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Today at Connect()—introducing the Microsoft Graph

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Today at Connect 1

As a company, we are focused on reimagining the way the world should work. In an age of information abundance, we understand that people are seeking integrated experiences that help them break out of knowledge silos, “work like a network” and connect information from multiple touchpoints in meaningful ways. Office extensibility has always been about ubiquitous connectivity, enabling new experiences on mobile devices, and empowering developers to create powerful and personalized cloud services that can transform the productivity landscape. Today, at the Connect() conference in New York, the Office Extensibility and Azure Active Directory teams took a major step forward with the general availability  of the Microsoft Graph (formerly “Office 365 Unified API” as previewed at //build earlier this year).

The Microsoft Graph

Keeping the end user experience at the center, the Microsoft Graph unlocks new productivity scenarios by:

  • Enabling corporate IT to rapidly build solutions for employees.
  • Enabling developers to build inline social experiences.
  • Empowering partners to customize their Office experience and extend their apps with Office 365 data.

The Microsoft Graph, located at graph.microsoft.com, allows applications to access digital work and digital life data across the intelligent Microsoft cloud.

This represents three big advantages for developers not available before:

  • Unified Microsoft API endpoint for accessing the capabilities of the Microsoft cloud.
  • Unified access to data living in the Microsoft cloud.
  • Unified access to intelligence and insights coming from the Microsoft cloud.

Today at Connect

In other words, the Microsoft Graph surfaces intelligent insights by bringing together smart machine learning algorithms with a wealth of data and user behavior—all with just a single authorization token.

Unified Microsoft API endpoint for accessing the capabilities of the Microsoft cloud

The Microsoft Graph today exposes APIs, data and intelligence across Office 365 and Azure AD. We are building toward a near future where multiple graphs and all APIs throughout Microsoft contribute to, and are accessible through, a single unified gateway to the power of the Microsoft cloud.

Any developer capable of making an HTTP request can call the API, from any platform, and once-siloed Office 365 services can now be directly navigated via Microsoft Graph. For developers, what used to be 50+ lines of code are now cut to five.

We’re also releasing SDKs to make the Microsoft Graph as useful to developers as possible. We’re starting with .Net, iOS and Android and then expanding to other platforms like Node.js, Python, Java and Ruby. Code samples for a variety of platforms are available on GitHub.

Unified access to rich data living in the Microsoft cloud

You can also think of the Microsoft Graph as the gateway for developers to access the rich data living in the Microsoft cloud.

The opportunities for developers to shape the way the world works are endless. Within the Office 365 surface area alone, consider the amount of data we have with:

  • More than 18 million consumer Office 365 subscribers.
  • 60 million commercial Office 365 monthly active users.
  • More than half a billion people managing their documents and photos in OneDrive.
  • Over 200 million downloads of Office mobile (WXP, Outlook, OneNote on iOS and Android mobile devices).

Unified access to intelligence and insight coming from the Microsoft cloud

The Microsoft Graph is the consistent endpoint for developers to access intelligent insights that Microsoft builds in the cloud.

And because the Microsoft Graph has access to your activities (e.g. documents, calendars, meetings), it can be used to address a ton of critical work and productivity questions, such as:

  • Who does the user work closely with?
  • What documents and topics are important to my colleagues right now?
  • What matters the most to my boss?

With the Microsoft Graph, developers are empowered to build smart, people-centric applications that can easily interact with data from all touchpoints of modern work.

Our innovative partners, such as Do.comSkyhigh networksofficeatworkSmartsheetTechnologyOne and CloudLock have already started using the Microsoft Graph to transform their respective industries. You can read their interesting use cases here.

Microsoft Graph—what’s available today?

Below are details of what’s generally available and what’s on preview, via the Microsoft Graph at graph.microsoft.com:

  • General availability (ready for production)—Users, Files, Messages, Groups, Events, Contacts (personal), Mail, Calendar, Devices and other directory objects and docs.
  • Preview (available to explore)—Notifications, SDKs, People, Organizational contacts, Office Graph, Planner, OneNote, Converged Auth. flow support, OneDrive Files and Outlook.

