New Office REST APIs and Developer Tools for Visual Studio Update

Today, along with the Office team, we are a releasing a number of significant updates for developers building apps that interact with the Office ecosystem.

Whether you are building a mobile app that wants to connect to high-value data and services in Office 365, developing rich integration into Office experiences with a custom app for Office, or developing Cloud Business App projects that integrate with SharePoint, today's releases enable developers to connect to the Office ecosystem in new and exciting ways.

Applications are increasingly being built by composing high-value data and services together to deliver unique mobile, desktop and web experiences.  Today's Office 365 API releases let developers consume Office data and service from any application, and today's Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio and "Napa" releases let developers build new kinds of application experiences within Office apps.

Here's a few of the exciting features in today's releases – for full details check out:

Office 365 REST APIs Preview

Office 365 provides a wealth of high-value data and services for business applications.  Today, Office is exposing these data and services via a new, simple and consistent set of Office 365 REST APIs.  This release includes APIs for working with Files, Calendar, People and Mail, exposing data spanning Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business and Azure Active Directory.  

These APIs use standard OAuth and OData, making them easy to use in any development environment and from any platform.  For example, to get the email of an authenticated user via Exchange Online:

Authorization: Bearer eyJ0eX...
Accept: application/json

This HTTP request will return the user's Inbox email messages:

 "@odata.context": "$metadata#Me/Inbox/Messages",
 "value": [
   "": "'')/Messages('...')",
   "@odata.editLink": "'')/Messages('...')",
   "Id": "...",
   "ChangeKey": "...",
   "ClassName": "IPM.Note",
   "Subject": "Sent with REST",
   "BodyPreview": "This message was created and sent with the Mail REST API!",
   "Body": {
    "ContentType": "HTML",
    "Content": "This message was created and sent with the Mail REST API!"
   "Importance": "Low",

Check out the API docs and samples for details about how to use these APIs in your applications and sites.  Also check out the preview Office 365 API Tools for Visual Studio.

Apps for Office

Developers can embed custom experiences inside Office with apps for Office.  Today, several new options are being made available including PowerPoint content apps and Outlook mail apps in compose forms.  Developers can build these apps both in Visual Studio and in the updated “Napa” tools.

For example, with an Outlook compose app, you can extend the end-user's email authoring experience with a custom pane, in this case a "My Templates" pane.  

Check out the Office 365 Platform blog for more examples of the new capabilities for apps for Office, and the Visual Studio blog for details about the updated Visual Studio tools available with the Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013 – March 2014 Update.

Cloud Business Apps

In Visual Studio 2013 we introduced the Cloud Business Application template for quickly building modern business applications.  Today’s release of the Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013 - March 2014 Update includes features which make it easier to integrate Documents, further streamline development and support connecting to valuable enterprise data sources.  For example, you can now connect directly to enterprise data in SAP:


Check out the Visual Studio Blog for more details on the new features for Cloud Business Apps.

Integrating Office into your application experiences has never been easier.   Check out to get started today!


Comments (7)

  1. USELESS says:

    Stop with this nonsense that does not help us do our jobs, that is all you release in Visual Studio !  You really want to make us more productive in visual studio, then I will give you a hint pay attention!….

    From that same set of c# source code give us a compiler option to build native IOS and ANDROID mobile applications that will run against a mobile version of SQL Server.   That would be the best update you could ever release.

    I hate to break this to you but we are getting ZERO, ZLITCH, NOT-A-SINGLE request for Microsoft mobile or Windows 8 applications in the field.  For you to design tools for these platforms is useless since there is NO DEMAND !

    Microsoft as a company (and yourself) are in the technology stone ages evidenced by the fact we are still writing massive amounts of tedious code and the best idea you can come up with is give us tools to manage the trillions of lines required for a small website instead of providing a more productive tool set to eliminate it.  There is not a single RAD tool in Visual Studio from webforms to the class browser that works, that is absurd.

    Let me know when I can head the up the Visual Studio team so I can design tools that work and meet the needs of what is going on in the field. Because you are out of touch!

