There's nothing wrong with using more than one platform. That’s the message Microsoft is preaching as it opens up its vast library of Office 365 APIs to Windows, iOS, Android, and web developers.
“Today, we’re enhancing the opportunity for developers with Office 365, through new APIs for mail, files, calendar and contacts,” Microsoft wrote in its official press release. “These new robust, REST-based APIs empower all developers to leverage more than 400 Petabytes of data and popular services across Office 365 in any application. From a travel reservation app that connects to Office 365 calendars and contacts, to a sales automation app that fully integrates with Office 365 mail and files.”
Interested developers can check out the official Office Dev Center or Microsoft’s GitHub repository.
Why this matters: For Microsoft, this is simple business strategy. There’s no point in keeping popular services tied to the Windows platform if that means sacrificing potential users. It’s also crucial to keep current Office users happy, lest they stray to other productivity platforms, like Google’s revamped document apps.
“We have millions and millions of users in Office 365, but we’re noticing these users are becoming more mobile,” Chris Johnson, group product marketing manager for Office 365, told me over the phone last week. Those users are also flocking to other mobile platforms—like Android—so Microsoft likely figured that if it can’t get the masses to jump on board Windows Phones and Surface tablets, it can at least make it easier for Android and iOS users to use Office 365.
Better recipes for IFTTT
Perhaps the most exciting part of Microsoft opening up the Office 365 APIs—at least for me, personally—is the possibility for better integration with apps like IFTTT. “They’ll be releasing a channel in the next couple of weeks to create recipes that dig into office 365,” said Johnson.
IFTTT will become compatible with more than 130 Office 365 services, including mail, contacts, calendar, and files. This will make it possible for me to create an Android Wear alert that pops up on my watch any time I receive an email from my editors. The integration could also sync a calendar event from my Office 365 mail account to a shared Google Calendar.
The Office 365 channels in IFTTT will go live in the next few weeks.