Microsoft brings Office 365 data to Android apps

Microsoft brings Office 365 data to Android apps

Summary: Microsoft just open-sourced a software development kit that will enable Android developers to bring Office 365 data to their Android apps.

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Just the other day, I gave five reasons why Microsoft should embrace Android for its smartphone operating system. Little did I know that on that same day Microsoft Open Technologies would open source the Office 365 Software Development Kit (SDK) for Android. With this SDK, developers will be able to let their Android applications access SharePoint lists, folders or Exchange calendar, contacts and emails.

Microsoft_open_tech_logo
Microsoft is opening up its Office 365 data to Android application developers.

Is this coincidence or is Microsoft really going to fully support Android. I know which way I'm betting.

In the meantime, here's what the Office 365 SDK for Android will be bringing us. According to the project's GitHub page, "This SDK provides access to: Microsoft SharePoint Lists, Microsoft SharePoint Files, Microsoft Exchange Calendar, Microsoft Exchange Contacts, and Microsoft Exchange Mail."

The SDK consists of three different and independent packages. Two of them require that you have the office365-base-sdk package to work. The SDKs are compatible with the following Android versions: 4.0.3 ,4.1.2, 4.2.2, and 4.3.

To help developers get up to speed, Microsoft has also included two sample applications. The first is an asset management app that allows the user to view the items in a particular list of a SharePoint site; add a new item with a picture into this list; and update and delete an item from this list. The second is a "mail contact and calendar app that lets the user view all his mails from the drafts folder and send mail, events from all his calendars and all his contacts."

Microsoft Open Technologies, which has the job of building bridges between Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies via open standards and open source, is also working on an open-source SDK that covers the Discovery application programming interface (API). Office 365's Discovery API is used to start and pass the user identity to the Office 365 service. Subsequently, this information used to initiate authorization flow gets the hosting location of services for that user, and gets the endpoints to the service.

This code is a preview so users shouldn't expect to see Android apps accessing SharePoint or Exchange in the next few weeks. Still, developers can start getting their feet wet with the code.

If you want to contribute to the project yourself you'll need to sign a Microsoft Open Technologies Contributor License Agreement. The 365 SDK for Android itself is licensed under the Apache License 2.0.

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Topics: Mobility, Android, Enterprise Software, Open Source, Software Development

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23 comments
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  • Good to see Microsoft

    embracing open source.
    WhoRUKiddin
    • Not really open source

      Microsoft often releases API's so developers can leverage services in custom apps, but the API's themselves are not open source. There are usually limited to what Microsoft will support. Google does them same, but for some reason Google has locked down a lot of there API's lately for Google only products, like the ChromeCast. Apple is proprietary and doesn't share anything.
      Sean Foley
      • Re: Apple is proprietary and doesn't share anything....

        You ever heard of

        iTunes

        ?
        5735guy
        • I have

          What does iTunes have to do with something being Open Source? They're not sharing anything on the lower level, like API, when it comes to iTunes. They likely never will.
          Michael Alan Goff
          • Re: Apple sharing....

            I was merely questioning the comment

            "Apple is proprietary and doesn't share anything"

            Whether it be open source or not.

            iTunes is a valid example of sharing yes.
            5735guy
          • LOL

            Better stay away from this topic my Friend. Apple is notorious for not sharing technology. iTunes is an App, not a shared development kit technology like Microsoft provides. Apple is totally proprietary, but it works for them I guess.
            Sean Foley
          • Different types of sharing

            The type of sharing that he is talking about it the type that would be similar to letting others use their API.
            Michael Alan Goff
  • One of the smartest moves from M$ I've seen in a long time

    Providing Office support for other OSs is a great way to extend the profit base, ultimately M$ could make Office the de facto productivity suite for all (or most) OSs.
    FrankInKy
    • Limited support is fine

      If Office is limited on other platforms then that is fine. Otherwise, MS will be undermining its own platforms. There is a reason many ISVs support multiple platforms: its because they make more money that way and they don't have platforms of their own to undermine. There is a reason companies like Apple and Google refuse to support to Windows 8 and Windows Phone with apps, because doing so would undermine their own platforms which compete with Microsoft's.
      P. Douglas
      • RE: MS will be undermining its own platforms

        One look at the Win8 consumer acceptance numbers and I'd say MS is already undermining its own platforms.
        WhoRUKiddin
    • Too late

      "M$ [MS or Microsoft?] could make Office the de facto productivity suite for all (or most) OSs"

      Microsoft was far too late with Office support for iOS and Android. Google's QuickOffice for Android/iOS, Apple's iWork apps for iOS, Documents to Go for Android and iOS, etc. will prevent Microsoft from having the stranglehold on mobile that they enjoyed on the desktop. Not to mention Google Drive with Google Docs.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Really

        There is no too late. Apple said the same about Android. Personally love the fact that MS is eating humble pie and giving us options. Tired of listening to G and A acting like M$ did in the late 90's
        MovingOn.Pmb
      • Comparing GDocs to Office

        Is like comparing a tricycle to a motorcycle.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • wait, which is it?

        You state Microsoft is to late, but then say a slew of various office suites will (future tense) prevent Microsoft from doing something.

        So which is it?

        Those office suites are already so well entrenched that Microsoft can't compete or you think they will become so popular that Microsoft will lose the battle in the future?
        Emacho
  • Microsoft brings Office 365 data to Android apps

    Good way to get the android users to try Microsoft Office 365. Once they have the Microsoft experience they will end up migrating over to other Microsoft products and services.
    Loverock.Davidson
    • Or just finish migrating the last over to Linux systems and servers

      saving a lot of money, and with less aggravation.
      jessepollard
      • Lets look at your sentence

        You used linux and aggravation in the same sentence. That alone tells a lot of people to never use it.
        Loverock.Davidson
        • Baloney

          See an eye doctor.
          “and with less aggravation. “
          RickLively
      • I'm trying to figure out the leap of logic

        I'm just not understanding how it works.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • is this finally the year of linux?

        are you making it official this time?

        not like last time, but for really real this time.

        everyone is migrating over to Linux, right?
        Emacho