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Microsoft opens Office 365 to devs with APIs, SDKs

Put a REST into your calendar

Screenshot of the Office 2013 installer for Office 365

Microsoft is putting its Office 365 crown jewels on display, opening up APIs to the environment to attract third-party developers to the platform.

The APIs are yours for the taking here, along with resources and guides for developers. Microsoft imagines applications such as integrating a reservation system with a user's calendar to create an entry once a booking is complete. Microsoft reckons there are now 400 PB of data stored in the Office 365 cloud, which will become accessible to third-party apps under the program.

The REST APIs have some pre-pack resources for Windows, iOS and Android, along with Xamarin for multi-device apps and ASP .NET MVC for Web apps.

Devs working in the Microsoft world can install a suitable API toolset for Visual Studio 2013 (with suitable registration, naturally). There's also an Azure tenant signup allowing SharePoint or custom Web apps to use the APIs.

Capabilities covered in the APIs include access to mail, contacts, and calendar. There's a discovery service API so that users can be identified by which cloud they belong to and how they log in, as well as working out which services are associated with a particular application. File access in the APIs provides access to OneDrive for Business Files and Folders operations.

The idea is to make the Office 365 more dev-friendly, according to the team's blog.

As well as the APIs, there are suitable SDKs for native app development in mobile environments, and a new Office 365 app launcher to provide “visibility for developers' apps”.

Future developments will include APIs for tasks, Yammer and Office Graph. ®

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