Building Intelligent Apps with Office at Connect() 2016

Office Add-ins team

Across Office, we’re working to bring relevant information and automatically created insights – the intelligence  together for users so that they can make better decisions more quickly. Developers can harness this work to save users time and make their solutions more appealing and useful for their users.

Since its launch last year at Connect();, Microsoft Graph has been a key surface for exposing this intelligence – which pulls from an unparalleled amount of data across the more than 1.2 billion Office users. Microsoft Graph has been expanding the set of scenarios it covers, adding more of OneDrive, SharePoint, Planner, Excel, and OneNote. Intelligence features have been added, making it possible to get at the insights around ad-hoc working relationships and trending files in an organization — that also happen to power the ever-useful MyAnalytics (formerly Delve). Microsoft Graph does this all while simplifying the developer experience via a simple, consistent API surface and a rich set of developer SDKs. Today at Connect(); we announced that Microsoft Graph usage is growing 35% month-over-month, that over 47,000 applications have been created by our partners and developers, and we have processed over 1 billion API transactions over the last month. We expect this momentum to increase as more services, data, and insights from across Microsoft are rolled into Microsoft Graph, and as organizations connect Microsoft Graph to their on-premises servers via expanding Hybrid support in Graph.

Of course, intelligence is only useful if people can see and act upon it. Across Office, we’re adding more extension points so that developers can bring relevant information and intelligence to users right where they work.

For many users, much of their time is spent in conversation with their colleagues, whether in e-mail, chat, or meetings, which is why bringing contextually aware information to these conversations can be so useful. Contextual awareness is a key part of the Microsoft Teams platform, currently available in preview. Users can interact with bots relevant to the work they are doing – for example, checking on the status of processes in their organization or issuing simple commands to change the flow of work. Connectors in Microsoft Teams can, for example, pull in the right information from sources such as Twitter & UserVoice to help make customer feedback close at hand for a team.

With the goal of always working toward contextual awareness, we announced Actionable Messages for Outlook at Microsoft Ignite. An actionable message lets senders embed buttons and dialogs that let users take relevant actions quickly in the context of their conversations.

For example, in an approval process mail, “Approve” actions can be taken so that users can quickly Approve, Reject, or Re-route an approval inline, alongside relevant information.

Office Add-ins feature a variety of ways to connect content in Office applications to relevant business processes, inline in your documents; we’re working to ensure those add-ins are always available and present, whether you’re working on mobile devices, a PC, or a Mac.

Intelligence and contextual awareness, as announced at Connect(); 2016, shows how these features can really transform how users work in their organization. We’re not done, though; now that we have the foundation of Microsoft Graph, Microsoft Teams, Outlook extensions, and Office add-ins well established, we’ll be able to add even more of these features at a rapid pace. You can get started by checking out the relevant SDKs for Microsoft Graph and Microsoft Teams, and stay tuned to this blog for more new intelligence capabilities.

Feedback usabilla icon