by Michael Panciroli
The Office 365 Partner Community is led by National Partner Technology Strategists from the Microsoft US Partner Team.
There is not a July call scheduled, but look for a new call series that starts in August.
This is part 2 of our Office 365 Partner Community blog series focusing on Ignite highlights. Read part 1. In this post I will recap announcements about Delve and the Office Graph, and talk about some of the opportunities for partners to consider.
Delve and the Office Graph
When exploring this topic, it is important to understand the distinction between Delve the Office Graph. Delve is a next-generation portal, an experience built on top of the Office Graph. Think of Delve as a "reasoning layer" that adds semantics and insights. The Office Graph lives in Office 365, and stores data about Office 365 entities and the relationships between them as nodes and edges in a graph index.
In the graphic below, you can see examples of the person and document entities. Examples of relationships are shared and modified by. The Office Graph uses advanced analytics and machine learning techniques to connect and complete the data coming from all of the Office 365 services.
Today, you can experiment and query the Office Graph using the Graph Explorer and the Office Graph API. What was showcased at Ignite was the ability to query the TrendingAround and WorkingWith relationships. TrendingAround uses the File and Drive entities, and WorkingWith uses the Person entity. Watch the Office Delve and Office Graph Vision and Roadmap session on demand for a good overview.
I think an exciting opportunity for partners is that in the future the Office Graph API will let you incorporate third-party services or line of business application data into the Office Graph. That means the potential is there to extend existing capabilities in Office 365, or even build entirely new features and capabilities, where you can traverse edges from nodes in the Office Graph and use the results in your applications.
The demo-packed “Building Solutions with the Office Graph” session offered a preview of the types of customizations that the Office team is looking to build into the Office Graph. Modeling concepts and future scenarios were explored, describing how you could extend an entity such as a user to an employee where it can have its own custom properties and actions. You could then define relationship nodes, creating your own custom data types to store data to be analyzed by the Office Graph. Imagine then being able to query the graph based on your own custom schema to get Office Graph insights—pretty exciting stuff!
In the Delve experience, it will be possible to change what data is shown by different boards, and you will be able to customize the Delve cards and change the actions you would like to take with them. For example, imagine the actions you might want to take on a sales opportunity. And, we got a sneak peek at integrating third-party services such as Salesforce. The demos in the Ignite sessions can really help spark ideas for your customers or experiences you want to build.
Adding to the story, it was announced in one of the SharePoint 2016 sessions that Delve will include SharePoint content from both on-premises and online when you use the new Cloud Search Service Application so Delve boards can surface both types in the same view. In addition to being part of SharePoint 2016, it will be in an update to SharePoint 2013. For architecture details and a deep dive about these plans, check out the two sessions below.
- Watch What’s New for IT Professionals in SharePoint Server 2016
- Watch Implementing Next Generation SharePoint Hybrid Search with the Cloud Search Service Application
The future of Delve and the Office Graph is exciting, and I encourage you to start thinking about your opportunities to add capabilities as part of managed service offering or creating IP solutions that could be leveraged by Office 365 subscribers.
Here are some areas for extensibility to consider:
- Ability to connect to LOB and third-party services
- Expand coverage and value of first party apps
- Build in intelligence and add new insights or extend existing ones based on your own data
- Build your own app experiences based on Office Graph
- SharePoint 2016 – Hybrid connectivity including planning and implementation
- Classification, concept, and expertise detection
- Access data from across workloads vs silo
- Connectors – write your own connector to push data up into the Office Graph
Next steps and getting started
Watch for the forthcoming Office Graph public beta, and learn more about it through these links:
Watch these Delve and Office Graph sessions from Ignite:
- Office Delve and Office Graph Vision and Roadmap
- Building Solutions with Office Graph
- A New People Experience in Delve: Discover People Through Content, and Content Through People
Nominate customers for the SharePoint 2016 Technology Adoption Program (TAP).
In my next post in this series, I’ll cover next-generation portals, cloud accelerated experiences, and security and compliance. Listen to our June 4 community call about some of these announcements.