Connecting to O365 Contents

Integrating Office Email, People and Calendar in SharePoint solutions

While Microsoft Office365 does provides excellent interfaces for the common contents such as Email, people and calendar events, these content are often required in business solutions as well. That is why Webparts360 provides a means to create, update and read these contents from within our solutions.

This is done by leveraging on Office365 API (see https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/office/office365/api/api-catalog ) Once you have activated the Office 365 integration option from the solution properties, Webparts360 will retrieve the latest content via the API calls whenever data is added or changed.

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Figure 1: Webparts360 Solution Properties – Integration Option

Once you have activated this integration, a private set of databases of these contents will be created for each user. The purpose of this cached data set is to improve the performance and to eliminate round trips when querying these data. The following special tables will be created:

Type Description Remarks
#Office365_Contacts People Only returns data that are owned by user
#Office365_Events Calendars Only returns data that are owned by user
#Office365_Emails Emails Only returns data that are created or received by user

You can use these table in your data source for creating reports, (e.g. SELECT * FROM #Office365_Events) to return all your calendar events.

In your data source, you can access this data when you select the Office 365 data option.

O365ContentsSelector

Then you can use these contents as if it were a SQL database table to filter or analyze the data.

If you wish to add to these contents, you will need to create custom lists or database tables to store the fields that you want to use. Under Actions, you can choose the required API calls to integrate to the contents, for example:

Email (Send Only)

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Figure 2: Email Integration

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Figure 3: Email Integration Actions

This allows you to send an email using the user credentials. Since this is scheduled service, it will take a minute or two before you see this in your system.

People Integration

You can also choose to create your own interface to manage your contact information using the People integration options.

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Figure 4: People Integration Options

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Figure 5: People Integration Properties

Calendar Integration

For calendar, you can call the actions to manage the calendar event.

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Figure 6: Calendar Integration Options

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Figure 7: Calendar Event Integration Options

Demo Solution

The purpose of this demo is to show how your personal contents within Office365 can be retrieved and analyzed. Gain better insight over your contents.

O365 Home

Figure 8: Home Page

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Figure 9: Email (Inbox)

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Figure 10: Calendar (with Create Option)

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Figure 11: Reports & Analysis

You can create search screens for your contacts and drill down to see related activities, such as this:

Office365ContactSearch

Figure 12: Search for contacts

ContactsContext

Figure 13: Contacts with related emails

Thanks to Microsoft for finally releasing the Office 365 API so that we can re-use these contents for our applications. I am sure they will continue to improve and stabilize these API. Please note that these are BETA API’s and as such, may require tweaking from time to time. We cannot guarantee that these features will continue to work and thus we are not responsible for any consequences from the use of these features. Please exercise caution when experimenting with this features. Check out this video below to see it in action.

We love to hear your feedback and ideas on creative way to use these features.

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