Get started with Office 365 APIs Preview

A brief introduction to the "preview" release of the Office 365 APIs.

Prerelease content Prerelease content

The features and APIs documented in this article are in preview and are subject to change. Do not use them in production.

Your feedback about these features and APIs is important. Let us know what you think. Have questions? Connect with us on StackOverflow. Tag your questions with [office365].

Microsoft is introducing the next step in the evolution of our Office 365 platform by delivering the "preview" release of our Office 365 APIs.

Microsoft’s preview release of our new Office 365 APIs extends the platform that we introduced in Office 2013 by adding the ability for both websites and native applications to consume Office 365 data.

This is powerful. Now, both web applications as well as native applications running on Windows 8, iOS, Android, and other device platforms can consume Office 365 data by using REST APIs and standard OAuth flows.

This preview release of Office 365 APIs supports a limited number of SharePoint, Exchange, and Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD) data sources. But this is only the start of a much larger innovation. Moving forward, we’ll also support additional data sources in SharePoint and Exchange as well as supporting additional services like Yammer.

Whereas the innovation in SharePoint 2013 was having the ability to insert external apps in Office files, the investment now is enabling your applications to consume Office data over the wire using REST/OData for data transport and OAuth for authentications and authorization.

A new foundation: Microsoft Azure AD

The Office 365 APIs is part of a platform that is built on an entirely new foundation: Microsoft Azure AD. Having Microsoft Azure AD as your identity provider enables single sign-on, which provides single-consent access to Office resources. This relieves the pain of authorization mismatches between external apps and Office. You simply use OAuth for the single sign-on experience, and then have persistent access to Office 365 data – email, calendar, profile, files, and more.

Enhanced API surface and better development experience

We have worked very hard to enrich the developer experience by providing Office development tools and templates in Visual Studio. Additionally, we have expanded and enhanced the API surface in several areas to provide a new, unified REST APIs for files, mail, and calendar data, with a single URL for easy discovery using our new Discovery Service (see Use Discovery Service). There is a new Files OData API for SharePoint 2013, an Exchange OData API, expanded CSOM APIs, and a new Discovery Service. All of these new offerings are available in this preview release.

On the horizon for Office 365 APIs

This preview release of the Office 365 APIs reflects the current state of a work in progress. Think of this release as transitional – as a point on a bridge whose destination is a fully unified development experience in which Office 365 APIs and apps for Office and SharePoint contribute to a single, seamless infrastructure.

We know there is still much work to do. We invite your comments and suggestions, which you can provide at the Office Developer Platform Customer Feedback site.

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