  2. Somasegar says:

    @Useless – You mentioned that you would like to be able to use C# to build iOS and Android applications using Visual Studio.  As you may be aware, we announced a collaboration last November with Xamarin to offer exactly this capability for Visual Studio developers.  I shared some details about this here:…/visual-studio-2013-launch-announcing-visual-studio-online.aspx.  I should also mention that the Office 365 REST APIs highlighted in this post are available from any platform and device, enabling a broad base of apps leveraging the Office ecosystem.

  3. USELESS says:

    @SOMA Yeah we looked at XARAMIN and PHONEGAP. These are just ok tools / framework for some apps but they have their problems really these are 3rd party tool HACK APPS and not NATIVE.  My team and I are building translation layers that uses C# code and HTML as meta-data and these layers churns out Objective C and  Java code which is the "RIGHT" solution.  You guys need to stop with the HACK workarounds and more code is good ideology and instead focus on building tools that truly save developers time.  With each release of VS all we get from you are incomplete frameworks and more coding while you TOTALLY ignore any REAL changes to VS. The newbies's may enjoy looking at their code and some want to get close to the metal LOL  ( funny part  most  of  these  people  can't  code  anyway  )  but all that matters to the client is  how much will it cost, will it work and how soon can I have it.  The more code that is written the further away we are from these objectives and the client's pays the bills.

  4. Raymond says:

    @Useless – Why don't you code using the tools designed for the platforms that your clients asks for.

    I create apps for Windows and Windows Phone using Visual Studio, apps for iOS using XCODE on a MAC and apps for Android using Eclipse. If you are such a great developer as you claim to be this should not be a problem.

    Visual Studio is an IDE mainly focusing on the Windows Ecosystem. I don't see XCODE having any features for me to create Windows Phone apps so why do you expect it the other way around?! Put you energy and anger into learning more tools instead…

  5. Mitosis1000 says:

    Improvements to Windows Azure don't do me any good, as I'm no longer willing to invest time in learning non-trivial Microsoft APIs, because I know MS will eventually abandon them. You guys are now officially in the API-of-the-month club.

    The rest of the world seems to be going the route of DVCS, so improvements to the very thick and clunky TFS interface, even if it will connect to Git repositories, don't really interest me. Windows 8/Windows mobile/Windows Store apps? Nope. I'm building a cutting-edge Windows 7 app today for a client, and asked if they want these versions when I get finished. Answer – "No, there's no real market share there".

    How about restaffing teams of abandoned APIs and making a new commitment not to let MS developers down? And while you're at it, how about listening to the overwhelming chorus that has said the new look of Visual Studio stinks?

    I know people, developers and users, who are abandoning the MS platform. How can you guys be so cavalier about this? You're living in a bubble if you still think that Windows 8 is just going to belatedly catch on and things will somehow return to normal.

    Other than that, if there are bug fixes in this update, then thanks for that.

  6. USELESS says:

    @Raymond our clients are large corporations with enterprise level applications, it would requires years to develop 3 sets of source code and an army of programmers and testers to write these by hand.  We had to develop tool sets that function on top of visual studio and sql server along with a condensed version of .NET to decrease development time and streamline costs along with providing a vast array of other benefits.  All of which should have been provided by Microsoft  had they cared even a bit about developer productivity in Visual Studio WHICH THEY DO NOT 🙁 … The other benefit In taking this approach the code is very standardize and stable since the bulk of it is auto-generated (OC, C# and Java) programmers mainly just focus on business logic classes where they should be spending their time.  Given the output is native code we can go into esclipse and tweek the code as required for example to implement a business requirement outside our tools.  A Jr level programming who understands the case tools can be very productive.  Which is easier; teach someone to code or use an application ?  We are normally 40-60% less then competitors quotes with respect to hours and the blended average programmer rates are much lower as well.   Yeah consultants love VISUAL STUDIO more hours + more code = more CASH, I get it. Or the newbies and techno-GEEKS when they say just learn all this technology it is cool and fun but doesn't makes you any money (those are hobbyists) … whatever it is what it is ….

  7. Marcello says:


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