Ty Anderson

Office 365 Newswire: SharePoint Ribbon calls to me – 12.19.2011

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

Like a siren, the SharePoint ribbon calls to me and invites me to meet my doom on the rocks known as Server Object Model, Web Services, REST, Client Object Model and Javascript.

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:

“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.

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.

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.


  • Eric Legault says:

    Awesome! Hilarious!! Above all, mucho informative!!!

  • XL-Dennis says:


    This is indeed a nice write up and give a great picture on what’s going on in the Microsoft world.

    One thing I have been thinking a lot of is the need for knowledge and the situation to leverage new technologies. In the past we had deep knowledge about one tool and one platform.

    The rapid progress with new tools and new platforms do no longer give us the possibility to get any deeper knowledge for each of them.

    On top of if we see how the life cycle is decreasing for solutions, mainly due to new technologies.

    All in all, we face a paradigm shift and the question is how to meet the new challenges?

    One major part of the answer is to get smarter third-party RAD tools, Add-in Express’s tools are one great example, that provide us with templates, the framework and most of the code. In that way the production time is cut down, we can focus on the core development part and put more efforts in the design.

    Everything today is about $$$ and this scenario will give an acceptable ROI for the solutions. It should also give us higher quality in the solutions, which is also important in this context.

    Another part is too accept that we cannot get any deeper knowledge only the knowledge that help us to create the required solutions. This can be a difficult challenge for all of us!

    Keep up the good work guys and turn of the computers at least 1 hour during the Christmas weekend :-)

    Kind regards,

  • Ty Anderson says:


    I agree…it would be great to have the time required to to really dig into a technology and know backwards and forwards. But as you alluded to, there ROI just isn’t there. And with all the technology and tools that support Office & SharePoint, we do well to maintain a core knowledge and then branch out as a project dictates.

    Thanks for the comment and I promise I’m only taking a device that allows me to read books. Maybe next year that device will be a MSFT-based tablet.

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