The Basics & Getting Started

Remember, to be eligible for prizes, submissions MUST BE one of the following:

  • An Office Add-in, which comprises an Add-in for SharePoint or Microsoft Office;
  • A SharePoint Framework web part;
  • An Office 365 App, which is an application that calls Microsoft Graph or an Office 365 REST API (Users, Groups, Mail, Calendars, Contacts, Files, Tasks, People, Notes ); OR
  • A Mobile Office App, which is a native app for mobile devices that calls Microsoft Graph.

To help you get started quickly, we are giving you a one-year FREE subscription for an Office 365 Development instance. Sign up today and you'll receive the link via email to setup your subscription

Create New Office 365 Developer Account  

In order to build an app using the Microsoft Office 365 APIs or Add-in tools, you’ll need to become an Office 365 tenant by joining the Office 365 Developer Program. Please follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Developer Program site and enter your information
  2. Check your inbox for an email from Office Developer titled “Welcome to the Office 365 Developer Program”. Open the “Click here to get your account” link in an InPrivate browser.
  3. On the Microsoft Office 365 Developer page, provide your details. Please ensure you have selected your correct country of residence.
  4. Follow all remaining steps. When asked for your company name, this is required, but it can be anything. Once you click “Create my account” on the last step, you should be redirected to the Office 365 homepage. Please note that if you are getting an error here, please check that you are using InPrivate browsing from step 2 onwards.

This will provide you with a one-year FREE subscription for an Office 365 Development instance.

Already have a free Office 365 Development account?  

If you already have a free Office Developer account that will run out before the end of the competition (March 1 2017), please email with the email/username that you signed up with for the developer account, and your tenant ID


Additional Optional Tools

Here are some additional tools you might find useful when building your enterprise productivity solution. Use of these tools is not required to be eligible for prizes.

Office UI Fabric

Office UI Fabric helps you make your app look like a native part of Office. Use our design language in your own experience. Fabric gives you access to Segoe, Microsoft’s official typeface, along with the color palette, type ramp, icons, and responsive grid for Office 365.

Azure Apps.

Create your free Azure account today and get started with $200 in credit. Azure App Service brings together everything you need to create web and mobile apps for any platform and any device.

Visual Studio.

Free. Open source. Runs everywhere. Visual Studio Code is a lightweight but powerful source code editor which runs on your desktop and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Yo for Office.

Yeoman generator for building Office Add-ins. Yeoman is a project scaffolding tool. After installing Yeoman, developers can download and install one of the 1,500+ other generators out there.

Smartsheet APIs

Smartsheet integrates with popular business systems and cloud applications to enable secure collaboration and data sharing across enterprise business processes.

Supercharge organizational productivity — build collaboration apps with Smartsheet’s open API.

DocuSign API

Use DocuSign's simple, powerful API to integrate the most secure and globally trusted eSignature platform into your app. Get started at

Tutorials and documentation

We know everybody needs a little boost now and then. Below are a number of links that will help guide you to the relevant documentation and development tools.

Productivity Scenarios  

For this Hack Productivity competition, you must submit an application that will help users increase their productivity in the workplace.

Workplace productivity has become of paramount importance in enterprise, with an endless array of apps, tools and services designed to increase efficiencies, enhance collaboration and mobility, and reinforce security. 

As you can imagine, the ways you can help your users achieve more in their workplace are nearly infinite … but that doesn’t mean we haven’t thought of a few scenarios to get you going.

The list of scenarios below is not exclusive. You are welcome to address a productivity need that is not listed here.

Adding mobility to enterprise apps

Provide workplace accessibility via mobile devices.

  • Mobilize and existing workflow and write the data directly back to Office 365 for collaboration over the Microsoft Graph
  • Embed video into your mobile app with the Skype for Business SDK
  • Add calendaring or scheduling integration for colleagues and meeting room; take advantage of real time visibility of availably
  • Create and Office Add-in that will natively work across multiple platforms


Provide real-time collaboration across multiple locations, platforms, and devices.

  • Take advantage of REST APIs and webhooks to use Office as a service and update documents in real time from within your app
  • Solutions that allow multiple field workers to collaborate effectively, and stay connected to their home office.
  • Manage projects and delegate effectively

Data Security and analytics:

  • Use the standard compliance features to add and extend polices to content in Office 365
  • Use data from the Office Graph to get permissions and authentication for users and data  

Trending Content

  • Track how many hours a team spends in meetings and integrate smart calendar features to find time the whole group is free
  • Feed your to-do list to an app that assesses the day’s calendar and prioritizes & schedules tasks for you
  • Know what documents are being used the most within your team, your boss and other influencers in your organization

Communication or chat w/in Office:

  • Build a “bot” app that allows users to call up and alter files from Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
  • Enterprise social networks / decision-making channels

Have a question?

We’re here to help and we welcome your questions. Please send us a note via the discussion board, or email You can also join the Microsoft Office developer community on StackOverflow.