Microsoft Unveils New Office 365 Developer Initiatives

Posted on May 10, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Office 365 with 7 Comments

Microsoft Unveils New Office 365 Developer Initiatives

During its opening day Build 2017 keynote today, Microsoft announced new features for the Microsoft Teams developer platform, new capabilities for Microsoft Graph, and improved connectivity with Office partner solutions.

“With over 100 million monthly commercial active users, Office 365 is the largest productivity service available,” Microsoft corporate vice president Kirk Koenigsbauer said. “Office 365 offers an incredible opportunity for developers with its business-critical data and millions of users, combined with a platform designed to keep people in the flow of their work.”

Microsoft announced the following today:

Microsoft Teams experiences. Apps in Microsoft Teams will be more discoverable to end users through a new app experience. And developers can now add new capabilities to Teams apps, such as third-party notifications in the activity feed, Compose Extensions and Actionable Messages.

New Microsoft Graph APIs. Developers now have access to new Microsoft Graph APIs, including APIs from SharePoint and Planner.

New cognitive services. Microsoft now offers 29 cognitive services for developers, and each offers unique customization capabilities. New services include Bing Custom Search, Custom Vision Service, Custom Decision Service and Video Indexer.

Cortana Skills Kit. After a few month’s delay, the Cortana Skills Kit is now available in a public preview. This solution helps developers build skills for Cortana, and is available on Windows 10, Android, iOS and the new Cortana-powered Harman Kardon Invoke speaker. (The Cortana Skills Kit is currently available in the U.S. only.)

Presentation Translator for PowerPoint. This new PowerPoint add-in leverages Microsoft’s Translation APIs and allows real-time translation to multiple languages during any presentation.

Cognitive Services Labs. Microsoft launched its Cognitive Services Labs, allowing developers to experiment with new services, including early access to a new Gesture API.

Microsoft Bot Framework improvements. Developers can now write cards that work across multiple apps and platforms, and can publish to new channels including Bing, Cortana, and Skype for Business.

Azure Batch AI Training. This new Azure offering, currently available in private preview only, “allows developers and data scientists to configure an environment with parameters and run their models on multiple CPUs, multiple GPUs and eventually field-programmable gate arrays,” Microsoft says.

Tact integration. Microsoft Dynamics 365, Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Cortana Skills, Microsoft Graph and Sentiment Analysis will be integrated into Tact, the sales experience platform that turns any connected device into an AI-powered virtual sales assistant later this year, Microsoft says.


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Comments (7)

7 responses to “Microsoft Unveils New Office 365 Developer Initiatives”

  1. skane2600

    Are these new capabilities tied to cloud-based Office, native Office or both?

  2. Shel Dyck

    Teams still requires an Office365 business account. so useless for a freelancer without a corporate email address. Ditto for PowerApps.

    • SvenJ

      In reply to Shel Dyck: It costs you $12.50/mo to do O365 Business Premium, with all the goodness that comes with, Office, SharePoint, Skype for Business, Exchange, etc. You can have MS get your domain for you (extra $) or get it yourself (also extra $) and have that corporation of one e-mail. That's really not much more than just O365 Home).

  3. chrisrut

    These are staggeringly important capabilities. The world is changing before your very eyes.

  4. Lewk

    I love how Microsoft announce that Cortana is used by 145 million people around the world, then announce their most awaited and sort-after feature for Cortana and make it U.S-Only. *Golf clap*

  5. Tony Barrett

    For a global company, MS are still hobbled by mainly focussing on the US, and always have been throughout their entire existence. So many features/products aren't available outside the States, even to other native English speaking countries.