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Getting mobile device apps to work seamlessly with Office 365 content is now easier as Nuvious leverages the Graph API to build conduits with NativeScript and TypeScript.
Microsoft Graph API opens up Office 365, allowing the application to share content with modern mobile platforms. Ziskind is building a TypeScript layer that exposes parts of the API to native mobile applications, written in NativeScript in this case.
SharePoint Services is not going to disappear anytime soon, but the Microsoft Graph API and its related environment represent new layers of capability, Ziskind says. "The Office 365 Graph API is another layer that exposes, as a single API, all the different services that live in Office 365."
Microsoft itself describes the Graph environment as "the easiest way to call Microsoft APIs … from a single endpoint." The Graph website identifies users, groups, mail, calendars, contacts, files, tasks, people and notes as content examples. Ziskind noted that files stored on Microsoft's OneDrive cloud-based storage service can also be accessed.
Security is paramount
With access to the Microsoft Graph API comes the need for security; a need that is fully addressed, according to Ziskind. "Every time you talk to the API, you need to authenticate. Microsoft's Azure AD (Active Directory) in the cloud is where you register your applications so you can get access tokens to authenticate your users through OAuth 2.0."
OAuth tokens expire, which helps to ensure security, but they also demand proper handling by developers writing to the Microsoft Graph API.
"You get your token initially when you sign in. You use that token with every request to the API, but the access token is short-lived," Ziskind says. "You also get a refresh token, which you can use to call to the API and refresh the access token. You can keep doing this." Eventually, even the refresh token expires, at which point the application asks the user to re-authenticate.
NativeScript at the core
Based in Washington, D.C., Nuvious provides SharePoint and Microsoft stack consulting services. With the explosion in cloud-based mobile computing, the firm has expanded its horizons to provide mobile application development services for its clients, as well. By using its code to link Office 365 with mobile devices in the open source realm, the firm believes it is well-positioned to expand its portfolio of Office 365 consulting services. "This is an added bonus to our customers and to anyone who wants to use Office 365 services."
In the remainder of the podcast, Ziskind expresses his views on the rapidly expanding API universe, the ability for businesses to communicate with each other via open REST API capabilities, along with the need for better management, and his view of how Microsoft is remaking itself as computing continues its unstoppable march to the cloud.
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