In August, I wrote about building education applications for the new Office, Office 365 for education and SharePoint, which is a new way of creating services and application add-ins for the new Office applications. The new Office has a focus on cloud services, and developers can build cloud applications that integrate with it. In education, it’s likely that we’ll see developers creating new education services to integrate tightly with the Office software that they are already using, and that will be designed as time savers. For example, how about creating an ‘Out of the Classroom’ app that allows a teacher to fill out a form to request absence for a training course, automatically manages the workflow around a replacement teacher, and keeps the various diaries synchronised (for the teacher, the timetable, the school diary, and for the cover teacher). Compared to today’s manual processes, it would save time and awful lot of paper.
There’s also a complete set of tools that have been released for developing apps in the new Office. They are called Napa, and it’s an online environment that is setup for you when you create an Office 365 developer site. And as you get more advanced, you can then start using Visual Studio 2012.