Office 365 developer platform @ Ignite 2017

Welcome

We're excited to welcome the 24,000 Microsoft customers from around the world travelling to Orlando, plus the thousands more attending virtually, to Ignite 2017. We're pleased to share the latest news and updates about the investments we're making in the Office 365 developer platform to help inspire developers who work with our tools, products and resources.

Our blog offers the Office 365 developer platform community a summary of the features we're announcing at Ignite 2017, and aligns them around four ideas: creativity, teamwork, simplicity and security.

But - before we go too much further, there are a few announcements that make us particularly excited to see what developers will build:

Custom functions in Excel. Coming soon, developers can go beyond =SUM( ) and =VLOOKUP( ) and teach Excel custom functions. Powered by JavaScript and run as add-ins, custom functions are the Office 365 equivalent of user-defined functions (UDFs), but updated so that once written, they run perfectly across all your devices and surfaces.

Add-in SSO. Never ask users to sign into add-ins with separate credentials again. Soon, we'll make SSO generally available for developers building add-ins for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (and offer a preview for Outlook), to enable seamless integration with the Microsoft Graph data associated with end-users' Microsoft identity.

Microsoft Graph updates. We continue to add new capabilities to the Microsoft Graph, including the general availability of SharePoint List support and previews of Outlook rooms, rules, and categories. We are also introducing Microsoft Graph extensions for Azure Functions, so that developers can easily connect their Azure Functions to the Microsoft Graph through pre-built bindings, allowing them to focus on the code that's unique to their app.

SharePoint Framework Extensions. With the general availability of SharePoint Framework Extensions, developers can now extend more areas across SharePoint including site pages and list visualizations using modern script frameworks and tools.

Tell us about what you build or better yet, show us by joining our virtual Hackathon where we'll recognize great Office 365 add-ins and extensions with cash, prizes and more.

Now let's get to blogging.

Creativity

This year at Ignite we are making significant additions to the set of tools in both preview and production that let developers and designers build solutions that combine intelligence, information and experience to unlock the creativity of users.

Custom functions in Excel (preview) Developers can soon use JavaScript to combine public and private data sets with custom business logic and create custom functions in Excel with an add-in. With this new capability, developers can build unique insights and analysis tools that integrate into Excel and truly tailor it to individual business needs. Sign-up for our Developer Preview.

Excel JavaScript APIs 1.5 & 1.6 (generally available) At Build 2017 we released APIs that enabled developers to use custom XML parts and conditional formatting. Since Build, we made these features generally available and expanded support to include Win32, Mac and online platforms. Developers can find out more, including sample code snippets available for these APIs in the samples section of Script Lab.

Excel 1.7 APIs (preview) Developers can now preview a trove of new formatting functionality for building Excel web add-ins. The Excel 1.7 APIs offer a long list of powerful, engaging document-creation possibilities: in this preview developers can manipulate document properties, styles, chart enhancements, freeze pane, hyperlinks, color gridlines and tabs, and more. Get details on full set of features in preview at the Excel GitHub repository.

SharePoint site designs & site scripts SharePoint sites provide the home of teams and departments across an organization. SharePoint site designs, coming later this year in preview, allow developers to combine SharePoint elements including lists, themes, and more to provide tailored and targeted site starters for all users in an organization, making the creation of great sites that much easier.

Office UI Fabric Adobe XD Toolkits (generally available) Developers and designers can now find Adobe XD toolkits for Fabric that allow them to design experiences using Fabric styles and components. The toolkits include rights to distribute and use Segoe UI, Fabric MDL2 icons, and branded assets (e.g. file type icons). Developers and designers can find the toolkit and other design downloads right here.

Add-In UX Improvements Finally, end users will notice many enhancements to their Office add-ins experience. For example, we improved flows to acquire, trust, update and interact with add-ins with minimal friction. We are also experimenting with various changes to the way users find and discover add-ins to increase add-in adoption. We'll publish more details on these improvements in the coming weeks.

Teamwork

We made significant updates to the SharePoint and Outlook APIs in Microsoft Graph. These updates provide more ways for developers to build great apps that connect users and teams who chat, collaborate, and share documents and information across their businesses and/or communities.

Microsoft Graph People APIs (generally available) You can now build production-ready versions of your apps using information about the people most relevant to your users. You'll also find fuzzy matching search support and the ability to retrieve relevant lists of users making scenarios like people-picking or meeting creation easier than ever. Updated People API documentation is available now.

Microsoft Graph extensions for Azure Functions To stay ahead of the rapidly growing demand for serverless computing tools, we are introducing Microsoft Graph extensions for Azure Functions. Using easy-to-code bindings between Azure Functions and Microsoft Graph plus OneDrive, Excel and Outlook developers can quickly create powerful serverless functions and applications that leverage the power of Azure Functions with the familiarity and ease of use of Office 365.

Microsoft Graph: Outlook calendars & contacts (generally available) Access all shared calendars and contacts using the Microsoft Graph API. There is read support for shared calendars, contact folders, and their contents.

New Outlook APIs (beta) We added a significant new set of Outlook management APIs to the Microsoft Graph. Developers can find a Rules API that enables their apps to automatically categorize and organize messages. In addition, we're exposing APIs that allow developers to manage rooms, choose languages and time zones, visually distinguish and organize content like mails and contacts for users, and query email headers to extract custom data or perform security and compliance analysis. Follow the links in this section to find out more.

Updated Microsoft Graph SDKs We updated the Microsoft Graph SDKs to include all the features released onto the production endpoint at Ignite 2017. Developers will find freshly updated .NET Framework, Android, JavaScript/TypeScript, and PHP SDKs that make it easier to integrate new Microsoft Graph capabilities (People, Intune, SharePoint lists) into solutions. Explore the full set of Microsoft Graph SDKs today.

