Ignite 2020: The emergence of Microsoft Graph services
Microsoft Graph is evolving. It’s starting to expand beyond the well-known boundaries of its transactional datasets. This evolution is on full display at Ignite 2020. You’ll see that our engineers are working hard to further extend its capabilities – and even its definition – to expose Microsoft 365 infrastructure, capabilities and tools that can help developers build new classes of high-value, trusted applications. To start this blog, we’ll share four examples of newly announced services that you can use – today, and of course we’ll also share updates on all the other Microsoft Graph news & announcements too!
1. Microsoft Graph Connectors
In just about any organization you’ll find important information stored in discrete silos. These silos are significant barriers to productivity, where even the task of locating needed information is complex if not impossible. So, we’re very excited to announce that Microsoft Graph Connectors are now generally available. By building your own connector or buying one of the dozens of connectors already available you can bring data from just about any source – Service Now, MediaWiki, even documents stored in other clouds or services like Box – into Microsoft Graph to take advantage of the enterprise search capabilities of your Microsoft 365 tenant. We’ve got all you need to get started building a connector of your own your own.
2. Azure Communication Services (ACS)
Today, connectors offer developers and customers access to enterprise search – a powerful Microsoft 365 product feature. But we’re also making it possible to access services powered by Microsoft 365’s enterprise-scale infrastructure. Today we’re announcing the public preview of Azure Communication Services (ACS). ACS is a set of rich communications APIs that you use to integrate secure, encrypted communications services into any application – on any platform. ACS is built on the same enterprise-grade infrastructure that powers the voice, video and messaging services for Microsoft Teams. But what’s new – and important – is that unlike any previous Microsoft 365 Graph-powered experience, ACS is offered as a Azure service. This means that the billing and management for your app’s use of these communications services is based on consumption rather than user licensing, and it’s consolidated with the rest of your app’s Azure infrastructure. Start learning more about the new ACS APIs today.
3. Security and Compliance Services
At Build 2020 we offered a preview of a new Teams Chat webhook API , one of a number of Microsoft Graph APIs that extend our 1st party Security and Compliance services to our ecosystem. This week at Ignite we’re significantly expanding our preview to include an Advanced eDiscovery API and a Teams Export API. With this expanded preview, developers can start to explore the power of extending and tailoring these services to meet the specific DLP and compliance needs of their internal or external customers and partners.
4. Universal Print
Even in an increasingly digital word, simple, cost-effective printing is still a necessity for any organization. Universal Print is a new enterprise cloud print service that allows users to print to any printer managed by their organization from any device using their Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) credentials. We’re previewing a new API for this service – one that helps you to manage the settings & capabilities of printers, and we’ve expanded permission scopes to define app & delegated permissions for this service. We’ll continue to expand our preview of Universal Print in the coming months.
New Tools & APIs
Microsoft Teams APIs
Making sure the right people have managed access to the right teams, channels and content is critical. We have a new preview version (R4) of Resource Specific Consent, now available to all developers. Its usage remains limited to calling data APIs, but we expect to lift that restriction and move it into production in a matter of a months. We’re also pleased to announce general availability of Team Membership APIs. These APIs allow your app to list, add, change, and remove Team members and their roles. We’re also moving new resource types that allow apps to create and manage private channels within a group generally available. Of course, we also want to make sure that appropriate message content remains secure within the boundaries of an organization, and are announcing the upcoming general availability of our Teams Chat Webhook API (previously mentioned), designed for use in DLP scenarios.
We’ve consistently heard from developers who want more ways for their apps to engage users within their flow of work – for example within the activity feed, or adjacent to an online meeting. We’re responding by offering a preview of the new Microsoft Graph API for Activity feed notifications. And Microsoft Teams meeting extensibility takes this a step further, with the announcement that meetings extensibility APIs are now generally available.
To-Do tasks API
Task lists are a core productivity function and we’re giving them a new look with the preview Microsoft To Do API. This new API allows app users to organize and track personal tasks across Microsoft 365 client apps and replaces the older Outlook Tasks API.
