Building Apps for Office and SharePoint

Several months ago, I shared the news of our new set of development tools for Office and SharePoint, including the in-browser “Napa” tools and the rich client Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012.

Today at the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, we shared significant updates to these tools, with a range of improved support to make building new Office 2013, Office 365, SharePoint 2013, and SharePoint Online in Office 365 more flexible and productive.

Over the last few months we’ve been making continuous updates to “Napa”, a lightweight, in-browser companion to the full Visual Studio rich client.  These updates have included support for publishing apps to SharePoint, for sharing a project with a friend or with the community, lots of editor improvements, and much more. As you don’t need to install anything onto your machine in order to build apps with “Napa”, it’s the fastest way to get started with Office and SharePoint development.  You can do so today at

Of course, as these projects grow, developers can smoothly transition their work with their projects in the browser to the rich client Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012.  With support ranging from new designers to new templates, these tools enable developers to create, edit, build, debug, package, and deploy apps for Office and SharePoint, across all current Office and SharePoint hosting models and app types.  Today, we’re releasing Preview 2 of this suite, which you can download and install into Visual Studio Professional 2012, Visual Studio Premium 2012, and Visual Studio Ultimate 2012.

Additionally, now included as part of the Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012 is the LightSwitch HTML Client for Visual Studio 2012 – Preview 2.  With this release, LightSwitch enables developers to easily build touch-oriented business applications with HTML5 that run well across a breadth of devices.  These apps can be standalone, but with this preview developers can now also quickly build and deploy data-driven apps for SharePoint using the new web standards-based apps model.

You can stay up-to-date on the latest in Office development from the team blog at


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Comments (6)

  1. fatcathu says:

    Hmmm….will there be an personal edition of Napa for Skydrive office web apps ?

  2. Clinton Gallagher @virtualCableTV says:

    I am very disappointed that Microsoft has not yet developed and announced the Microsoft Word Bold Text Menu Marketplace but I imagine what is taking so long is the staff is being kept busy developing the Spell Checker Marktplace.

  3. Vicki Marlin says:

    This article was very interesting

  4. jnak says:

    Hi WalkingCat,

    Napa is an app for SharePoint that allows you to build apps for Office and SharePoint as such it will not work directly on SkyDrive.  That said, the apps for Office that you build with Napa can be submitted to the Office Store where they will be made available to the Office Web Apps and rich clients including when they are opening files from SkyDrive.

    Why do you want a SkyDrive based Napa?

    Thanks for your interest in Napa,


  5. fatcathu says:

    @Jim Nakashima

    Currently I use Google App Script with Google Spreadsheets, very useful for small scale web data fetching and processing.

    I'm looking at too, but it lacks a office backend like Spreadsheets or Excel.

    Office 365 is too 'Enterprisy'.

  6. shaaban al-qassas says:


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