Delve: Find Everything (as long as “everything” is stored within O365)

Sphinx-unearthed

One of the interesting features of Office 365 is the sudden appearance of new capabilities.

I wrote “sudden” but of course, if you follow the Office 365 blogs and take a peek every now and again at the Office 365 roadmap, you’ll be aware of upcoming changes.

But we’re all busy and so, are often surprised when a new tile shows up in the Office 365 Portal.

Which is what happened to me when Delve made its debut.

What is Office 365 Delve?

According to Microsoft, Delve…

…helps you discover the information that’s likely to be most interesting to you right now – across Office 365. You don’t have to remember the title of a document or where it’s stored. Delve shows you documents no matter where they’re stored in OneDrive for Business or in Sites in Office 365.

Full at “What is Office Delve“.

 

All of which sounds great but how does it look and behave when actually used?

To test this I logged into the Office 365 portal and clicked the “Delve” tile:

Office-365-tiles

When you choose Delve for the first time you’re presented with some (actually not bad) marketing material:

Delve-first-start-info

And…

Delve Search message

After reviewing this information, I chose the “Go to my page” option to see what would be waiting for me there:

Delve-main-page

Very intriguing; files that I’ve uploaded to a SharePoint site hosted on my test tenant are displayed on the main page.  And I can search for other files using a wide variety of criteria (file name, words within a file, etc.)

I noticed that the types of files displayed can be opened by applications included with Office 365 – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc – which are hosted within one of Office 365’s storage repositories (i.e., OneDrive for Business site [https://yourdomainname-my.sharepoint.com/], SharePoint team sites and Exchange Online email messages which contain compatible attachments).

As a test of how quickly an uploaded file appears within Delve, I created a spreadsheet named “Excel-Test-for-Delve” and uploaded it to my OneDrive for Business site.  After about five minutes or so, the file appeared on my Delve main page:

Excel-test-for-Delve

Not bad.  From the Delve interface I can open the file, download it and perform all of the other standard Office 365 actions.

But what about security?  Microsoft addresses those concerns here at “Are my documents safe in Delve?

And if you’re wondering how to make sure Delve can find the things you want to be able to find, read, “Store your documents where Office Delve can get to them.”

But wait, there’s more…

In addition to using Delve via a web browser, there’s also a mobile interface for iOS and Android.

Here’s a quick look at how Delve is presented on iOS.

The main login page:

delve-mobile-1

By clicking, “sign in now” you’re taken a page where you submit your Office 365 portal login:

delve-mobile-2

And then the portal login:

delve-mobile-3

Next you’re taken to the main splash page (note the options at the bottom of the interface):

delve-mobile-5

By choosing the “My work” option at the interface’s bottom, you can view the most recent or most popular

delve-mobile-6Office 365 Delve is an interesting and potentially very powerful addition to the service.  The more information we store within a tenant, the more useful it will be giving users the ability to upload files without concerning themselves with each item’s precise location.

It’s the application of enterprise search technology to the task of locating data anywhere it’s stored provided “anywhere” is within the Office 365 galaxy of data objects.

One final thing…

Delve is built on Office Graph technology which you can read about in depth here.