SharePoint Framework Extensions (general availability) With the SharePoint Framework, you can use the latest JavaScript frameworks and tools to build responsive, engaging web parts. SharePoint Framework Extensions now generally available add several new scenarios where you can develop using these modern tools. Developers can customize the appearance and function of modern sites with application customizers, build new list visualizations with field customizers, and directly integrate with the SharePoint user experience with command sets. With SharePoint Framework Extensions, developers can use seamlessly build with the best in modern script tooling and frameworks for SharePoint. Updated Framework Extensions documentation is available in Dev Center.

SharePoint List APIs in Microsoft Graph (general availability) SharePoint lists serve at the core of many business applications, providing metadata for documents and storing key application records. Developers can now work with this powerful set of data with the general availability of SharePoint List APIs in Microsoft Graph, making it easy to build web services, mobile applications, and more that connect to this information. Easily retrieve and update information about list item content types, query and work with list fields, and filter and update SharePoint list items through a consistent Microsoft Graph API. Find out more about SharePoint List APIs today.

SharePoint/OneDrive File handlers 2.0 (general availability) The general availability of file handlers across OneDrive and SharePoint provide a powerful way to extend the user experience of files by file type. With file handlers, you can extend custom actions for files and build custom editor and viewer experiences, all built using the Microsoft Graph. To learn more about file handlers, follow this link.

New Patterns and Practices samples and tools Finally, the set of samples, tools, and solutions available from the community in the SharePoint Patterns and Practices GitHub repository continues to grow and expand, providing a rich field of examples and starters to accelerate your development. Reusable SPFx controls provide new repositories of user interface elements you can use to jumpstart new applications. Revised PnP JavaScript APIs provide broader and more consistent access to REST endpoints across on-premises and Office 365. Newly introduced SharePoint Patterns and Practices Community Solutions provide end-to-end examples of patterns and applications built in SharePoint, and make it easier to connect users to the apps and solutions they need. Follow this link to explore the full documentation.

StaffHub: APIs and Flow connectors APIs for StaffHub are now available in private preview. They allow you to create/edit/get/delete teams, members and shifts. Use these APIs to enable third party and custom integrations. Contact staffhubinfo@microsoft.com to participate in the preview. Additionally, we have released a StaffHub connector for Microsoft Flow. StaffHub joins over 160 Microsoft and Partner services that you can connect to with little or no code to create automated workflows for your business. Find out more about the StaffHub connector for Microsoft Flow.

Simplicity

At Ignite 2017 we're introducing several important tools, capabilities and resources that simplify the way end-users and administrators interact with the add-ins and applications developers build. These tools make it easier and more secure than ever to find, try, deploy and use third-party solutions developed for the Office 365 platform.

Add-in SSO (coming soon to GA) We will make Add-In SSO (Single Sign-On) generally available soon for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. With the SSO API, developers can focus on users and their data and leave the identity work up to Office. Now add-ins can get information about users who sign into Office, can access users' Microsoft Graph data, and can do so without additional sign-in prompts. Developers can go to Office dev center to learn more about Add-In SSOs.

Centralized deployment At Build 2017 we made centralized deployment generally available. Centralized deployment allows companies to deploy add-ins company-wide or to specific groups using the Office 365 Admin Console (and PowerShell). Since Build we made improvements to the reliability and performance of centralized deployment and added add-in usage analytics and reporting.

We're also pleased to announce that shortly after Ignite 2017 we will offer a preview of centralized deployment for Outlook, so that you can deploy Outlook add-ins to Outlook clients using the same toolset used to deploy Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Get more information about Centralized Deployment at support.office.com. We'll post additional information on the Outlook preview soon.

Teams: new tenant admin controls More and more third-party services are building build apps that integrate with Teams. Until now, IT admins had to generically block or allow all these apps. No more. Now, IT admins can manage the way that third-party apps are deployed on the tenant. Decide whether to allow or block individual apps, permit side-loading of third-party apps, and deploy apps to specific groups within the tenant – all from the comfort of the admin console. Check out the Microsoft Teams blog that goes deep into this topic for all the information you need.

AppSource: the single web-based marketplace for Office 365 Apps In May 2017 we announced that Office 365 apps and add-ins from Office store were made available in AppSource. We are pleased to announce the next step of this integration, making AppSource the single web-based marketplace for Office Add-ins and Apps for both business and consumer users. Effective today, existing links to store.office.com will automatically redirect the user to the equivalent page on AppSource.

Office add-in and app developers can continue to publish just once to the ISV Seller Dashboard. Their solutions will appear in both the in-product Store experience and in AppSource, which contains over 2,500 apps for Office, Dynamics 365 and Power BI. With their apps now published in AppSource, developers can gather leads, proactively collect ratings & reviews, and generate co-sell opportunities between Microsoft and its partners.

Security

Finally, in a world where user identity and data are constantly under threat, we continue to focus on providing developers with tools that help them build secure apps that are also easy to safely deploy and manage. At Ignite we're continuing with that focus, offering developers new preview APIs for Outlook, and enhanced app administration.

App-only token support for OneDrive With app-only authentication tokens for OneDrive, you can build new types of applications that work with files across your Office 365 tenancy, such as compliance or process operations. Additional documentation on app-only tokens for OneDrive is available now.

. . . and Finally

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. We hope that the Microsoft Office 365 developer platform capabilities we've introduced here help our developer community build solutions that inspire creativity, foster teamwork, create simplicity and add security in each and every organization they work with every day. As always, we love to hear stories about how people are using our technology and developer feedback is always appreciated. Give us suggestions on UserVoice, or provide feedback through any of the StackOverflow, Twitter or Yammer community forums we manage and as always, happy coding!

 

 

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