Ty Anderson

Office 2013 Developer’s Guide: questions and answers

When Microsoft discusses the Office Platform, they mean Office + SharePoint. But for developers, Office means Office and SharePoint means SharePoint. Sure, they hang out together and visit a few bars when they attend the same tech conference… but they are not the same! I don’t care how Microsoft’s marketing machine manipulates it.

But this was in the past. Office and SharePoint no longer appear to be brothers from different mothers (at least from a developer capabilities perspective). Thanks to the new AppStore and Apps for Office & SharePoint, we will be able to write code once that works in both. Sure there are APIs aplenty but it all boils down to this:

HTML + CSS + JavaScript = The New Way of Building Apps for Office

Office 2013 Platform

In this Office 2013 Developer’s Guide you will find answers to the following questions:

Office 3013: What’s new for developers?

As you probably have already surmised, there are a lot of new features for developers.

Thanks for the overview articles but what about each Office application… what’s new?

What are Apps for Office?

Glibly put, they are HTML + JavaScript + CSS +(related web technologies) that interact with Office (Excel, Word, Project, and Apps for OfficeOutlook). They are sandboxed and do not run on the desktop. How then do they work? Magic.

What are Apps for SharePoint?

They are “self-contained pieces of functionality that extend the capabilities of a SharePoint website.” This includes everything from lists & document libraries to your custom solutions.

What is the AppStore and why should I care?

It’s a marketplace for apps. It’ll work like Apple’s app store but for Office and SharePoint. You should care because it’s a distribution channel for your apps. Said another way, you should care because it is a way for you to make money.

What good stuff does Office 365 wave 15 provide to developers?

The Office 2013 news has not discussed the Office 365 in detail. I suggest keeping an eye on the link below. I also suggest learning all you can about Apps for Office and Apps for SharePoint.

Just what exactly is Napa?

Napa is a developer tool that allows you to build Apps for Office & SharePoint using your browser. Visual Studio is not required.

How does Visual Studio 2012 support Office & SharePoint 2013?

How do I get started developing solutions for Office 2013?

It’s easy. Sign-up for an Office 365 developer account. This account type provides you with access to Office 2013 Pro Plus, SharePoint Online, and Napa. Install Office 2013 and then download and install Visual Studio 2012. When done, you are ready for the following links.

What about older solution types (VSTO, COM Add-ins, VBA)?

These traditional models remain fully supported. If any of them were threatened, all we would need to do is tell VBA developers MSFT killed VBA. The VBA devs would then lead the revolution and win it before I could finish a cup of coffee.

Did Microsoft deprecate any major features?

Yep. Please see the following link for full details.

Why doesn’t Microsoft recommend customizing SharePoint 2013?

What do you recommend as essential developer downloads?

Where can I find code samples?

What are the best sites to learn more?

Uhhh… The Office Newswire of course! And the links below.


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