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This morning at the Microsoft Build Developer conference in San Francisco, S. Somasegar, Corporate VP for Developer Division, announced Visual Studio 2013 Preview. It’s an exciting moment for the Office Developer Tools team because of the great effort the team put in for this release.
Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013 Preview provides tons of great features to help you build apps for Office, apps for SharePoint, and SharePoint farm and sandboxed solutions. If you’ve been working on Office or SharePoint development using the Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012, you’re probably familiar with the Web Platform Installer acquisition experience to get the tools. With Visual Studio 2013, you’ll get all those features without taking any extra time to download and install the tools—it’s all included in Visual Studio 2013. What’s more, the team also introduced more new features in this release to provide even better assistance when you build apps for Office and SharePoint.
Now you can choose to create an MVC (Model View Controller) web application project when creating a provider-hosted or autohosted app for SharePoint project. The updated app for SharePoint project creation wizard will guide you through the process of creating the projects:
In addition to this wizard, you also get the option to create an MVC web application project when you change your app hosting type from SharePoint-hosted to provider-hosted or autohosted through the manifest editor.
Creating an MVC project for an app for SharePoint is just the first step in building the app. You’ll need to handle a lot of other things when you develop the app—the most complex being web-to-SharePoint communication. The MVC project created in this case is equipped with the sample code that demonstrates how you can do web-to-SharePoint communication for different scenarios.
Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013 Preview provides a new Publishing Manager to help you get all the required packages ready for publishing. To publish apps for Office and provider-hosted apps for SharePoint, you will need both the manifest file (for apps for Office) or the app package (for apps for SharePoint) produced from the app project and the web deploy packaged from the web project. The Publishing Manager is a portal to help you get everything ready for publishing. It contains the links to a different publishing dialog box/wizard for the app and the web project, and the links to the resources that you may need during publishing. Figure 3 shows the Publishing Manager for a provider-hosted app for SharePoint project:
Figure 4 shows the Publishing Manager for an app for Office project:
If you want to build apps for Office and SharePoint, but you don’t have Visual Studio installed or aren’t ready to install Visual Studio 2013 Preview, “Napa” Office 365 Development Tools is definitely a service you shouldn’t miss. “Napa” is a browser-based online development experience you can use to start building apps for Office and SharePoint without having to install Visual Studio or Office 2013. “Napa” is available as a free app that you can have in your Office 365 SharePoint Developer Site. This means that as long as you have signed up for an Office 365 Developer Site, you can use “Napa” anywhere. This enables you to build apps from any machine through your web browser, thanks to the power of the cloud.
Once you are ready to continue developing with the full power of Visual Studio, you can transition smoothly to Visual Studio with just one click of the “Open in Visual Studio” button. If you are using Visual Studio 2012, “Napa” gives you all the tools you need to start working in Visual Studio right away. If you install Visual Studio 2013 Preview, you can make the switch with no issues—“Napa” already supports it!
This is part of an effort to make sure you always get great tooling support with the latest platform changes, which is possible thanks to the continuous updates “Napa” provides on a weekly cadence. In the past few months, “Napa” has shipped the following key features with these updates:
If you want to learn about other new features in the Visual Studio 2013 Preview, check out Somasegar’s blog for more details. Last but not least, try Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013 Preview today, and please feel free to let us know if you have any questions, comments, or feedback.
Program Manager, Office Developer Tools