Early Bird Offer For Office 365 Engage
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Wednesday, 26 April 2017

A new conference for Office power users and developers is taking place from 19-22 June. Office 365 Engage covers the full spectrum of Office 365 needs, including SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Azure infrastructure that supports Office 365, Office 365 applications, and Office 365 development. Take advantage of the Early Bird offer and an extra 10% discount exclusive to I Programmer.

The conference has been created by the people who have run the very popular UnityConnect conference in recent years. This year they've split the conference in two, one half later in the year concentrating on SharePoint, this first one focusing on Office 365, both being held in the Philharmonie in the picturesque city of Haarlem, Netherlands. 



Office 365 Engage will have 90 sessions and four pre-conference workshops on Office 365 Applications, Exchange Online, Azure Infrastructure, and SharePoint Online. There's a developer track, and a good range of sessions and workshops devoted to developer topics.

One of the pre-conference workshops is aimed specifically at developers.  In Introduction to Azure for developers, Tiago Costa looks at the core skills needed to develop for Azure, and the main services such as App Services, SQL Database, Azure AD, and storage.

The topics covered in the main development track cover Microsoft Graph, Creating SharePoint Online Apps, Building Exchange Online Apps, PowerApps, and Microsoft Flow.


Graph gets strong coverage, including a session titled "Graph: The Swiss Army Knife for all your enterprise data". This looks at how Microsoft intends Graph to be the single endpoint developers can use to build custom application, using the Graph API to access services for your data hosted within Office 365.

A session on Building Portals with Graph works through building portals. It also shows extending Graph with your own data; and perhaps most importantly, how to connect with other Office 365 end points to overcome the gap in the Microsoft Graph API.

There's another interesting looking session using demos to show how to best get data using the Microsoft Graph API to your application. Example data used includes files from OneDrive for Business or SharePoint, and list data from SharePoint.

PowerApps and Flow

PowerApps and Flow are another focus for the developer track. PowerApps is a service that you can use to connect data across clouds to create "intelligent business apps".  More practically, it can be used to expose corporate data sources for use within PowerApps 

A session on "PowerApps, the Developer Story" goes into the details of the possibilities for developers to use the Azure App Services and build APIs to use within your PowerApps.

Another session titled Real-World PowerApps and Flow promises to deliver:

"the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences of building the new style of business applications using PowerApps and Flow".

By the end of the session you should have a good grip on what these technologies are good for, as well as learn what you should not try to accomplish with these tools.

Going further, a session on Extending PowerApps and Flow with custom code argues that PowerApps still needs to go further for many developers, particularly the expression language. The session shows how to use Azure Api Apps and Azure Functions to bring your own data sources to PowerApps. It also covers extending the capabilities of the PowerApps expression language, and how to implement actions which are not covered by Flow. 

Angular 2 

If you prefer more mainstream frameworks, a session on Building Office Add-ins for Outlook with Angular 2 might well appeal. All Microsoft Office clients, from Outlook to Excel, Word, PowerPoint and even OneNote, can be extended with add-ins. This session shows how you can use Angular 2 to create custom add-ins for Outlook, and how the techniques learned in this session can be used to also create add-ins for Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

SharePoint Development

The final main part of the development track looks at SharePoint development. Defining what exactly you mean by SharePoint development isn't that easy, because of the major changes in what's on offer over the past few years. A session titled "It’s Not Your Father’s SharePoint – Architecting Cloud-Only Solutions with Office 365, Azure, and SharePoint Online" attempts to bring some order, arguing that just because we are using JavaScript and SPFx, it doesn’t mean we should forget solution architecture altogether.

Among the other SharePoint developer sessions, one on Building an Intelligent SharePoint app caught my eye. It looks at using the Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) and similar services and APIs, and combining them with Microsoft Graph to open up new options for collaboration.

 Away from the develop track, the SharePoint Online track concentrates on the management of SharePoint Online and Hybrid Environments, Team Sites, and PowerShell for SharePoint.

The Exchange Online track has sessions on the management of Exchange Online and Hybrid Installations, Compliance, Exchange Online Protection and Advanced Threat Protection, and PowerShell for Exchange.

The Azure Infrastructure track focuses on Azure Active Directory; Hybrid and Federation, Security (e.g., Multi-Factor Authentication, IRM, and Azure Information Protection), Enterprise Mobility Suite, and Microsoft Intune

There are two Office 365 tracks, one on the applications with coverage of Groups, Sites, Teams, Skype for Business, Planner, Delve and Delve Analytics, Stream, and OneDrive for Business. The other Office 365 track looks at managing Office, with sessions on Administration, Data Governance and Compliance, Office 365 Deployment and Migration, and Office 365 Import Service

There's an early-bird rate for registering that expires on the 30 April, so don't hang around if you're thinking of going. You can also get an extra discount by using I Programmer's special code. Use PROG10 to save a 10 percent off your full conference pass whenever you book.


More Information


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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 26 April 2017 )