Build 2016: Microsoft Outlines the Office Developer Opportunity

Posted on March 31, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Office 365, iOS, Android, Office with 0 Comments

Build 2016: Microsoft Outlines the Office Developer Opportunity

During the Build 2016 day 2 keynote address, Microsoft executive vice president Qi Lu talked up the Office developer opportunity, which is expanding as Microsoft moves into the cloud and mobile devices.

“Office is one of the few platforms in the world that provides developers with access to over a billion users across a variety of devices,” Lu said. “And the opportunity to build on the Office platform has never been greater. With new extensions and new connections to the Microsoft Graph, developers are empowered to build intelligent apps that can transform the landscape of work.”

During his portion of the day 2 keynote, Lu discussed these opportunities in a bit more detail.

First, developers can build intelligent apps by accessing Office 365 services, large scale data sets and analytical insights from [Microsoft Graph]( The firm announced six new Graph APIs that link Office 365 to third-party solutions.

Second, developers can integrate their solutions iwth the Microsoft Office apps using the Office add-in extensibility mechanisms so they can “engage users in a high value environment.” Put another way, developers can add their apps to the Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint ribbons. This works on Office 2016 for Windows, the Office mobile apps for Windows, and now with Office 2016 for Mac as well.

Third, developers can integrate their own services into “human language” conversations with Outlook and Skype. “This is a new and powerful ways to engage with your users, using these conversation canvases,” Lu said. New Skype for Business App and Skype Web SDKs will allow companies to integrate Skype calls directly within their web or device offerings.

Additionally, developers can use [Office 365 Connector ]( technologies to provide information from popular apps and services directly into Office 365 Groups conversations.

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