Microsoft Expands Integration Capabilities of Graph API with Non-Microsoft Apps

At its annual Build developer conference, Microsoft made a number of API announcements around Office 365 alongside a host of new developer tools. The keynote API announcement surrounded Graph APIs which enable intelligent Integration within third-party applications. The intelligence derives from applications that utilize content from the Microsoft Graph and the ability of Office 365 applications to integrate data from external applications.

Microsoft Graph, originally introduced late last year, added five APIs that enable data collection from Office 365 apps. Such apps include tasks, calendar, documents, etc. A simple example of Graph-collected data used for intelligent decision making exists in a Graph-integrated app that pulls multiple parties' calendar data to find an available time to set a meeting. While the additional APIs extend the parameters of Graph's reach, the unified single- Endpoint strategy that remains core to the Graph's value remains intact.

In addition to expanding Graph, Microsoft introduced Office 365 Connectors that allow developers to build bridges from non-Microsoft applications to Office 365 apps. Early partners include Asana, Salesforce, Trello, Twitter, UserVoice, and Zendesk. The connectors allow Office 365 apps access to content from such third party apps. Accordingly, Office 365 apps can directly utilize third-party app content without the need to affirmatively open the third-party app.

Finally, Microsoft announced a method by which developers can build apps and offer them within the Office 365 ribbon. Office 365 app users can then access the third-party apps within the workflow of the specific Microsoft app. For instance, after integration, an Excel user could find the third-party apps directly within the Excel ribbon. Further, the developer can place the app within the Office 365 App store. To learn about all the announcements made at Build, check out Microsoft's Best of Build 2016

Be sure to read the next Integration article: Why Messaging Queues Suck