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Office 365 developer platform at Ignite 2019

Microsoft Ignite 2019 is happening now – If you are attending in Orlando, watching remotely, or just trying to stay on top of the news, we are excited to share updates and new capabilities across Office 365 development. Let’s dig in!

Excel – continuing to enable new scenarios

Office Add-ins for Excel

With the Office.js Excel 1.10 requirement set, now generally available in the most recent monthly channel update, you have expanded capabilities to validate and audit existing spreadsheets and enable greater collaboration with Excel. For example, you can use the comments APIs to check items or assign them to people for review from your add-in. For enhanced interactivity, you can create Slicers for your reports, or even enable drill-down capabilities. The 1.10 API set brings our Excel JavaScript API count to over 2000 different APIs – making now a great time to create Office add-ins that leverage comprehensive Excel capabilities.

picture of graph showing API release rate increasing more rapidly after may 2017

New platform capabilities for custom functions

Custom functions, which became generally available at Microsoft Build 2019, has some new capabilities in preview to try out. When creating custom functions you can now return built in errors with custom messages, for example: “#N/A” , “Please sign in to access this resource”. Excel will display “Please sign in to access this resource” in a tooltip, letting the users of the custom function you created understand how to fix an error that occurred easier. There are also updates that have introduced the ability to share state between a taskpane and a custom function, which enables full CORS support. Learn more about creating custom functions for Excel on the Office Dev Center.

Office Scripts – automation for Excel on the web

We announced a new feature coming to public preview by the end of 2019: Office Scripts for Excel on the web, which you can read more about it on the Excel blog. One exciting part of the announcement is that Office Scripts uses the same technology and platform tools that Office Add-ins uses. We will continue to work to enable the best experience possible across the platform and look forward to seeing how you use Office Scripts to accomplish automation in Excel on the web.

a screenshot of Excel on the web, showing the Automate tab with the Office Scripts feature, showing JavaScript in a code editor.]

Outlook Actionable Messages – always up to date, available everywhere

Outlook Actionable Messages continues  to expand platform  support, with Mac support rolling out starting at the end  of 2019. Actionable Messages will now deliver productivity enhancing email on any platform – web, mobile, Windows, and Mac. Developers also now have the ability to auto-invoke a refresh of the Adaptive Card when an Actionable Message is first opened. This allows the most up to date content, no matter what platform you are on or how long it took to open the message by the recipient.

A new  tool you can use is the Actionable Messages  Designer. The designer is a new experience that lets you choose how you want to start designing your Adaptive Card to use in the Actionable Message.


A screenshot of the new Actionable Messages Designer

You start by choosing a template or a blank card. Editing your choice is accomplished using the visual editor to drag and drop elements to where they are needed and updating their properties, seeing the updates to the content as you make them. The designer has a view function with a rendering of the content in both standard and mobile forms, letting you make design decisions with confidence. You can also send the message you created to yourself, making getting started on your Actionable Message journey simple . Learn more about Actionable Messages and start designing them today using the Actionable Message Designer.

Finishing up

If you do happen to be at Microsoft Ignite this week, stop at the Office Extensibility booth in the Microsoft 365 Developer Platform area of the Hub and say hello to some of the people who are working on these features – we would love to hear from you!

The Office Extensibility team