Monday, October 14, 2013

Office 365 app and Azure AD app

Both Office 365 and Azure AD offer application model as an extension mechanism. The two app models are a little bit similar, and I see an increasing trend that these two app models merge into one inclusive app model. After all, in either Office store and Azure AD app gallery, you are selling to the same group of business customers who own an '' identity.

There are, however, some notable differences between these two models. The AAD is more developer oriented as it focuses on pure Graph API, while O365 tries to make you a small add-on to some enclosed O365 system. Even though O365 also supports user-less pure API access, it doesn't actively promote this approach.

As a developer, you'd better know all your options and chose the most suitable integrating capabilities that the system has to offer.

This is why I created this O365_AAD_Demo project, to demonstrate all possible integration scenarios.
  • The Store Web App is both an O365 app and an AAD app;
  • It calls both SharePoint /_api and AAD graph API;
  • It can be invoked either from within O356, the canonical approach, or from outside of O365, the supported but not well documented approach.
  • It supports both user-intervened access, and user-less access (enabled by caching refresh token)
  • Lastly, the O365 and AAD shares the same '' domain, representing the same business entity.

As always, you can find the full source code in the code share folder.