Microsoft is making big changes to Office 365. The company announced new developer tools, software and capabilities at its SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, which kicked off today.
“Whether you are building a mobile app that wants to connect to high-value data and services in Office 365, developing rich integration into Office experiences with a custom app for Office, or developing Cloud Business App projects that integrate with SharePoint, today’s releases enable developers to connect to the Office ecosystem in new and exciting ways,” wrote S. Somasegar, VP of Microsoft’s developer division, on his company blog.
Today’s announcement included a preview of Office 365 REST APIs and an update to Office developer tools for Visual Studio 2013.
The Office 365 REST APIs include APIs for working with Calendar, People, Mail and Files, and for exposing data spanning Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Azure Active Directory and OneDrive for Business, according to Microsoft.
“We are moving in a direction where you won’t have to develop against SharePoint and Exchange-specific APIs; you will be able to develop against a consolidated Office 365 API set that spans SharePoint, Exchange, Lync and Azure AD,” wrote Arpan Shah, senior director of Office 365 technical product management, on Office 365’s blog.
“We’re committed to enabling developers to easily and securely build solutions that integrate across the entire Office 365 user experience, including core productivity, mail, social collaboration, and communication powered by Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Yammer and Lync.”
The Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013 update include updates to the Cloud Business App project template, allowing developers to attach enterprise data, integrate SharePoint document experiences, and build applications faster. In addition, support for SAP NetWeaver Gateway for SAP data connections was added.
Advancements made to Office 365’s user experience enhance PowerPoint content apps for interactive capabilities for presentations; add new Outlook compose apps (allowing users to interact with e-mail messages and appointments while drafting e-mail responses); give the ability to format cells and cell content from Excel apps; and provide the ability to include applications inside Access apps for SharePoint.
An update to the app for SharePoint tooling enables developers to target their app exclusively to SharePoint Online in Office 365 or an on-premise SharePoint Server 2013.
The developer tools update supports applications for Office 2013, Office 2013 SP1 and Office 365 development, and it helps developers build apps for SharePoint 2013, SharePoint SP1 and SharePoint Online in Office 365.
In addition to the updates, “Napa” Office 365 Development Tools were also improved with new capabilities allowing developers to build apps for Office anywhere through their browser with a Office 365 developer site.
Microsoft is also announcing the availability of its Android software development kit (SDK) for Office 365 and Windows 8 libraries. More information on the SDK can be found here.
More information on the Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013 update is available here.