Microsoft is in the business of building software. In fact, Microsoft wants everyone to use at least a couple dozen Microsoft products each and every day. To make this happen, Microsoft has endeavored to win the hearts and minds of developers. Microsoft figures that if they have developers that love the Microsoft platform, then they will write apps for it. And if the Microsoft platform is the place for the best apps, that’s what users will adopt. I think history has proven the genius of Microsoft’s strategy.
One side-effect of tons of applications is there is also a ton of underlying technologies. For each underlying technology, there exists an API to help developers build solutions with that technology. Inevitably, these APIs overlap and conflict… making it darn near impossible to know which API to use for a given circumstance.
SharePoint is a great example of this situation.
For starters, you have some APIs meant only for server-side solutions.
Then you have other APIs meant only for client-side solutions.
And to top it all off, Microsoft tempts us developers with that beautiful new Ribbon user interface.
Like a siren she calls to me
But there is now no longer any reason to fear this beauty known simply as the SharePoint Ribbon.
We have decoded her lyrics and charted a safe course around the rocky cliffs of her “hive”.
Our new Ribbon Designer for SharePoint and Office 365 allows you to quickly build custom SharePoint Ribbons and attach your functional code to it. The genius with the Ribbon Designer is that it makes building custom ribbons simple. You don’t need to spend hours learning the Ribbon XML schema. You don’t need to spend time learning how to attach code to the control events.
If your goal is to build SharePoint solutions and have more and more users work with them every day, then you need this product.
To learn more, check out these links:
- SharePoint Ribbon UI customization with Ribbon Designer for SharePoint & Office 365 :: This is Pieter’s introduction to the Ribbon Designer. This article shows you what it does while providing a code walk-through.
- Video: Ribbon Designer for SharePoint and Office 365 :: This video gives you the goods in just under 2 minutes. If you are in a hurry and want to know what’s what regarding the Ribbon Designer, this video is a must-see. Not only is it super awesome, it includes an animated infographic!
- Ribbon Designer end-to-end demo :: This is an end-to-end demo showing how to use the Ribbon Designer to create a custom ribbon from scratch. It doesn't stop there, however; it takes you all the way through to deploying the ribbon in SharePoint 2010.
“Office needs to be everywhere”
I stumbled upon a weekly podcast at the Supersite for Windows. This podcast is essentially a radio talk show with Paul Thurrot and Mary Jo Foley… but without the radio and the callers. This week’s show covered some Office topics so I’m leading with it…
- Windows Weekly 239: Outside my wheelhouse :: Even if you are not in a hurry, skip the first 10 minutes. It’s all setup and ads. Around the 12 minute mark start paying attention as Mr. Thurrot throws out some real opinions about Microsoft and Office. For example, “Office can’t just be on Windows.” and “Office needs to be everywhere.” They discuss whether or not Office for iPad is a good idea while also pondering the Office’s future in the post-PC era.
- Microsoft Exec: More multi-platform mobile products in 2012 :: This article includes quotes from Tom Rizzo. If you are not familiar with Mr. Rizzo, he was a key player on the teams that developed SharePoint, Exchange, and SQL Server. He’s now a Senior Director on the Office 365 team. He makes a very clear statement of MSFT’s intentions for 2010… “We want to work where people work, whether it’s online or offline, and on various platforms… “. The article has even more nuggets… like Office 365 in a Box? Google apps vs Office 365. iOS & Android… etc.
Microsoft removing regulatory hurdles… and poor Google Apps
When I discuss cloud offerings like Office 365 and Azure with clients, one of the concerns they raise are regulatory issues (especially if they are in the health care or financial industries). Microsoft is all too aware of these concerns and is aggressively moving to address them.
- Microsoft boosts Office 365 regulatory compliance :: This article from PCWorld explains that Microsoft is meeting regulatory requirements via a combination of software features and legal agreements… which is probably the reason for the next item…
- Privacy in the Public Cloud: The Office 365 approach :: This is a document available from the Microsoft Download Center. It is a 13 page document that only a lawyer would want to read and will make the USA and EU regulators a little less grumpy. I scanned it and decided that Microsoft is indeed committed to Trustworthy Computing (how long have they been using this term?). No seriously, the document does a good job of describing how you can secure & control across to your data with Office 365. It also informs you of areas that matter when data is dispersed geographically or is accessed by 3rd parties.
- Office 365 becomes the 1st (and only) cloud service to meet HIPAA requirements :: This is a big one. Microsoft has met the physical, administrative, and technical safeguard requirements. I bet that hurt but they did it and it is going to swing the doors open to medical industry. There is more insight to what this means from the MSFT perspective on the Microsoft in Health blog. The font is really small though. I recommend scaling the view to 150%.
- Microsoft touts Office 365 Security Compliance :: The Seattle Times lists all three recently achieved compliance levels. It also touches on the next item.
- LAPD gets tough on crime… boots Google Apps :: I don’t know if LA is getting tough on crime or not. I just wanted to write a dramatic headline. The original headline is pretty funny. You have to like a good pun. The gist here is that the LAPD abandoned Google Apps due to privacy concerns. Are they moving to a secure cloud offering (like Office 365)? Noooooooooooooooo! They are sticking with the on-premise installation of Novell email while pretending it’s still 1999.
Cutting room floor
Well I have to name it something. Some sites call this section “Remains of the Day”, which is a good name, but I didn’t want to copy them. So we are going with “The Cutting Room Floor”. This is the stuff that didn’t make it into the featured sections of the newswire but are still interesting and worth reading if you have the time and the curiosity.
- ExcelMashup.com :: This item will no doubt be included with commentary at a later date. I keep meaning to mention it but it keeps getting cut. Check it out. It’s cool.
- Excel Mashup, Java, & HTML 5 :: This post was written by a great friend of Add-in Express and Excel MVP… the one and only XL-Dennis. He has good thoughts.
- Gartner Magic Quadrant & Office 365 :: Office 365 is a market challenger.
- Office 365 declared best cloud application of 2011
- Did you know SharePoint Online’s External Sharing Capabilities
- SharePoint Online Intranet Branding
- Plan the structure and content of your SharePoint Online Team Site
- Build and Share an Access Database to share on the Web (or how I learned to query SharePoint list data)
Okay all the news I feel fit to print today everyone.
Have a great day out there and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.