Microsoft opens Office 365 data floodgates for devs

Over at the Build conference in Seattle, Microsoft has revealed that it has added considerable new capabilities to Microsoft Graph (which allows developers to access and make good use of data drawn from Office 365 services).

That includes new Microsoft Graph APIs becoming available to devs as of today, including SharePoint, OneNote, and Planner data APIs.

The company said that going forward, Microsoft Graph would not only leverage data drawn from people and activities, but also data taken from devices.

Microsoft made what it describes as a pair of new core capabilities for Microsoft Graph generally available, the first of those being ‘Delta queries’ which allow developers to efficiently track changes within a store of data.

Then there’s ‘custom data’ which extends the base types of Microsoft Graph to allow developers to store critical data in context.

The firm further noted that these tasks can be orchestrated with Microsoft Flow, and announced a new offer for Microsoft Azure ISV customers which allows for the provision of new PowerApps and Flow Connectors to the broad Office 365 user base.

Microsoft stated: “With expanding Microsoft Graph data from across the organisation, a great development platform with Azure and native integration of Flow with applications such as SharePoint – it is now much easier to create focused, tailored business processes.”

And finally, the company revealed that new Insights APIs will be arriving soon in preview, and these allow developers to make better use of the relationships between users and documents (gathering intelligence on, say, the most popular shared documents on OneDrive).

The ultimate aim of all these insights and intelligence leveraged from an organisation’s data is to help devs create smarter apps, and facilitate more productive ways to work in general.

Cosmic databases

Microsoft also announced, which it said was built from scratch to “power planet-scale cloud services” with top-notch performance, fault tolerance and support for all types of data, including data drawn from Microsoft Graph.

The company said that Azure Cosmos DB was an industry-first in terms of being a worldwide multimodal database service delivering “horizontal scale with guaranteed uptime, throughput, consistency and millisecond latency at the 99th percentile.”

Microsoft further revealed that Office 365 is steaming ahead nicely in terms of its subscription base, with the online productivity suite now boasting 100 million monthly active commercial users.

Back in October 2016, Microsoft said there were 85 million commercial users, so that’s an increase of 15 million since last autumn.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).