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Office 365—monthly Dev Digest for May

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This month’s Office 365 Dev Digest was written by Jeremy Thake, technical product manager for the Office 365 Dev team.

Welcome to the third edition of Dev Digest, designed to help you—the Office 365 developer—keep-up-to date with what’s new in Office 365 development. We have a huge amount of news to share with you this month based on all the announcements that were made at Build 2015 in San Francisco.

For me, the most exciting announcements were the:

  • Support for Office add-ins in Excel for iPad (and very soon Word and PowerPoint) and Word, PowerPoint and Excel Online.
  • New Office 365 Unified API endpoint preview and add-in Commands inside Outlook 2016 Preview.
  • Office 365 Store support for web applications in the Users’ My Apps page.

Office365Developer1

Latest dev news

Check out the latest news from Office Blogs that is useful to know as an Office 365 developer. Personally, I think it’s exciting to see Office for Android phone in preview this month. But obviously, the biggest news was all our announcements at Build 2015 this year in San Francisco.

Top 10 Build and Ignite sessions

There were a ton of great sessions at Build and Ignite. Here is a list of the most popular sessions from both events now available on-demand:

1. Build 2015 day one keynote
This is not to be missed with Rob Lefferts on stage with our CEO Satya Nadella demonstrating Outlook add-ins like Uber, SAP and our Unified API using the Office Graph Explorer.

2. Office 365 development…why it matters
This was my only session of the week with Rob Lefferts and we did a demo palooza of all the new announcements.

3. Integrating web apps with Office 365
Todd Baginski and Dorrene Brown did a great job of demonstrating the Property Manager Hero and how it was put together. It’s a great project to showcase what you can do with the Office 365 APIs in a real-world scenario.

4. Supercharging your custom solutions with the Office 365 Unified API endpoint
Yina Arena has been spearheading the Unified API endpoint efforts and she does an amazing job of explaining what it’s all about in-depth.

5. iOS and Android apps with Office 365
Todd Baginski and Josh Gavant showcase how to build native iOS and Android apps against the Office 365 API SDKs.

6. Connecting to OneNote in the cloud with Office 365 APIs
One of the most exciting announcements for me was the fact that you can call the OneNote APIs with an Azure AD token!

7. Building multi-device apps with Xamarin with Office 365 APIs
Chaks and James did a great job demonstrating Xamarin and Office 365 APIs, they are a pleasure to watch!

8. Building a single-page app using Angular and TypeScript using Office 365 APIs
Andrew is one of my favorite presenters and he killed this session on Angular and TypeScript.

9. Building Office add-ins using Node.JS
Another one by Andrew Connell, I really want to personally get plugged into Node.JS and this was a great intro.

10. Get your hands dirty with the Office 365 APIs, Authentication and SDKs
Rob Howard totally blew away the crowd with his Fiddler skills explaining the Auth stack on Office 365 and Azure.

Dev documentation

The Microsoft Content Publishing team works hard producing documentation to help developers learn our platform. Here are the key new and updated articles for this month:

For more documentation check out Office developer documentation.

Code samples

Our team is continually on the lookout for new code samples to help you jump-start your own projects. Here is a list of the most recent new and updated samples from Microsoft as well as the community.

For more code, samples check out the dev.office.com/code-samples.

Most recent Office 365 Dev podcasts

Since joining Microsoft last year, I have been running around campus interviewing people about various dev topics. If you would like to hear me interview someone on a particular topic, please submit your suggestions in the Yammer group and I’ll go hunt the relevant people down to interview.

Here are the most recent podcast interviews:

For more podcasts check out dev.office.com/podcasts.

Patterns and practices

The Microsoft Patterns and Practices team is working hard to release samples to show the power of SharePoint Add-ins. Don’t forget to join the monthly community calls to hear the updates from them directly on Skype for Business.

Here are the latest updates from the team:

Here are the latest guidance documents:

For more on patterns and practices check out dev.office.com/patterns-and-practices. All questions related on released materials and guidance can be added to our Yammer group at OfficeDevPnPYammer.

Dev community blog posts

The Office 365 dev community has been busy this month. It is really exciting to see the effort people put into their posts in their spare time to share with the community. Check out these articles from the Microsoft field, MVPs and more:

Upcoming events

There are plenty of events on the horizon…don’t miss out on these great events with Office 365 content. Our team looks forward to meeting you all at these events, so don’t be shy come say hello at the Office 365 booth!

June 24 – 26 SPTechCon Dev Days
Aug 18 – 20 SharePoint Fest Seattle

For more events check out dev.office.com/events.

Office Store News

The Office Store has made a number of advancements.

