts follows Microsoft 365 guidelines for encryption of data in transit. To learn more, see Encryption for data-in-transit.

Shifts encryption of data at rest and in transit are verified yearly by the SOC2 compliance audit.

Can I access immutable copies of Shifts data?

We don't store immutable copies of Shifts data. For example, a manager can make changes to a schedule, such as add notes, change shift times, assign tasks, and so on.

Can Shifts data be edited?

There are certain aspects of Shifts that can't be changed and certain aspects that can be changed. For example, shift details such as notes and colors can be edited similar to how they can be changed in the Shifts app. Shift requests can't be edited unless the request is withdrawn.

To see which what fields have been changed, you can search the Microsoft 365 audit log for Shifts events. To learn more about the events that are logged for Shifts activities in the Microsoft 365 audit log, see Shifts in Teams activities.

My organization uses a workforce management system for scheduling. Can we integrate with and access Shifts data?

Shifts Graph APIs let you integrate Shifts data with external workforce management (WFM) systems. To learn more, see Shifts Graph APIs.

We also offer managed Shifts connectors. With these connectors, you can integrate your WFM system directly with Shifts. To learn more about Shifts connectors and supported WFM systems, see Shifts connectors.

Can Shifts data be deleted permanently after a specified period of time?

Today, we don't delete your Shifts data at all. Using Shifts Graph APIs, it's possible to create an app using Power Apps to retain data for a specified period of time. However, we don't support this natively.

Can Shifts data be moved in a tenant-to-tenant migration?

To migrate your existing Shifts data to another tenant, you'll need to export Shifts schedules for a date range, modify user names (if necessary), and then import the schedules to the destination tenant. You can export up to 100 days of Shifts data at a time. The date range can be in the past or future. If you need to export data for a longer timeframe than 100 days, repeat the process.

Before you migrate your Shifts data, make sure the following requirements are met:

  • The destination tenant domain, teams, and team members must already exist. The migration doesn't create teams or change team membership or ownership.
  • The Shifts app must be set up in teams in the destination tenant and have an empty schedule. Keep in mind that the migration doesn't replace or delete existing data. This means that if a team has an existing schedule, users may see duplicate or conflicting shifts, which need to be manually resolved.
  • Open requests (such as swap and time off requests) that are pending approval aren't migrated. We recommend closing any open requests before you start migrating data.

Here's an overview of the steps to migrate your Shifts data to another tenant.

  1. In the source tenant, for each team, export the Shifts schedule:
    1. In Shifts, on the Schedule page, go to More options (...) > Export schedule.
    2. Select a date range.
    3. Turn on Export in a format that can be imported, and then select Export. Shifts schedule data is exported to an Excel file.
  2. As part of the migration, if any team members are switching their email domain, manually update the Excel file to change the user principal name (UPN) of those users to the destination tenant domain.
  3. In the destination tenant, import the schedule to each team.
    1. In Shifts, on the Schedule page, go to More options (...) > Import schedule.
    2. Select Upload file, go to the Excel file for that team, and then select Open.

To learn more, see The Excel template for Shifts.