We’ve made updates to the Microsoft Graph Search API, which is currently in beta, to bring an even richer, more unified API endpoint for search content in Microsoft 365. It is now possible to search and filter across more types: listitems, lists, sites and drives in SharePoint and OneDrive, and developers can sort and refine search results, as well. We’ve also made it possible to Search across multiple Microsoft Graph Connectors. We are expecting to make the Microsoft Graph Search API generally available by the end of 2020, so keep an eye out for announcements.
At Build 2020 we gave a teaser of Project Cortex, which uses AI tools to help you find, identify, classify, and present data that is rich with content and context from your organization, and also the associated Taxonomy API, which lets you create and manage your own term stores for use with this technology. You can now find detailed information on using the preview Taxonomy APIs in our beta reference.
Identity API announcements
Many of our Microsoft 365 customers use Azure AD Conditional Access as their Zero Trust policy engine. So we’re pleased that today we are announcing the general availability of the Azure AD Conditional Access API. Azure AD Conditional Access helps ensure that the right people have the access to resources they need from wherever they are. We’re also announcing general availability of advanced queries in Microsoft Graph for directory objects. With advanced queries, you can easily search, sort, count and order directory objects like users, devices, and applications.
Microsoft Graph Toolkit 2.0
Graph Toolkit is one of our go-to developer assets. That’s why we’re excited to announce the upcoming 2.0 release of the Microsoft Graph Toolkit. In this update we’ve added all sorts of new and improved features, from improved “Getting Started” guides to new and updated MGT packages, components and features that are easy to use, versatile and will significantly accelerate development of your app’s Microsoft Graph-powered integrations.
Last year at Ignite we introduced the PowerShell SDK to great fanfare, with a huge crowd, at a theatre overflowing with developers and IT administrators. We don’t have the live audience this year, but are still very pleased to announce that the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK is generally available – and with it, straightforward, consistent access to insights and capabilities spanning the entire surface of Microsoft Graph.
Microsoft 365 app compliance program
Customers – and specifically, IT administrators, must trust any app they’d even consider installing in a Microsoft 365 tenant. To fortify that trust, we now offer the Microsoft 365 App Compliance program. There are three components to this program – Attestation, Verification and Certification. And it makes a difference, as we’re already hearing from partners:
“It’s been just a few weeks and we are already experiencing benefits in security screening. Being Microsoft 365 certified is an enormous time-saver for both us and our customers. It is a critical offering and it helps us stand out in the market.” Martin Siefert, CEO at Officeatwork
Publishers can work with Microsoft to certify that their app – and its supporting infrastructure – protect the security and privacy of sensitive customer data. Certified apps receive a badge that is visible in AppSource and from within the Microsoft 365 tenant administrator’s console.
Today, our certification program supports Microsoft Teams Add-ins. Over time, we will extend the program to include Office Add-ins, and SharePoint Framework (SPFX). We strongly encourage app publishers to take advantage of this program, and over time, expect to make it a requirement.
We announced the public preview of Publisher Verification at Build 2020, and since then have verified over 600 publishers. Today, we’re announcing that Publisher Verification is now generally available. Now, app publishers can demonstrate to customers that their application comes from a Microsoft-verified source.
With general availability, Microsoft will make changes to our app consent policies and block end-users’ ability to consent to newly created multi-tenant apps having an unverified publisher. The consent screen will clearly indicate that these apps are risky and unverified. Note that this change will not affect apps requesting basic sign-in and permissions to read user profile. Nor will it affect apps requesting consent in their own tenants. We’ll be sharing more about these changes soon. To prepare for this change, add a verified publisher to all your multi-tenant apps.
We hope this blog offered you a good overview of the full range of initiatives we’ve undertaken to expand and enrich the capabilities of Microsoft Graph. We’d love to see how you use it to build richer, more connected, more beautifully integrated applications that customers trust and value – and of coure deploy and use to transform the future of their own workplaces. Be sure to visit the Virtual Hub for all the skilling content we’ve created, and of course you’re always welcome to join our Microsoft 365 developer community.
Thanks for attending Ignite 2020 and happy coding.
The Microsoft Graph Team