These days you have a lot of applications where you can go for task management. In most organizations, the three main tools are Outlook, SharePoint (Project), and Planner as the new kid on the block. This makes it difficult for end-users to get an overview of all their tasks and / or complete them. This is what we want to tackle with our Outlook module.
What it does
This Outlook module gives you an overview of all your SharePoint and Planner tasks. The user will have the ability to filter, group, update and complete them. This gives the user more time on actual completing its tasks, instead of searching for them.
How we built it
This Outlook module is built with React and Node.js. It makes use of the Microsoft Graph to work with the Planner tasks API and SharePoint Online.
Challenges we ran into
At the moment Planner is still quite new, so not all API endpoints give use the right amount of information we needed to build the module.
The same goes for SharePoint. Microsoft Graph now includes a SharePoint API endpoint but does not allow you to call the search API. Therefore we went for the standard SharePoint Online API endpoints.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Combining multiple sources of data is never easy, but we accomplished a seamlessly integration of SharePoint -and Planner tasks. Deep dive into both API's gave us the opportunity to display the correct properties of the tasks with eventually the only difference between the two systems: the icon at front.
What we learned
We learned how to build applications for Outlook. Which gives a lot of benefits as most users "live" in Outlook.
What's next for Outlook task manager
Extra endpoints and external systems can easily be accessed by plugging them in into the existing modular configuration and even more actions can be implemented to increase the added value of the add-in, e.g. reassign, creating new tasks, add attachments, add comments…