Microsoft Ignite – Day Three: Developers, Developers, Developers

Sep 28, 2017 | Blog, Office 365, SharePoint | 0 comments

The running theme for day three of Microsoft Ignite is seemingly “developers, developers, developers…”. What’s clear from day three is that despite the change in leadership at Microsoft they still really care about developers. What follows are the initial thoughts following three days at Microsoft Ignite.

The common denominator is Microsoft Graph

On a higher level, the common denominator in most of the sessions at Ignite is that the whole Office 365 platform is based on, and built around, Microsoft graph. Microsoft’s messaging has also implied that the same should apply for custom web applications, mobile and service apps.

Office 365 platform and Microsoft Graph

Office 365 platform and Microsoft Graph

This is amazing for us developers. With just one authorisation token, from just one endpoint, we will now be able to fetch “Any data” available within the Office 365 platform and then use it within our own custom applications.

In a more detailed level, here are the highlights gathered from the sessions I have attended:

Microsoft Graph

Microsoft Graph keeps getting bigger and bigger, and after attending a roundtable session it is clear Microsoft are very interested in hearing about what we’ve been using Microsoft Graph for and what our needs are. Here are some of the more interesting topics:

Microsoft Graph

Microsoft Graph

  • Microsoft Graph Bindings for Azure Functions
  • New SharePoint APIs have been released, as well as some new beta APIs that were exposed
  • New Microsoft Teams API’s in beta version (Missing the Teams creation API)
  • Improvements in the Insights API but still on beta
  • Batch requests: ability to send requests on batch by sending a JSON payload
    • Microsoft Teams

      There’s that productivity application being mentioned yet again. Microsoft Teams is becoming more relevant within the Office 365 platform and is intended to be the Hub for teamwork. It is clear that Microsoft now envision Microsoft Teams as a key player in the vision of enabling a more productive workplace.

      Microsoft Teams

      Microsoft Teams

      Based on a couple of sessions focused on development and customisation for Microsoft Teams, to some extent the whole development experience still feels a little “uncooked”. Ultimately, for developers, it will still be worth spending some time developing New tabs, Bots and Composed Extensions for Microsoft Teams. That being said, this is an exciting time for Microsoft Teams, and the releases from Microsoft at Ignite are anything to go by – Office 365 will continue to improve for Enterprise organisations, with more enhanced and greater capabilities coming to the market.

      SharePoint, SharePoint framework and PnP

      Initially thoughts were that ‘Microsoft Teams’ was going to take all the spotlight away from SharePoint, but far from it. Microsoft keeps investing heavily in SharePoint and putting a lot of effort in promoting Modern sites in particular. Although there are still sessions to attend however, here is a summary of what’s been gathered so far.

      • Flow and Power Apps have been significantly improved
      • There have been improvements made to Modern Pages
      • A bigger web part toolbox has been introduced with sort and search functionality for the Modern Pages
      • Option to add connectors and Add-ins as web parts
      • Introduction of Custom themes
      • New Theme generator tool from UI-Fabric
      • Sites scripts (Are we seeing the future substitute of PnP?)
      • SharePoint Framework
      • On-premise environments now support SPFX web parts
      • New yeoman generator – 1.3
      • PnP now supports Modern pages and web parts provisioning
        • Office Add-ins

          This is another topic worth thinking about even though it is nothing new to the development experience and the connectivity with external resources has been improved.

          UI-Fabric

          There were a couple of new things around UI-Fabric that worth mentioning:

          • New Icons (Who doesn’t like a new icon every now and then?)
          • Announcement of the Fabric design toolkit which is built with Adobe XD and provides controls and layout templates that enable you to create seamless, beautiful Offices experiences
            • From a developer’s point of view, there is certainly exciting times ahead for Office 365, with a particular emphasis on Microsoft Graph and Microsoft Teams capabilities. Personally, from a SharePoint developer’s point of view, it is great to see that Microsoft are still investing heavily into the continual improvement of the SharePoint platform, with new, exciting and cutting-edge features being added year in, year out.

              About our author

              Dario Alvarez

              Dario Alvarez

              SharePoint & Office 365 Developer | Content and Code

              Dario is a SharePoint/Office 365 Developer at Content and Code. He has been a Software Developer specializing in Microsoft technologies for over seven years and with SharePoint/Office 365 for five years. He has worked with clients in almost every sector delivering a variety of solutions within Spain and the United Kingdom.

              You can read more from Dario on his blog and also view his GitHub profile.

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