Microsoft Graph: A Unified Path To Access Data Across the Intelligent Cloud

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At Build 2015, Microsoft unveiled its Office 365 Unified API to help its users integrate Office data into their own apps. At Microsoft’s Connect(); conference in New York, the company is taking the next step to expand this API and is also rebranding it as well.

Microsoft Graph is the new name and the tool is entering General Availability (GA) which means that it is now ready for production environments.

Microsoft Graph allows applications to access digital work and digital life data across the company’s intelligent cloud. What this means is that the Graph offers a unified API endpoint for accessing the capabilities of the company’s cloud, unified access to data living in the Microsoft cloud, and unified access to intelligence and insights coming from the cloud.

The company is also releasing SDKs for developers to help them get started with the new features. Available today are SDKs for .Net, iOS and Android and in the near future other platforms like Node.js, Python, Java, Ruby, etc.

The Microsoft Graph allows for secure access to an organization’s activities (documents, calendars, meetings) that can be used to surface internal corporate insights like who do your employees work closely with, what documents are important to each business unit and how much time are employees spending in meetings each week.

A unique scenario about how a developer can take advantage of this new tool is that with the API, they can access any data stored inside of documents in OneDrive, including Excel. If a mission critical excel file contains a table that can be used in other applications to aid with decision making, a developer can access this data with the API and use the table without the need to replicate the data in the file into a new format.

What this means is that the developer can let the department in charge of the table manage it all in Excel which reduces the possibility that there could be a translation error if it had to be reproduced into a new format to be integrated into an app. In short, the Microsoft Graph can help to create new applications and services using less complexity with fewer redundant tasks.

To learn more about the Microsoft Graph and to see all of the new resources available today, you can check out the announcement post, here.