  • The dedicated Office 365 Storefront, easily discoverable from the 365 App Launcher, will deploy to the first waves of customers at the start of June. The storefront will promote SaaS solutions (registered with Azure AD and using OAuth2/OpenID Connect for authentication/authorization) as well as featuring the existing apps/add-ins in the Office Store.
  • Outlook makes it even easier for users to discover Outlook add-ins in the Office Store via the latest Outlook 15 update, and will appear in Outlook 16 when it is Released to Market in June. This will enable direct acquisition of Mail add-ins from within Outlook itself. Outlook 16 also will pioneer the new “Add-in commands” for Office clients, in which developers can specify in their Manifest that their add-in be assigned a dedicated tab in the Outlook ribbon for hosting multiple Add-in Command buttons for their solution (such as Upload, Save, etc.). This feature starts as an Outlook Preview and will migrate to the other Office clients in the coming months.
  • The Office Store is now live with the streamlined acquisition flow for SharePoint and Mail add-ins, in which users can install directly into a SharePoint site or Outlook inbox without having to leave the Store experience. No more starting within the Office product! This lets you create impactful ad campaigns (on your website or in email) to drive customers to the Store to directly acquire add-ins. You can also add the “Download from the Office Store” badge to your campaigns, in smallmedium, or large.
  • Want your Excel or Word add-in to reach more users on more devices? Make sure you resubmit your Word or Excel add-in using version 1.1 of the manifest schema and office.js 1.1. To reach customers on iOS, you’ll also need to provide your seller ID in the seller dashboard. Look for us equip all the clients and Office services, on all platforms, with Office Store functionality over the coming months.
  • In case you hadn’t noticed, the Office Store has now been localized for 60 markets worldwide —every market where Office.com is localized—and offers add-ins in 40 languages! We’ve worked with Lionbridge to launch localization and market reach services for Office Store apps—full pricing details on their portal.
  • The BetterwithOffice.com site is live, with three SMB-focused videos and case studies about customers of your solutions that Office professionally produced. Look for Office to localize these videos, add more and start marketing them to customers and to add an EDU set of videos early in 2016!
  • Developers can get a peek preview of how their Office Store submission looks and behaves before releasing it to the world, via a new feature called Preview. Previews are not visible unless an Office Store visitor has the code needed to enter into the Store search box. Developers can “hide” their solution during Office Store submission via Seller Dashboard, simply by including an alphanumeric Preview code of up to 20 characters in the Notes field. The Store team will send a confirmation email regarding Preview status and developers can later “unhide” their add-in by responding to the same email address.
  • Want to persuade more customers to contact you about purchasing—or want to get better user reviews for your app? Our Best Practices Add-in has been published to the Office Store as an Office Preview offering. Just search for code build15 in the Store and you can then install this hidden solution to your SharePoint dev site. (You can get it on Github, too, but the Store version takes care of the licensing flows). The add-in comes packed with sample code on GitHub that you can copy into your solution to make it more engaging. You can pop an email form to gather contact info for new customers; solicit reviews and feedback; expose premium features; launch tutorials and just generally engage your prospects to convert them to paid customers. You also should think about pushing all those harvested email addresses into an outbound email campaign engine like Marketo, Mail Chimp or the free Drip account we are providing (on a limited basis) to Developer Program members.
  • Want to watch the full set of announcements from Build 2015? Watch the video on Channel9.

Top new add-ins the Office Store

Since mid-April, we’ve seen more than a dozen top-rated add-ins published through the Office Store validation process. Some are updates, most are brand new—and several were published in a variety of European languages.

Here’s a partial list:

1 Theme BuilderTheme Builder
by SONJAsAPPs
SharePoint tool to change the look and feel of your site.

 

2 Resource ForecastResource Forecast
by Corporate Project Solutions Ltd.
SharePoint add-in that gives users the ability to view resource demand/availability.

 

3 SideKick DCM UltimateSideKick DCM Ultimate
by SkyLite Systems
Scalable, customizable dynamic case management built for SharePoint.

 

4 Key Badge ManagementKey/Badge Management
by ProcessLynx
SharePoint add-in that simplifies the management of keys and employee badges in your company.

5 Smartsheet for OutlookSmartsheet for Outlook (Beta)
Coordinate and collaborate on any type of work in real time, right from your inbox.

 

6 NavigatorNavigator
by Corporate Project Solutions Ltd.
SharePoint add-in that lets users quickly navigate to key areas of PWA.

 

7 Pro3 Supplier ManagementPro3 Supplier Management
by Derigo Oy
SharePoint add-in for managing suppliers.

 

8 Site RadarSite Radar
by Architect 365
SharePoint solution provides an interactive analytics dashboard for monitor your team site usage.

9 BeyondCore AppsBeyondCore Apps
by BeyondCore (invite only)
One-click analysis, statistical evaluation and narrative explanation for Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

10 Wazoku Office AppWazoku Office App
by Wazoku
Enables you to seamlessly attach documents directly to your ideas from within Word, Excel or PowerPoint.

11 CloseFoxCloseFox
by CloseFox
Increase revenue by empowering your team to better use sales videos and documents. Outlook add-in.

12 QuickTixQuickTix
by Blue Sphere Solutions Ltd.
An Outlook add-in that makes time entry by users of ConnectWise simple.

 

Until next month, please join our community discussions at www.yammer.com/itpronetwork and follow us on @OfficeDev on Twitter and on Facebook.

Also, be sure to follow along with us on our daily developer mission: Jeremy Thake (@jthake), Chris Johnson (@loungflyz), Sonya Koptyev (@SonyaKoptyev), Dave Pae (@davidpae) and Jim Epes (@j_epes).

—Jeremy Thake

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