The Garage Series: Understanding the new world of Apps for Office and SharePoint

Video 18:07. A lost episode of the Garage Series filmed in New Orleans, host Jeremy Chapman is joined by MTC Architect, Richard diZerega, to discuss the new app model for Office and SharePoint. Richard also takes on the challenge to help navigate the culinary options of New Orleans by integrating Web services directly with Office and SharePoint using in-box and custom apps. 

Jeremy: So on our last show we were joined by Paul Thurrott to discuss his favorite things about the new Office in what was to be our final show special from New Orleans. Then we unearthed what we are calling the lost episode that we thought we’d release as a special treat for all the Web developers out there.

We thought we’d take the opportunity to showcase the new application model for Office and SharePoint and who better to host with me than MTC Architect for Office experiences Richard diZerega.

Richard: Thanks Jeremy, glad that the show made the cut. I hope it helps Web developers take a second look at what is today a very rich standards based application platform.  So whether you like you use PHP, Ruby on Rails, ASP.NET or HTML 5 you can really start to customize Office and SharePoint experiences.

Jeremy: I think a lot of people may be surprised by the different application types supported and the ease in which you can now build these application experiences

Richard: If you haven’t already done so a good start-point is to get an Office 365 developer tenant and add the NAPA app. This is a great way to start building apps for Office or SharePoint directly out of a browser window. There is no need to install any other tools such as Visual Studio. All you need is an Office 365 account and a supported browser. You’ll need to sign up for an Office 365 Developer Site, and once you install “Napa” Office 365 Development Tools on your Developer site you will be  ready to create apps for Office documents, mail items or SharePoint.

Jeremy: So the old extensibility is still around, but we we’ve added a new way to integrate the contents in your Office files and SharePoint sites with Web services. In Office that means we can essentially add an iFrame along with your file that pulls content from the Web. This is useful when you want to call things like mapping services, locate news, translate text or just about anything you call on Web services for. There are three types of Apps for Office: Task Pane Apps, Content Apps and Mail Apps.

Richard: SharePoint also leverages this new app model and can also integrate with Web services in the browser. The types of Apps for SharePoint are Full Page Apps, App Part and Extension Apps and we talk about those and demo them on the show. I even built some custom apps to help navigate the culinary specialties of New Orleans, track sentiment and help my team find and select restaurants.

Jeremy: And that was just scratching the surface with what you can do once you integrate the power of the Web with Office and SharePoint. Check out to learn even more and get started. Next time we’ll revisit the Office client almost one year after its initial release as we try to answer a question on many people’s minds, “Should I get the Office 365 or Office 2013 version?”

See you then,

Jeremy and Richard

More resources

Apps for Office and SharePoint Dev Center

Richard diZerega’s MSDN Blog

Garage Series Video Channel

Garage Series Season 1 Blog Archive

Follow @OfficeGarage on Twitter

About the Garage Series hosts

By day, Jeremy Chapman works at Microsoft, responsible for optimizing the future of Office client and service delivery as the senior deployment lead. Jeremy’s background in application compatibility, building deployment automation tools and infrastructure reference architectures has been fundamental to the prioritization of new Office enterprise features such as the latest Click-to-Run install. By night, he is a car modding fanatic and serial linguist. Richard diZerega is a Solution Architect at the Microsoft Technology Center in Dallas, TX, where he helps large enterprise customers architect solutions. Although a developer at heart, he’s spent a good portion of the last decade architecting SharePoint-centric solutions in the areas of Search, Portals/Collaboration, Content/Document Management, and Business Intelligence.