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Wait - 'Office Graph' Doesn't have any Graphs?

What is Office Graph?

Office Graph is a highly touted toolset Microsoft released allowing structured queries across several applications within Office 365. If you're an Office 365 user, you may have noticed the first of Microsoft's offerings that uses Office Graph: Delve. The idea behind Delve and more significantly Office Graph is to enable machine 'learning' to understand relationships between actors and content. Want to know how your colleagues are collaborating on your content? Office Graph enables this within Delve, and also allows app development to provide a custom user experience surrounding social interactions.

Here's a simplified graphic of the Office Graph workings:Office_365_Graph\

Why Delve isn't Awesome:

Delve is a first generation attempt to surface relevant content using a new Paradigm. Rather than rely heavily on content tags and site structure, Delve relies on usage, search, and relationships between users and content. The engine running Office Graph is GQL (Graph Query Language) which uses SharePoint's REST API. While SharePoint's REST API isn't new, all descriptions of GQL are sure to note that the language is very 'preliminary'. Not sure what a developer could do using GQL? Here's an example of a little app that shows content discovered using GQL and Office Graph to represent articles in bubbles sized by their view count. Neat.

What's next for Office Graph?

One of the good things about Office Graph is that GQL Queries span multiple Office 365 Applications including, SharePoint OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, Exchange Online, and Yammer. OneNote and Lync are next up for integration. This is a good idea. Creating the ability to search for content throughout Office 365 regardless of application may become hugely important. As GQL evolves, and developers create apps, look for more flexibility in the amount of personalization users should expect in their Office 365 environments.


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