Microsoft's Delve Office Graph-Powered App Goes Live

Microsoft delivers its Office Graph-powered app, formerly known as "Oslo," to help organizations connect the dots between workers.

Microsoft Office Delve

Six months after previewing its personalized, collaboration-enhancing Office Delve app, formerly known as "Oslo," Microsoft began rolling out the technology to Office 365 business customers on Sept. 8, announced Julia White, general manager, Office 365 technical product management.

"Office Delve is a new way to discover relevant information and connections from across your work life," White wrote in a blog post. "Delve displays information that is most relevant for each person, based on the work they are doing and the people with whom they are engaging."

Delve is powered by Office Graph, an underlying intelligence layer that leverages machine learning to surface information and content that is relevant to a user's project, role and responsibilities within an organization. Content appears via a card-based interface that provides links to a given Office document, encouraging collaboration and feedback.

"With Delve, information finds you versus you having to find information," White wrote.

Office Graph's capabilities "map the relationships between people, content and activity that occur across Office 365," White wrote. Currently, the technology is tuned for content and signals generated by email, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online and Yammer.

Soon, Office Graph will extend deeper into the enterprise. "Over the coming months, we will continue to integrate signals and content sources, such as email attachments, OneNote and Lync," said White.

More apps are in the works. "Delve is the first of many experiences we will release, tapping into the connections and insights from Office Graph," she hinted.

Delve features built-in search capabilities, but Microsoft's aim is to create a more intuitive, people-based way of finding, disseminating and collaborating on Office 265 content.

"With Oslo, you can find anything you need by just remembering a person. It's way easier for us humans to remember names of people than document names or keywords," Ashok Kuppusamy, a group program manager in Microsoft's FAST group, the company's enterprise search server software division, wrote in a March 11 blog post. (FAST's engineering team is based on Norway, explaining the Delve's codename, Oslo.)

"This change, connecting to content through people, hints at something truly transformative: a new way to staying 'in the know' about what's around you," he said.

While Delve can cast a wide net across an enterprise's Office 365 environment, it respects boundaries. "The information in Delve is tailored to each user, and users will only see what they already have access to," stated Microsoft in an online support document.

"Delve doesn't change permissions. People won't be able to see private documents that haven't been shared with them, or documents that are stored in a location that they don't have access to," according to Microsoft.

Further, Office Graph is optional, but disabling it may come at the price of upcoming and potentially productivity-boosting Office capabilities. "If you don't allow access to the Office graph, you also disable solutions that are built on top of it, such as Delve, and you remove Delve from the Office 365 global navigation," said Microsoft's support Website.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...