A First Look At The New Microsoft Graph Explorer – Part Three

Note: All my blogs on Microsoft Graph API can be found here.

In first two parts of my article series “A First Look at the New Microsoft Graph Explorer”, I explained about different components of Microsoft Graph Explorer. I suggest you to read those two parts first, before reading this third part for better understanding.

You can read the previous parts here:

I will continue the article series with part three where I will explain how to execute the calls to Microsoft Graph API.

The objectives of this article are:

  • Execute some Graph API GET calls using sample account
  • Look at Microsoft Graph API metadata
  • Calling beta API

Execute Graph API GET calls using sample account

Let’s look at some simple GET calls to Microsoft Graph API using the Graph Explorer.

Open the Microsoft Graph Explorer by clicking here.

Check the left section under “Authentication”.

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It says currently a sample account provided by Microsoft with some test data is being used. You can fire GET calls using this account right away.

If you see the API endpoint address bar you will notice,

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API endpoint for getting user’s profile is already loaded.

Simply click on “Run Query” button to execute the API call.

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You will see that the response area of the page is updated with something, like below.

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The status in the green background indicates that the call was successful with HTTP status code of 200 and executed in 869 mill seconds.

Look at the JSON data in “Response Preview” section.

It has some data of “user” which is the current user provided by Microsoft sample account. If you are logged in with your account, then you will see your data. I will cover the calls after login with your account later.

There is also something more.

Microsoft Graph API metadata

You might be wondering how to find out what data to expect in an API GET call response or what data to pass in an API call POST request. You can read the Graph API documentation or look at the sample queries on left side section, but there is also another way.

Look at the first line of the JSON response,

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You will see a URL for “@odata.context” property.

Copy the URL and paste in a new tab.

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You will see it loads an XML file. A big XML file. That’s the OData documentation of the Microsoft Graph API. Microsoft Graph API metadata in other words.

It specifies the different entities and actions along with properties and parameters.

Search for the following in the page- EntityType Name=”user”.

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You will find the user entity along with its properties and navigation properties. You will also find some more entities, more actions, functions. You can also see the Graph API metadata page directly here,

The following lines are taken from the Microsoft Graph website as it is:

“The metadata allows you to see and understand the Microsoft Graph data model, including the entity types, complex types, and Enums that make up the resources represented in the request and response packets.

You can use the metadata to understand the relationships between entities in Microsoft Graph and establish URLs that navigate between those entities.

Path URL resource names, query parameters, and action parameters and values are not case sensitive. However, values you assign, entity IDs, and other base64-encoded values are case sensitive.”

For the scope of this article, I will not go deeper inside this XML file and will leave it to you to explore more.

Back to the Graph Explorer

If you place your mouse cursor in the API address bar and press back space key and remove everything till “v1.0/” you will see the Graph Explorer will hint you possible API endpoints you can fire,

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Similarly, if you start typing “me/” then it will show you possible endpoints after “me”

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Now, type https://graph.microsoft.com/v1.0/organization in the address bar and press “Run Query” button, you will see the logged in user’s organization info,

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Please note that in Microsoft Graph API “me” and “organization” are the only two aliases in Microsoft Graph API i.e. these two are not the actual objects in Office 365.

If you want to test more GET calls, then you can see list of some GET calls in left section under “Sample Queries”.

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More GET calls featured scenarios can be found here on Microsoft Graph website,

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Calling API in preview

Now, let’s see how to call some Graph API endpoints which are still in preview i.e. in beta.

Change the API version to “Beta” in the version lookup,

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Copy and paste https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/me/insights/trending in the API endpoint address bar and press “Run Query” button,

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You will see the names of some documents are returned with their “weight”. These are the “trending” documents around the user and you need to write some code to convert the “weight” of each document to some meaningful representation to end user.

But the purpose of making this call is to make you understand how to fire a beta API call in Microsoft Graph Explorer.

Now change the API version to V1.0, keep the API endpoint URL same and fire the call,

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You will see it returns an error, because this endpoint is only in beta version and not yet in V1.0.

I hope you will play with Microsoft Graph Explorer and fire some more GET calls until I write the next article and we continue the journey of learning with the new Microsoft Graph Explorer.

Note: This article was first published by me on C# Corner website here.

Header image courtesy: Microsoft

Introduction to Microsoft Office 365 Developer Program

In this article, I will introduce you to MS Office 365 Developer program.

Background

The user base of MS Office 365 is increasing day by day by leaps and bounds. Microsoft needs to prepare more and more developers who work with Office 365. For this reason, Microsoft has designed the MS Office 365 Developer Program for the developers who build Office 365 solutions across desktop, web, and mobile platforms.

The MS Office 365 Developer Program can be accessed via the link https://dev.office.com/devprogram

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You can start registering for the developer program by clicking on “Join Now” button.

What are the benefits of MS Office 365 developer program?

The program offers many benefits. The most interesting one is one year free Office 365 developer subscription.

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You can also access some free online training on Office 365 too.

If you register now and till next few days, you will also get a chance to participate in a draw to win MS Ignite 2017 event.

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Why you should register

If you want to start with Office 365 development which is very much in demand now, then you will need a demo or test account for your programming. You may have access to Office 365 via your employer organization but that is the live organization data. You may not want to play with live data while you are in  the testing and training phase of some new programming.

Once you get the developer account, you can use it for various Office 365 related programming works, like:

  • MS Graph API
  • Office 365 API
  • Office 365 Add-ins

Microsoft is giving you a free one year subscription which you should not miss.

What you will get

Among other things described in one of the screenshots above, you will get “Office 365 Enterprise E3 Developer Trial” subscription with 5 users and US $10.40 user/month credit.

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Note: Shown above is a screenshot of my developer trial subscription from Office 365 Admin portal.

How to register

You can either click on “Join Now” button as shown in first screen or scroll down on the dev program home page and click on the “Join Developer Program >” button.

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Once you click on the “Join” button, you will be shown a registration page.

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Fill in your details and continue. Once you have completed the registration, you will get an email from Office Developer account.

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This email has a link to redeem your free Office 365 developer account. Click on the “Redeem today” link in the email to continue.

You will be shown the following screen.

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Fill in your details and continue.

You will see the following confirmation page.

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Please keep note of your user id which ends with “.onmicrosoft.com” which you will use to login to Office 365.

Office 365 Portal & Admin Portal

Once you have everything setup, you can visit the Office365 portal to access your account here.

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Note: The above shown image is my office 365 portal landing page. You can start using the Office 365 products right away.

You can visit the Office 365 admin portal here.

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You can manage users, groups, etc. from the Office 365 admin portal.

Finally, go to the billing section and check your subscription. It will show you how many number of days are left.

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Go now and create an Office 365 developer account, create some test data, and start programming with Office 365.

What’s stopping you?

 

Note: This article was published by me on C# Corner website here.

Header Image Credit: C# Corner