Office Development with Visual Studio 2012 and "Napa"

A few weeks back, I highlighted our release of the Windows Azure SDK for .NET, an updated version of the SDK with full support for Visual Studio 2012.  This release was in line with our continued goal of having tools available for platforms on the same cadence as those platforms. Today, I’m excited to share another such set of platform-focused releases from the Visual Studio team: previews of the “Napa” – Office 365 Development Tools, and the Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012.

Hundreds of millions of customers worldwide use Office and SharePoint, enabling a thriving ecosystem where untold numbers of developers create solutions for these environments.  Historically, Visual Studio has fueled that ecosystem by providing rich client tools for developing these solutions.  We’re continuing and extending this trend.  This week, we announced Office and SharePoint 2013 and the immediate availability of a preview release.  In conjunction, we’ve also made available previews of tools to get started building great apps for it.

“Napa” provides a lightweight, browser-based companion to the Visual Studio rich client and is a great way to get started with Office and SharePoint development without having to install anything onto your machine.  Available through, it supports building apps for Office and SharePoint, apps which can be surfaced through an Office 2013 application (e.g. Excel), through an Office Web App (e.g. Excel Web App), or through SharePoint.  These apps are based on a new Cloud App Model, where UI and other client-side logic is implemented with web standards (e.g. HTML, JavaScript, CSS) and where any back-end app logic runs on a server, giving developers the freedom to use their choice of development tools, languages, and hosting environments.

Developers can get started building these apps with “Napa” and its editor for reading, writing, and navigating code; then as projects grow, it’s seamless to transition them to the more powerful Visual Studio client and to continue developing using the Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012, which of course also support the existing extensibility models of Office and SharePoint.

Try out the experience today at, and let us know what you think.

For a tour through “Napa” and the productive experience it provides for building apps for Office and SharePoint, see Jason Zander’s introductory post.


Comments (10)

  1. James says:

    Interesting.  I've used browser-based IDEs before and never really found them particularly successful.  It'll be interesting to give this one a try.

    It's unfortunate that developing add-ins for Office 365 forces us to use Javascript on the client, but I suppose there's not much other choice for it.  That said, if you knew a certain app didn't have to run on an iPad, could one write in Silverlight and use the built in APIs to manipulate whatever the Javascript normally would have?

  2. Tom says:

    A browser based IDE GREAT IDEA especially when you can't get webforms to render properly and we are struck coding all the HTML by hand.

    When are you going to fix the magitidue of bugs you already have and give developers tools that work before developing more software that doesn't work!

  3. Ted says:

    How do you version control the code in these new web based editors?

  4. Bharath says:

    Exciting Dev approach. Dev-On-the-Go. Develop  without any installation 🙂 Thanks microsoft/

  5. jnak says:

    As of today, we have not integrated Napa and tfspreview.  When you are ready for SCC, you can click the "open in Visual Studio" button in Napa and then use tfspreview or a TFS server for SCC.

  6. toub says:

    James: Since previous releases, SharePoint supports Silverlight and even has a client object model specifically for it. Apps for SharePoint inherit this ability and can run Silverlight code in browsers that support it.  Apps for Office travel with documents that can be opened in a variety of environments. Since document compatibility is a key goal for Office, ActiveX controls, including Silverlight, are not supported in apps for Office.

  7. mansoor says:

    buffer problem in visual  basic 2010 is there any solution for it i am in urgent sir

  8. toub says:

    mansoor: I'm not sure what problem you're referring to.  If you have a question about Visual Basic, the forum at…/threads is a good place to ask it.

  9. Automation Planet says:

    Thanks for Sharing

  10. amila says:

    I want to go to with Napa.

    <a href=""title="real estate homes"><b><i>Napa Real Estate and Napa Homes for sale</b></i></a>

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