Microsoft Graph – What is it?

In this three-part series I’m taking you through what Microsoft Graph is, how to use it and how to set up a connection.

 

So what is it? Microsoft Graph is a REST API which is essentially a mechanism for connecting to Azure in order to access data within areas such as Office 365 and Intune.

It provides a model that you can use to access a tremendous amount of data within Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility and Security. This data can be used to build reports, dashboards, queries and applications that interact with all of these different solutions.

Within the Microsoft 365 platform, three main components provide the access and flow of data. These are: –

  • Microsoft Graph API which offers a single endpoint – https://graph.microsoft.com which gives access to all the data in M365.
  • Microsoft Graph connectors (preview) which deliver data to apps and services such as Microsoft Search. There is a connector to bring security info into Power BI as a data feed.
  • Microsoft Data Connect which is a set of tools to help build applications

Together, all three of these components power the Microsoft 365 platform.

Image showing how Microsoft Graph fits into the M365 platform

Over the next few blogs, we’ll investigate Microsoft Graph from a Microsoft Intune perspective. Other examples of using Microsoft Graph could include: –

  • Correlate multiple security alerts within Azure into an application or dashboard
  • Keeping company directory information up-to-date such as Azure AD information, photos stored in Exchange or profiles stored in Sharepoint
  • Automate the tasks involved in onboarding new users. Assign managers, grant permissions to documents, enroll users’ devices to Intune, assign product licenses.

 

So how could we use Microsoft Graph API within Intune? Here are some examples: –

  • Backing up policies and configuration in Intune
  • Migrate Intune configuration settings to a new tenant
  • Manage multiple Intune client tenants
  • Onboard new users’ devices to Intune
  • Carry out the same tasks that are utilised in the Device Management Admin Console

I’ll leave it there for now – next week, I’ll run through how you can set up a Microsoft Graph connection to Azure. If you miss it, I’ll be linking here (edit: here’s the link!) so you can check back next Monday for the second part.

In the meantime, check out our other blogs and tutorials over on our learning hub!

 

Stephen Barnard

Stephen Barnard

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