Really, didn’t Office already have app capability?  Well, the VBA macro language was useful for client systems, but not really for the web type of applications.

For example you load the Apps for Office to a SharePoint server, file share or an Exchange server.  So what you might say, I could just use Perl or something like that.  And I would answer: Yes you could.  Then you have to show your users how to use the app.  If you have thousands of users that might be difficult.

With Apps your users use a familiar interface: Office.

So why would your create these apps for Office?  From: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/jj229830(v=office.15)

  • Publishing to the Office Store – Office 2013 Preview provides the ability for users to discover solutions directly from a public marketplace hosted on Office.com. The Office Store provides a convenient location for you to upload new app solutions aimed both at consumers and businesses. As a developer, when you upload your app to the public marketplace, Microsoft runs some validation checks on it.

  • Publishing task pane and content apps to an App Catalog - For task pane and content apps, IT departments can deploy and configure private app catalogs to provide the same Office-solution catalog experience that the Office Store provides. This new catalog and development platform lets IT use a streamlined method to provision Office apps and SharePoint apps to managed users from a central location without the need to deploy solutions to each client.

  • Publishing task pane and content apps to a File Share catalog – Alternatively, in a corporate setting, IT can deploy task pane and content apps created either by internal or external developers to a central file share, where the manifest files will be stored and managed. In either case, when apps are subsequently updated by their developers, there is no need to push updates to end-users or for IT to redeploy them to corporate users.

  • Publishing mail apps to Exchange Server - Mail apps for Outlook can be installed by an administrator to an Exchange catalog that is available to users of the Exchange Server on which it resides. It enables publishing and management of corporate mail app solutions, including internally created ones as well as solutions that are acquired from the Office Store and licensed for corporate use. Apps for Outlook are installed into an Exchange catalog by a server administrator by using either the Exchange Unified Management Console (UMC), or by running remote Windows PowerShell cmdlets.

 

How do you get started?  More in my next post.