Developing education solutions in Office 365

With so many education customers using Office 365 globally (now in the tens of millions of education uses), there's continuing interest by developers in creating services for customers, running on top of Office. This could mean developing an app for Word, Excel, PowerPoint; or could be developing a system that uses the Office 365 cloud service to deliver an integrated solution.

Office Dev Centre logoThe team responsible for this at Microsoft are very busy releasing new information and features for developers. You can read about these in the constant updates from the Developer stream on the Office Blogs. And to help a little more, here’s some of the key bits of news that I’ve noticed recently:

On Demand Training for Office 365 developers 
I’m a big fan of the Microsoft Virtual Academy, as it contains some excellent technical training that is free and available at any time to technical users and developers. There’s a new course, Introduction to Office 365 Development available, which contains modules on developing Apps for Office and Apps for SharePoint, and a session on the Office 365 APIs that are available for developers to use to more closely integrate to Office across different devices.

Office 365 APIs Starter Projects for Windows
There’s a series of samples that the team have created which allows developers to quickly spin up projects that interact with Office 365 using the standard APIs. It lets you do things like create, read, update and delete events in a user’s calendar (so you could add an assignment reminder function to an LMS, to automatically put the assignment into the student’s calendar, and that will then show up on their PC/phone etc). Similar samples allow you to create, read, update and delete files on their SharePoint site

Office 365 Developer Podcast
If you want to keep up to date with less reading, then there’s the Office 365 Developer Podcast, where Jeremy Thake talks with people involved with developing Office 365 apps – both within and outside of Microsoft.

The Office Dev Centre has also been completely updated, with easier access to resources, recordings of events and code samples.

Comments (2)

  1. Dan Laurence says:

    Using the Office 365 preview of 'Sway' seems a really easy and attractive method of embedding content in our LMS.

    Dan Laurence – Swinburne University of Technology

    P.S. any chance of getting a Sway preview invite?

  2. Ray Fleming says:

    Hi Dan,

    It's exactly one of the scenarios I imagined as soon as I started playing with it. I'm lucky enough to be able to access the preview already, so I spent 45 minutes this afternoon taking some content from a whitepaper I'm writing and having a go at putting it into Sway. The results that I could produce quickly are very impressive in terms of layout and style, and especially the way it reformats automatically on PC and phone screens. I think it's going to have some fascinating use cases in Education.

    You can see the Sway I produced in Student Attrition in Australian universities here:

    Sadly, I don't have any secret key to the preview programme, but hopefully they will accept a big batch onto it shortly, and you'll be in it – assuming you've registered here:


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