Developing on the Office 365 platform

Applies to: Office 365

Every day, millions of people use Office 365, the subscription version of the most widely-used productivity platform on the planet. They use Office 365 to collaborate on documents and projects, track contacts, store files, and more. It's the hub of their digital lives.

Now, as a developer you can create custom solutions that access and interact with all the richness of your customer's Office 365 data—and you can build those solutions across all mobile, web, and desktop platforms. The new Office 365 APIs enable you to provide access to your customer's Office 365 data, including the things they care about most: their mail, calendars, contacts, users and groups, files, and folders. All right from within your app itself. No matter your development platform or tools.

And because the Office 365 APIs offer single sign-on with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), you can register your app once to access any of the Office 365 API services.

Whether you're building web applications using .NET, PHP, Java, Python, or Ruby on Rails, or creating apps for Windows Universal Apps, iOS, Android, or on another device platform, it's your choice.

What are the Office 365 APIs?

The Office 365 APIs are REST services that provide access to high-value data types from Office 365 services: mail, calendars, and contacts from Exchange Online; files and folders from SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business; users and groups from Azure AD. And with the simplicity of REST, you don't need any specialized Exchange, SharePoint, or Azure AD knowledge to access these services.

The Office 365 APIs follow REST and OData 2.0 standards for data transport, and use the OAuth 2.0 standard for authentications and authorization.

How do the Office 365 APIs work?

Select the language, development platform, and hosting environment you want. Build using any web language, including JavaScript, HTML5, Python, Ruby, PHP, and ASP.NET. Use Visual Studio, Eclipse, Android Studio, XCode, or the IDE of your choice. Host your apps in Microsoft Azure or any cloud platform you choose.

Then, use single sign-on with Azure AD to authenticate your users, and let them access email, files, calendar, and user information, and the petabytes of data that are stored in Office 365.

Development stack for creating solutions that use Office 365 APIs. Select your developer environment and language. Then use Azure single sign-on authentication to connect to the Office 365 APIs.

Office 365 SDKs make development even easier

While you can program directly against the REST APIs to interact with Office 365, this requires you to write and maintain code around managing authentication tokens, constructing the correct URLs and queries for the API you want to access, and other tasks. By using the Office 365 SDKs for Visual Studio, Eclipse and Android Studio, or XCode, you can reduce the complexity of the code you need to write to access the Office 365 APIs.

The Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio include SDKs that provide .NET and JavaScript libraries that wrap the Office 365 REST services and provide an even easier way to connect to your Office 365 data. The SDKs are available for ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web Forms, WPF, Win Forms, Universal App, Cordova and Xamarin project types in Visual Studio.

For Android developers, the Android SDK for Eclipse and Android Studio is now generally available as well. For more information check out Develop Office 365 apps by using the Office 365 SDK for Android.

For iOS apps, the iOS SDK for XCode, currently in Preview, supports both Objective C and Swift languages within XCode 6. For more information check out the iOS developer page on

How do I learn more?

Visual Studio (Windows, Xamarin, and Cordova) development

Native development

Try out authentication using the Office 365 REST APIs