MVP Thoughts: Office Graph API & Groups Seen By Developers

Benjamin Niaulin
MVP Thoughts: Office Graph API & Groups Seen By Developers

Given the pace our industry is evolving at, it's hard to know where our focus should be put. The Office Graph API, for exemple, is definitely something SharePoint Developers should be looking into during the next year. Microsoft released there an incredibly powerful piece of tooling and machine learning.

In this segment of our SharePoint MVP panel, my friends and I discuss the Office Graph API & Office 365 Groups.



Benjamin: And lastly, one thing I wanted to talk about, or an idea, where we're talking about developers. One thing that was important for developers is that identity story. And I find...What is Groups? Groups is a logical way of putting people together and plugging things in there.

So, if I was a developer and I'm looking at all of this, they're creating a group and now they're attaching Power BI. And they're attaching, say, the video portal. They're attaching Office 365 Planner. What's to stop me as a developer, if they're in-house or to build new software, to say, "I'm gonna build something that's for teams to work together. I'm gonna put it in the store. And every time you create a group, now you get the calendar, conversations, the Delve or whatever is attached to it, and that our own company, Team-something, widget." And I think there's a great story there.

Of course, now I wish I could go back and code that and made millions, but unfortunately...As developers, do you think this is something...

Corey: I think that would be awesome. I don't think we have any API hooks yet to make any of that happen. But I'm sure that's probably on their list somewhere. But yeah, I could see it having its sensibility points when you keep adding things to it. We want those, of course, as developers.

Marc: Yeah, I think that's one half of what's not quite there yet, right? We don't quite have the hooks to do that really well. I think some people, I think you guys are doing some stuff here that actually is getting there. But the other piece of it is you have to have a great idea. And those great ideas are few and far between, right?

So not every company can look at all of these components and say, "Oh, I see a new way to join them together." I've had some conversations with people where they say, "What kind of cool stuff are you doing with the Office Graph?" It's like, "Well, I'm not doing anything with the Office Graph because none my clients see what that can do even though I think it's fascinating." So you have to have these sort of like...Well, what is that thing that you just talked about that is...

Jennifer: That will come though.

Marc: It will come. It will come. And it's part of the maturity of the product cycle, too.

Fabian: Office Graph builds on itself. So there's not gonna be a Eureka moment. "Oh, this is Office Graph and it's working well." You have to make that investment early. You have to collaborate properly. And the beauty of it is that, organically, it's built-in behind it. And then all of a sudden, it starts to flow really well. And I'm trying to do a lot of my investing right now in terms of learning that Graph API. Because the hooks that they have into the things that are coming out there, phenomenal. That's gonna be the game changer. Not there yet.

It's coming. It will be. Yeah, well, the edges, the signals, how that creates a story behind it.

Jennifer: Well, I think it's neat just even listening to us talk about Groups. None of us can definitively say, "It's the best thing ever and you have to use it." And none of us can say, "No, it's not." And we're all kind of like, "Hmm, I wonder." And so I think it's neat. I think it's gonna be game changing in the long run. I think it's interesting to see already where they've come, how quickly they're coming, and where they're going. I think the Planner is gonna be huge.

Benjamin: There's definitely something that we haven't looked at.

Jennifer: Oh, yeah. We would be foolish to not pay attention to it. Even if we're not using Groups today, if I'm in a completely compliant company and I can't use Groups, I know there are definitive reasons that I can't use Groups, it is still a mistake on my part to not be deeply integrated and understanding what's going on and paying attention. And this kind of goes back to other things as well. If I'm in an on-prem environment with no intention of ever going to the cloud, I'm still making a mistake and a disservice to my company to not be highly engaged into what is coming. Because it's gonna impact me eventually.

Marc: And while Groups are evolving, the workplace is evolving too. I mean you come to a place like GSoft/Sharegate and you see people working ahead of what Groups do. You see other organizations who are still thinking about how are we gonna alter what we think of as work. So that whole process is going on while Groups are evolving. So the software is sort of marching along with it. And that's cool because hopefully the Microsoft folks are watching enough.

I hope that they look out the windows enough to see what people are doing and start sending to the product that way. That's changed a lot.

Jennifer: I think they definitely are. I think in the last several years, it's just changed. I mean you've got UserVoice, you've got Yammer. The Office 365 Yammer network, I mean every time they make a major announcement on the blogs, they do a YamJam. Now, cheesy as it is or whatever you call it, that's the entire product team. That's representatives from marketing, from engineering, from support.

Benjamin: They're there, answering questions.

Jennifer: Getting there, answering questions and grouping together and following up. And so that's definitely them trying to engage and learn and work with us. And so I think it's...their changes in how they've rolled out products has changed how they have to interact and engage with us. And I think it's a great experience. And I think Groups is actually a great example of a lot of the things that they came out and said, "Turn it off." Those got fixed pretty quickly afterwards, until it got to a point where people could use it.

Benjamin: Perfect. So, thanks. So definitely, we'd say, at least look at what's going on with Groups.

Hey, got another minute?

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