TechEd Europe 2014 News

Brian Harry

Today, in the keynote for TechEd Europe, we announced several cool new things…

VS Online European data center

We now have a VS Online instance in the Azure “West Europe” data center and it is open for business.  You can read more about it in my separate post.

VS Online REST APIs and Service Hooks RTM

This spring, at TechEd in the US, we announced a new extensibility approach for VS Online, and ultimately for TFS too, based on REST, OAuth and Service Hooks.  Today, we announced that the V1.0 of these APIs are now final.  That’s not to say, by any stretch, that we are done with the APIs completely but rather that a core set are now complete and from here forward, we’ll be versioning them for backward compat so your apps that use them don’t break every time we update them.  You can learn more in the VS Online release notes.

REST API Exploration

We’ve been playing with ways to make our (and by that I mean broadly across Microsoft) increasing set of REST APIs approachable.  Our first generation was the VS Online REST API docs I linked to above.  Today, we released a second generation, but this time for Office 365 REST APIs (we’ll bring a version of the experience to VS Online as well).  You can read more about how this all fits into the broader Microsoft Office API story on the Office blog.

There’s a couple of cool new things.  First, we have REST documentation pages that allow you to actually execute sample REST API calls and get the result.  You can also use tools like Fiddler to watch what’s happening on the wire and understand every detail.  Here’s a link to the Office REST API reference root page.

Looking at a sample for the mail REST API, you’ll see that there’s a “Try” button that will execute the REST API with the parameter’s you’ve provided, in this case folder_id = “sentitems”, and return the results from a sample account.  There’s currently no way to run this “Try” experience against your own O365 account but that’s something we plan to provide in the future.

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I’ve truncated the results for brevity but you can see for yourself.

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We’ve also introduced an API sandbox that allows you to experiment with our APIs in a more free form fashion.  In the sandbox you can type and execute JavaScript and view the results.  For instance, below, I’ve shown an example of calling the 0365 API for retrieving mail messages. I’ve asked for messages from the inbox in reverse chronological order – and you can see the results in the bottom “Console” pane.

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This is fairly hardwired, for the moment, to work with the O365 API set but we will be extending it to work with a wide array of REST APIs.  Together, a good REST API reference along with a JavaScript playground makes for a fantastic way to learn and experience new APIs.

Next up on our calendar is the Microsoft Connect(); developer event November 12th & 13th.  We’re going to have even more announcements there.  Stay tuned.



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