The API to your organization: Microsoft Graph @ Build 2020

Office Add-ins team

Build 2020 arrives at a time when a lot has changed in the world. We’ve traded the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, with its lecture rooms and exposition spaces, with a virtual event space, where sessions are online. We packed a lot of content into this two-day event, and we know it’s a lot to track. We hope this blog post – and its consolidation of Microsoft Graph news – helps pull everything together.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen the emergence of Microsoft Graph as “the API to your organization”. And if you’re a developer building new productivity tools, or modernizing old ones to meet the challenges of today’s workplace, understanding Microsoft Graph is now not just an important skill, but an essential one.

Microsoft Graph services

Increasingly, developers integrating Microsoft Graph-powered experiences into their products are asking for additional access to its data and to some of the services that we build into our own products using that data. We’re excited to introduce Microsoft Graph services – productivity-focused services powered by Microsoft 365 and Azure, that are designed specifically for developers who are building high-value applications.

We’re starting with three categories of services:

  • Connector services that help you move your organization’s data into or out of Microsoft Graph. Today, you can use Microsoft Graph data connect to move your organization’s data in bulk out of Microsoft Graph and into an Azure Data Lake instance, to create powerful insights and analytics with Azure AI and ML tools. With Microsoft Graph content connectors you can move your organization’s external data into Microsoft Graph to leverage powerful Microsoft 365 experiences like Microsoft Search. Today, we have over 130 Microsoft- and partner-built connectors in preview, and we are expanding the preview to all customers on Targeted Release in the coming weeks.
  • Security and compliance services that can prevent leakage and loss of organizational data. We’re previewing a new Teams chat webhook API and have several partners piloting integrations with customers. We’re also reviewing opportunities to expand our security and compliance services to developers and partners where sufficient demand exists.
  • Knowledge services from Project Cortex that use AI tools to help you find, identify, classify, and present data that is rich with content and context from your organization. Today, we’re sharing a preview of our taxonomy Microsoft Graph APIs that we will release with Project Cortex in early summer 2020.

We believe these services will power a new class of ecosystem apps. We look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks and months, and to seeing the innovation they drive.

Microsoft Graph APIs: all that’s new & newsworthy

If you’re investing time in building your Microsoft Graph skills, we want to make sure you have the right tools to work with. We’ve made investments to improve some of our most popular and powerful tools, starting with a new version of Graph Explorer, which has a new look and a lot of helpful features that were built specifically with the community of users in mind. There’s also Graph Toolkit news. We’re previewing our new 1.3 release and have added a new sandbox to play with the components and resources we’ve created. Of course, we’ve put a few new tools in the toolkit, including a production channel picker component and a preview person card that integrates presence and profile APIs. And finally, we’ve made updates to our SDKs. Our Python Core and PowerShell SDK previews are both updated, and we’ve done work to align the Azure and Microsoft Graph SDKs.

Remote work has driven a significant increase in usage of both Microsoft Teams and apps built to run on Teams. To help you power and polish your Teams apps and further increase adoption, we’re moving a set of new features into production. With online meetings more important than ever, we’ve introduced a new cloud communications API that offers rich, flexible meeting creation support, decoupled from a specific calendar, making it ideal for LOB and other apps. Resource-specific consent continues to evolve, and specifically, capabilities enabling fine-grained permission to both channels and teams are now generally available. APIs enabling you to get the OneDrive for Business location of files from a channel and send or reply to channel messages are now generally available. And if you’re building solutions for front-line workers, our new shifts API is now in production. Finally, we’re helping target specific users that need your apps with functionality that lets you install them for specific users.  For Build 2020 news for Teams developers, check out this blog.

Outlook is also a cornerstone of our remote productivity as a hub for many of us, where we manage email, calendars, events, and tasks. Here, too, we are moving several APIs into production. If you’re building calendaring apps, you can now share or delegate access to calendars, and create events as online meetings. And even with meetings in physical spaces on hold, our places API moves into production, making it possible to add new layers of richness to the meetings your app creates. If you’re building apps that integrate with a user’s mailbox, we’ve moved the large attachments API into production. And finally, we’re previewing a new Tasks API that describes how we’re thinking about personal task management with Microsoft To Do and our platform going forward. This new API can now display the link of the task source to enable task completion.

If you build apps that integrate with Microsoft files and sites, we’re moving change notifications for SharePoint lists into production, allowing you to subscribe to changes in SharePoint List elements.  We’re also making APIs to enumerate sites and follow sites and lists generally available.

We’re mindful of the fact that your users’ status is important to their coworkers, and in a remote work environment, their family too. We’re moving the presence API as well as a presence webhook into production this summer. We’re also helping you manage Microsoft 365 groups more effectively with properties allowing you to show or hide them in any Outlook client or the address book – and a new createdByAppId property that allows you to identify the app which created the Group.

If you’re building applications that need to print documents or tools that help organizations manage their print infrastructure, we also have a new cloud printing API that removes the need for local print servers and improves printer discovery. We’re previewing Microsoft Graph-connected print services that help your users find the right printer, every time.

Microsoft Graph Identity and Security Updates

Identity is the key to people-centric applications, and security is essential to our customers and ecosystem partners. We’ve got several announcements here, starting with this: going forward, we will only offer Azure AD features and innovations on Microsoft Graph. In other news, we’re moving MSAL libraries for .NET, Java, JavaScript, Python, iOS, Android and more into production. We’re also adding new Azure AD APIs in Microsoft Graph with improved query capabilities (search, count, sort, filter) for directory resources and relationships making it easier to manage and understand resources.

If you work with applications registered with the Microsoft identity platform, we are excited to announce GA of the service principal API in Microsoft Graph. With the service principal API, you can now programmatically manage instances of applications and control what an application can do within your tenant. For example, you can control who can use an application, and what resources the application has access to. This API allows developers and admins to programmatically add password credentials, roll expiring certificates, and manage delegated permission grants and application role assignments. For more about this and all the identity news, check out the Microsoft identity platform blog.

App certification and Publisher verification

Your customers want to know that the apps you build come from an authentic source and that they’re built according to industry standards and best practices. We’re previewing our new Publisher Verification program and ramping up our Microsoft 365 App Certification program. Certified and verified apps have badges that customers can see that indicate that they’ve gone through review and approval by Microsoft. IT admins can also configure policies to enable friction-free adoption of these apps in their organization.

…and to conclude

We’d like to wrap up by acknowledging the partners who are helping us highlight Microsoft Graph solutions and tech at this year’s event.  Our thanks to yasoon and Pleexy for working with us on the new To Do, to Zapier for working on resource-specific consent for Microsoft Teams apps, to Magix for helping us tell a great story in the keynotes, and to Beedle and Dugga for sharing stories highlighting their work with Microsoft Graph and the Graph Toolkit in their education-focused apps.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning about what’s new with Microsoft Graph, and that you’re ready to sharpen your skills and deepen your knowledge. Please join us for our online sessions and make the most of Build.  As ever, happy coding!


The Microsoft Graph team



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