Developers can get started immediately and build Microsoft Graph-based solutions for free using an Office 365 developer tenant. Access to the Office 365 APIs and data through the Microsoft Graph is included in the customer’s Office 365 license. This includes all the APIs that are available with the general release today. Access to intelligence is paid—with some intelligence features explicitly included in the Office 365 license and some licensed separately. Over time, we plan on adding additional capabilities to the Microsoft Graph that may be licensed separately.

Get started today

Right now is an incredibly exciting time with a huge opportunity for developers to reach the 1.2 billion Office users worldwide, while helping shape the future of work. Our goal is to make it possible for developers to tap into the power and data across Office and Microsoft to build transformative experiences that enhance productivity and deliver greater impact for users.

As part of the announcements and release today, we have many more Office extensibility features. Go check them out here.

  • Start coding—Visit graph.microsoft.com to get all the documentation, code samples, SDKs, graph explorer and much more.
  • Sign up—Visit office.com and click the Sign Up button to join a vibrant and growing community of developers building solutions for Office 365.
  • More on Office Dev—Visit office.com/getting-started to get started with Office development.

Looking ahead

We are working hard with groups across Microsoft to bring more services into the Microsoft Graph and deepen the functionality available there so that you can access all of the data your applications and services need from a single, connected API. Expect to see a bunch more progress over the next several months, and keep an eye on dev.office.com/blogs for updates.

—Rob Lefferts, general manager of the Office Extensibility team

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3 comments
  1. Calling this “Microsoft Graph” will confuse a lot of people. Many of us remember with fondness (or not) the old Microsoft Graph app that was used to insert a chart into PowerPoint or Word. And those who don’t remember that old Graph will still be confused because it has nothing to do with charting data in the usual sense.

    • It may be confusing to some at first, but I can see the potential reasoning behind the name. Microsoft is directing efforts toward building Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is used by – or useable as – a Software as a Service (SaaS). In doing so, the naming has to enable both target audiences to orient toward the products in a way that aligns with industry terminology.

      Graph databases are a technology that deal with relationships, and they have been around for some time. They have matured rapidity in the connected world we live in today. The expectation of applications intrinsically leveraging analytics further pushes graph databases into the toolbox of developers.

      In order to quickly grab the attention of developers, data scientists, and business analysts in a way that also meets their expectations of what to expect, the term Graph is correctly aligned.

      This is a scenario where a term will probably shift its meaning toward the technical usage. Thus, a differentiation between Graph and Chart will become natural.

      Neo4J and OrientDB are examples of very popular Graph Databases that Microsoft Graph align with. Microsoft really applies a strong PaaS and SaaS set of domain specific features to their offering that enables rapidly solving real-world needs instead of having to first understand how to obtain business value from a general technology like Graph Databases.

      It’s an exciting time to be a technologist or entrepreneur.

      • Saying it is “confusing to some” is a huge understatement.

        I’m sure there is logic behind the name, but it’s very frustrating when a company gives a new and completely un-related product the same name as an established and well known existing or previous product.

        How many millions of people have used or heard of the old Microsoft Graph (which is still the 2nd Google result) vs how many people are familiar with Office 365 APIs?

        I was one of the ones to be confused by this. A video was posted on the TechEd channel called “It is a very confusing name. “SDKs and Tooling for Microsoft Graph” which I thought would be some cool new ways to automate the generation of graphs in Office via some new APIs or toolkits. Nooppppeeee.

        Sure… the name might make sense when you know and understand what the product is. But for all those who don’t have that knowledge it’s very confusing and annoying. Microsoft really could not have named this something else ?

        Up next: Microsoft introduces a new line of smart IoT connected automobile windshields call Microsoft Windows.

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