Develop Your Own Office 365 Environment Using The API Platform

Today API has become a common terminology with software developers. So much so that there is some reference to it in any and every conversation a technological expert has. For people whose work revolves round APIs, know what it means but for others it might just be a cause of wonder.

Technically speaking API is an abbreviation which stands for application programming interface or in simple words it is the protocol which an application has to maintain while interacting with another. For example the different applications of Office 365 Business interact with one another using APIs. However, this process in Office 365 is not as simple as it sounds. Herein the API functionality actually takes place through Microsoft Graph, which is in itself a unified API. This unified API consists of application programming interfaces of the other applications of Office 365 like OneDrive, Outlook, and Planner etc. The biggest advantage of using a unified API is that many services can be accessed by using a single token for access and also a single endpoint.

Developer features of Office 365

Hence Office 365 is considered to be a rich source of opportunities for software developers who either want to

  • Incorporate the rich spectrum of software and services of Office 365 into indigenous applications developed by them or
  • Create a customised environ within the application of Office 365 at or
  • Ensure the smooth running and optimal utilisation of all the functions of Office 365 by developing custom reports.

In order to achieve the above given options the software developer tinkering with Office 365 would need certain pertinent tools, already precluded in the Office 365 APIs. These APIs provide access to all Office 365 data from within the application itself irrespective of the device platform used to create the web application. But even before the office 365 APIs can be accessed for software development, it is mandatory to set up an environment for software development. This can be done by

  • Downloading the relevant tools from the internet,
  • Getting a business account for office 365 and
  • Associating or integrating this Office 365 environ with that of Azure AD.

Developer tools of Office 365

In fact it is now possible to even generate a seamless experience for the person using this application by

  • Creating an add-in for a FileHandler which is well-known for remote hosting of its logic and data. This add-in enables an user to effectively control the workings of Office 365 with regards to its displays and interaction with the user’s custom made file types and
  • Increasing the visibility and accessibility of the user’s application by finding a place for it on the built-in app launcher.

Another very important feature is the administrator developer tool provided by all enterprise versions of this . These tools help to keep the user’s subscription and domain in top running condition by

  • Taking advantage of the web reporting services of Office 365 to build and develop charts, dashboards etc. as a means of keeping a track of subscription usage.
  • Making use of the API concerned with service communications to
    • Monitor the health of the services provided by the applications,
    • Manage its communications and
    • Respond immediately to all upcoming instances of maintenance of service.
  • Using the management activity application programming interface for the retrieval of information regarding the various actions, changes and events chronicled in the activity log. This information can further be utilised for the betterment of the system by building solutions to monitor, analyse and visualise data.

The power of Visual studio

Visual studio is present as one of the Free Cloud Project Software present within the office 365 environment. It is considered to be the most powerful development tool currently available within Office 365. This is because it

  • Supports any and all types of platforms with regards to Office development,
  • Gets booted quickly and starts functioning almost immediately,
  • Comes equipped with IntelliSence as well as visual designers,
  • Helps to connect the user’s application to the cloud,
  • Debugs in both ways locally as well as remotely and
  • Can be used to publish the results to and from anywhere.

This and many other features associated with this application make Visual studio a favourite of software developers and technological experts. It is thus one of the most used software used for website development as well as application development within the Office environment.

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