There’s over a billion Office users, and over 200 million education customers using Office 365. And with the shift to the cloud with Office 365, Office has become a platform for developers, as well as a set of tools for users. Customers expect apps and web services to use their existing tools, rather than create a new one for each different system they use (things like email services, or calendars). So we have been working hard for a few years on making sure that Office provides ways for developers to create and integrate with it. It is now fundamentally easier to create an Office Add-In, list it in the Office Store, and start selling it to the 147 countries where there’s an Education store category.
- Why would you create a cloud document storage system in your app, when you can simply use the same OneDrive that users use for their other documents?
- Why would you insist users create yet another username and password to login, when they can use the identity given to them and managed by their school or university?
- How could your collaborative learning service be improved if you knew who a student regularly collaborated without outside of your app?
And the most interesting thing is that by integrating with, or building on top of, existing Office services, you can develop an app from germ of an idea to a live service faster, with less pain for customers, and with a greater reach to customers globally.
But, let’s face it, even though our CEO Satya Nadella describes it as Microsoft’s “most strategic developer surface area”, it’s still not well understood, even in Australia, where we’ve had lots of educational apps and services developed that link to Office 365.
So we’re doing something about it!
Over the next three months we’re going to running a series of webinars leading up to 2 major Hackathon events for education app developers in April 2016 (start with the webinars, and then we’ll let you know about the Hackathon next).
Office Developer Webinar Series
You should build applications and add-ins that take advantage of the immense reach and power of the Office clients and Office 365 services. Join Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist Andrew Coates and the occasional guest speaker in this series of Wednesday webinars that will take you from novice to expert in Office Development in 10 weeks.
Running each Wednesday morning, topics to be covered include:
- Overview of Office365 Development
- Getting started with the Office365 APIs
- Getting started with Office Add-ins
- Introduction to Identity with Azure AD and the Office365 APIs
- Deep Dive into the Microsoft Graph
- Deep Dive into Office Add-Ins with Word and Excel
- Deep Dive into the Office 365 APIs for OneNote services
- Creating Client Side Only Apps with Angular, ADAL and Office 365 APIs
- Getting Apps Submitted and Approved for the Office Store
- Deep Dive into Mobile development with Office365 and Xamarin or Cordova
Finally, in both Sydney and Melbourne we will run an in-person hackathon in early April where you’ll be able to put your newfound skills to good use. We’ll have experts on hand over two days to help you get an Application or Add-In up and running.
Webinar Week 1: Overview of Office365 Development – Wednesday 20th Jan 11AM
In this introductory session, Andrew Coates will explain the power and potential of developing on the Microsoft Office platform. We’ll cover extending Office Clients with Add-Ins, connecting to the Office365 services with the Microsoft Graph APIs and distributing your solution. This is a great session for anyone interested in learning about the power of Office development, and will concentrate on the most recent development model. No prior knowledge is assumed, and there are no pre-requisites.
At the end of the session you’ll have a good understanding of what Office Development means in the modern world, how your application will run on virtually any platform, including iOS, Android and, of course, Windows, and the setup you’ll need to do Office Development (you’ll be surprised how few requirements there are in terms of operating system, IDE or environment).
This introductory webcast runs on Wednesday 20th Jan at 11AM AEST (thanks to Australia’s immense size, that means that it’ll be at 4 different times around the country – 11AM in Sydney, Canberra & Melbourne; 10AM in Brisbane; 10:30AM in Adelaide; and an early 8AM in Perth)
Andrew Coates has been a Developer Evangelist at Microsoft for over ten years, teaching, learning and sharing coding techniques. During that time, he’s focused on .Net development on the desktop, in the cloud, on the web, on mobile devices and, most recently for Office. Andrew has a number of apps in various stores and generally has far too much fun doing his job to honestly be able to call it work. Andrew lives in Sydney’s Eastern Studies with his wife and two high school-aged children.