Microsoft Releases OneDrive API for In-App Cloud Storage


Microsoft today announced the OneDrive API, a tool that will allow app writers to bake OneDrive directly into their applications. While all developers can take advantage of the new API, those who create enterprise-focused applications are the real winners. 

Microsoft said the OneDrive API works across most major platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, and the web. The company says it built the API to serve as a foundation for developers, who have full access to OneDrive's features. It's probably fair to call the OneDrive API a carrot meant to lure developers -- and eventually users -- into Microsoft's Office 365 suite. 

Some of the functions of the API include the ability to retrieve new changes to files and folders so large files are kept in sync with minimal API calls. The API permits resumable uploads of files as large as 10GB thanks to file-fragment uploading. Microsoft says this will be ideal for HD video files. Other features include the ability to upload files from public URLs; find files using customized queries across filename, content, or tags; and use shortcuts for common OneDrive folders that work even when they've been moved. The API also allows developers to create customizable file thumbnail images so they can present a unified set of products and apps. 

Microsoft is going to use the API, too. "This ensures that everyone is building on the platform with the same set of tools," said the company in a blog post. "Whenever we have access to new functionality, so will you." Micrsoft considers the OneDrive API a first step. It plans to add more features throughout the year. 

The company is offering a significant number of tools to help developers begin working with OneDrive. It has a new API console for OneDrive, sample code, and lengthy documentation explaining how everything works. Users can access customer support, too, directly from the API console. 

OneDrive is one of the first apps that Microsoft really took cross platform to Android and iOS smartphones. It's a handy cloud storage tool for consumers and professionals alike. Microsoft has made much of its Office suite of productivity apps available to these platforms, as well, and Microsoft supports OneDrive within its own apps.

Allowing third-party developers to tap into OneDrive can bring a whole new dimension to enterprise apps. Office 365 isn't the only game in town. Some companies quick to voice support for the OneDrive API include Cooliris, Docu-Sign, IFTTT, WritePad, and other productivity apps. Importantly, it relieves the pressure these apps may be facing to provide their own storage for users. Letting them capitalize on OneDrive may solve a serious problem faced by smaller developers. 

You can learn more about the OneDrive API here

Eric Zeman I am a journalist who covers the mobile telecommunications industry. I freelance for ProgrammableWeb and other online properties.