Let’s start with a little bit of history: the year was 2008, when Windows PCs and Microsoft Office had been entrenched throughout organisations around the globe. We saved all our files on a network drive (if we were smart), or SharePoint if we were really smart and had a dedicated engineer that could keep up with patching it. Sales of Apple Mac had been increasing since the turn of the century and Microsoft had built a version of Office specifically for the Mac and had it running there since 1998. The development story for Microsoft Office had almost exclusively been a Windows-only experience; and it was quite a rich experience with Visual Studio Extensions for Office allowing Office add-ins to be written in managed code.
But I see 2008 as a pivotal year; the landscape of IT usage was about to change in a very disruptive way… Apple had just launched the first version of the iPhone.
In the decade since this moment we have seen a shift towards an always-connected, productive-on-any-device world. Microsoft Office was changing dramatically to keep pace with the demands of this changing world. Office was already on the Mac, but fast forward to today (2018) and we have:
As you can see, in those 10 years a lot had changed, and we don’t even know where our files are physically stored any more; they are just up there, somewhere, in the Office 365 cloud.
That led to two radical shifts for Office development:
So,when we talk about Office Development, we talk about two distinct types of development:
The best starting place within the Microsoft documentation for developing Office add-ins is:
and for accessing user data via the Microsoft Graph
Author – Cameron Dwyer
Cameron’s session at DWCAU is here.