Microsoft Introduces New Office 'Cloud App Model', 'Office Store', and 'Napa' Office 365 Development Tools - Dell Announces Windows Server 2012 VDI Solution

Microsoft announced 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 -- along with Consumer Preview of Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013.Microsoft also revealed that "One billion people use Office worldwide. One copy of […]

Microsoft New Office Cloud App Model, Office Store, Napa Tools

Microsoft announced 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 -- along with Consumer Preview of Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013.

Microsoft also revealed that "One billion people use Office worldwide. One copy of Office 2010 is sold every second, and it's been deployed 5 times faster than the previous version (Office 2007) within enterprises."

Office and SharePoint 2013 feature a new "Cloud App Model" that embraces web standards, and allows to build a new class of apps that combine web technologies and cloud services, right within Office and SharePoint.

"One of the primary investments for Office and SharePoint 2013 has been cloud enablement. Apps can be hosted in the cloud, which enables you to deploy, update and maintain your apps more quickly."

You also have the ability to publish and sell your apps through a new Office Store, or distribute IT approved apps through an internal App Catalog within your organization.

Microsoft also announced a new marketplace of apps, the "Office Store," which makes it easier for solution builders to reach of the billion people using Office. You can visit Office Store here.

The new cloud app model enables developers to build a new class of apps, and is designed around the following key tenets:

  • "Web Standards: The new cloud app model allows developers to build apps for Office and SharePoint using web standards that are interoperable by design.
  • Security: Solutions built on the new app model are isolated and secure by design, bringing the power of web technologies in Office and SharePoint in a secure execution sandbox.
  • Performance: This new class of apps will make it easy for developers to extend and personalize end-users' Office and SharePoint experience without impacting performance.
  • Write Once, Run Anywhere: Initially focused on Office Client Applications and Web Applications, we designed and will evolve the new app model to extend our users' experience wherever Office runs, and across more and more Office Applications.
  • Flexibility and Choice: Developers can choose to use the new app model and will be able to submit apps into the Office Store. They can also continue to use the existing Office extensibility models (VBA/Add-ins/full-trust SharePoint solutions), however these solutions cannot be submitted to the Office Store, as only this new class of apps can provide a seamless installation and update experience," Microsoft informs.

"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.

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," Microsoft explains.

"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."

To try out "Napa", first sign up for the Microsoft Office 365 Developer Preview here.

"When you sign up, a Developer site will be created for you. This site gives you your own instance of Office 365, where you can develop, deploy and test your Office 365 apps. Next, you'll want to install "Napa" in order to add the tools to your Developer Site."

For complete instructions, visit MSDN for these "Getting Started" steps.

Napa Office 365 Development Tool

Dell just announced the first VDI reference architecture based on Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2012 and RemoteFX (RDP 8.0) for those who want to host a Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution with all the great innovations in Windows Server 2012.

The complete end-to-end hardware is available today, including the RemoteFX-certified Dell Wyse endpoints. The reference architecture is optimized for the small- and mid-sized business market, providing a balanced mix of Remote Desktop Session Host (session collections) and pooled virtual desktop collections for the lowest cost per user.

Here is Dell's announcement:

"As part of its Desktop Virtualization Solutions (DVS) offering, Dell is presenting a new Reference Architecture (RA) composed of Dell servers, storage, networking, software and end points running on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 (WS 2012). This RA outlines a solution describing the design methodology behind a powerful, innovative and cost-effective end-to-end virtualized computing infrastructure, easily deployed into customers' existing data centers, leveraging Dell and Microsoft solutions using Hyper-V, App-V and RemoteFX.

This DVS solution, part of Dell's ongoing development of compelling desktop virtualization offerings has been validated for a variety of user workloads and profiles combining Terminal Services, pooled virtual machines (VMs) and Personal VMs. Based on the RA, Dell has also announced the availability of corresponding hardware components such as Dell PowerEdge 12G servers, Dell EqualLogic storage arrays and Dell Force10 top-of-rack (ToR) networking components, qualified to work on RemoteFX-certified Dell Wyse end points R10L, Z90D7 and X90m7. These components are available today for partners who wish to order and deploy the solution based on the RA and be ready from day 1 when Microsoft will officially launches Windows Server 2012. Dell makes it easy as a one-stop shop for all VDI components," stated Dell.

Check out Dell's new RA, using this PDF.