Today we’ll look at a rich example of leveraging the Office 365 platform: Microsoft’s Matter Center.
What I found surprised and impressed me.
The Office 365 Development Platform
We’ve gotten really good at spinning up web applications that help users solve problems and increase productivity. That’s great, but it can also leave users with all sorts of disparate applications and stand-alone tools to interact with throughout the day. This contributes to a common productivity disrupter: context switching – that is, the need to frequently switch between different applications and user experiences.
Office 365 offers new compelling ways to integrate external services and custom functionality directly into the Office applications people already use.
Users can do more without having to alt-tab their way through the day, and developers can leverage a rich set of features and functionality without re-inventing the wheel.
Imagine being able to perform many of your day-to-day tasks without ever leaving Outlook. Or accessing external content directly in Word, Excel or PowerPoint. Users can do more without having to alt-tab their way through the day, and developers can leverage a rich set of features and functionality without re-inventing the wheel.
What’s more, the functionality you add is available from anywhere, on any device. Office 365 provides rich browser-based web apps as well as native apps for Windows, iOS, and Android.
One commonly used solution to this restriction is JSONP, but this is not available with Azure Blob Storage. Another modern option is Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS), but it is also unavailable on Azure Blob Storage and not supported in some legacy browsers.
We could consider a server-side solution, such as employing an Azure Web Role to read text-based content from blob storage and serve it up from the original server. But this approach can be both wasteful and performance inhibiting.