Introducing the Office365 connector

Bringing Teams into Drupal!

A very long time ago (which almost seems like a lifetime ago and when we never even heard of Covid), we at Finalist had an idea. What if we could be notified of new emails within a Drupal website? Or what if we could look up a coworker’s phone number or online status?
With that idea in mind we said: ‘Let’s make a small module as a proof of concept!’ and fired up PHPStorm. Soon after that the first version of the module was shaping up and on July 23, 2019 we made our initial commit.

Let's build it

As a company Finalist has been making software since before the internet and we have a strong opinion on where intercorporate communications and employee engagement should be heading. We have built a large number of intranets, portals and other tools to help people connect, with the firm belief that it should be easier to work together with the use of such tools.
Many tools available to workers which are designed to make cooperation easier in practice seem to achieve the opposite. This is the main reason that we started working a Digital Work Environment. A platform that is able to facilitate cooperation and help unlock the data hidden in companies’ various software products. It should make it easy for users to access and use this data.

Cooperate!

At the same time our ideas about the Digital Work Environment started to materialize, we came in contact with our friends at SIM Group (https://www.simgroep.nl/) and Open Social (https://www.getopensocial.com/). Both have customers who would love to see functionality and data like for instance: online status, recent document and calendar from Office 365 within their Drupal environment. Both SIM and Open Social asked us if we would be interested in taking the previously made module to the next level.

Features

After this introduction you may be curious to what we have actually developed and as we speak are working on to make even better…

First: The result can be found (and you can implement the module yourself!) on https://www.drupal.org/project/o365!

Second: the module is under development and so new features will be introduced, existing features will be improved and fine-tuned.

Finally: here is a short list of features that is now part of the module.

  • Outlook calendar & mail
    These submodules provide you with several blocks and pages that list latest unread mails, upcoming appointments and Sharepoint files. We also added the possibility to add nodes to your outlook calendar.
  • Contacts
    Simple but very essential. User profiles, your colleagues, are derived from Active Directory. You can enrich profiles with useful content and find colleagues based on this content and/or their activity.
  • Onedrive
    See your latest files, or the latest files shared with you.
  • Groups and Teams
    You can create groups in Drupal and connect Teams groups to those Drupal groups. You can see the teams status of your contacts and quickly send and receive team messages from within Drupal!
  • SSO
    Log in to Drupal via SSO and magically you are logged in to all applications that make use of that login, all your o365 content is shown… it’s that easy!
  • Sharepoint search
    Search your sharepoint from within drupal and access your files using the o365 applications.

The future

We are excited to work on the integration of Office365 functionality within Drupal in such a way that the user gets the best of all existing tools. This project shows how different companies can work together on a very cool open-source solution adding improvements while working for inspiring clients. We are determined to continue to improve this project and hope many others will be able to use the module and build cool and useful business solutions using it.

You can download the module on drupal.org and we are looking forward to your feedback and thoughts! Are you thinking of features that aren’t in the list above or maybe integrations that should definitely be in there? Let us know!

This article was written by Wouter Immerzeel and Erik Huijs. Image used in header by unsplash.com

erik.huijs

Informatie Analist[email protected]LinkedInDrupal
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