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Office and SharePoint Development in Visual Studio

You can extend Microsoft Office and SharePoint by creating a lightweight app that users download from the Office Store or an organizational catalog, or by creating a .NET Framework-based solution that users install on a computer.

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Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013 introduce a new app model that helps you build, distribute, and monetize apps that extend Office and SharePoint. These apps can run in Office or SharePoint online, and users can interact with them from many devices.

These apps have very small footprints compared to traditional add-ins and solutions, and you can build them by using almost any web programming technology such as HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3, and XML. To get started, use the Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013, or the lightweight web-based tool code-named “Napa” Office 365 Development Tools, which lets you create projects, write code, and run your apps in a browser.

Apps for Office and SharePoint conceptual model

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Learn more about Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013.

Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013

Learn more about “Napa” Office 365 Development Tools.

“Napa” Office 365 Development Tools

To extend the functionality of Office, build an app for Office. It’s basically a webpage that’s hosted in an Office application such as Excel, Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint. Your app can add functionality to documents, worksheets, email messages, appointments, presentations, and projects.

You can sell your app in the Office Store. The Office Store makes it easy to monetize your apps, manage updates, and track telemetry. You can also publish your app to users through an app catalog in SharePoint, or on Exchange Server.

The following app for Office shows worksheet data in a Bing map.

Content app for Office

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To

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Learn more about apps for Office, and then build one.

Apps for Office

Compare the different ways in which you can extend Office, and decide whether you should use an app or an Office add-in..

Roadmap for apps for Office, VSTO, and VBA

Learn more about Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013.

Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013

Learn more about “Napa” Office 365 Development Tools.

“Napa” Office 365 Development Tools

To extend SharePoint for your users, build an app for SharePoint. It’s basically a small, easy-to-use, stand-alone application that solves a need for your users or business.

You can sell your app for SharePoint in the Office Store. You can also publish your app to users through an app catalog in SharePoint. Site owners can install, upgrade, and uninstall your app on their SharePoint sites without the help of a farm server or site collection administrator.

Here’s an example of an app for SharePoint that helps users manage business contacts.

Business contact manager app for SharePoint

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To

See

Learn more about apps for SharePoint, and then build one.

Apps for SharePoint

Compare apps for SharePoint with traditional SharePoint solutions.

Apps for SharePoint compared with SharePoint solutions

Choose whether to build an app for SharePoint or a SharePoint solution.

Deciding between apps for SharePoint and SharePoint solutions

Learn more about Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013.

Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013

Learn more about “Napa” Office 365 Development Tools.

“Napa” Office 365 Development Tools

If you’re looking for an easier way to build an app for SharePoint, consider using the Cloud Business App project template in Visual Studio. This lets you build your app by using LightSwitch development tools. You can use the LightSwitch designers to organize data, queries, and screens. In fact, you can create a simple app without having to write any code at all.

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Build your first cloud business app.

Building a Cloud Business App: Kudos

Build and publish a cloud business app.

Create Cloud Business Apps in Visual Studio

Create an add-in to target Office 2007 or Office 2010, or to extend Office 2013 beyond what’s possible with apps for Office. Add-ins run only on the desktop. Users have to install add-ins, so they’re typically more difficult to deploy and support. However, your add-in can be integrated more closely with Office. For example, it can add tabs and controls to the Office Ribbon and perform advanced automation tasks such as merging documents or modifying charts. You can leverage the .NET Framework and use C# and Visual Basic to interact with Office objects.

Here’s an example what an add-in can do. This add-in adds Ribbon controls, a custom task pane, and a dialog box to PowerPoint.

PowerPoint add-in solution

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To

Read

Compare the different ways in which you can extend Office, and decide whether you should use an add-in or an app for Office.

Roadmap for apps for Office, VSTO, and VBA

Create an Office add-in.

Managed add-ins build with Visual Studio (VSTO)

Create a SharePoint solution to target SharePoint Foundation 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010, or to extend SharePoint 2013 in ways beyond what’s possible with an app for SharePoint.

SharePoint solutions require on-premises SharePoint farm servers. Administrators must install them, and because solutions execute in SharePoint, they can affect the performance of the server. However, solutions provide deeper access to SharePoint objects. Also, when you build a SharePoint solution, you can leverage the .NET Framework and use C# and Visual Basic to interact with SharePoint objects.

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To

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Compare SharePoint solutions with apps for SharePoint.

Apps for SharePoint compared with SharePoint solutions

Choose whether to build a SharePoint solution or an app for SharePoint.

Deciding between apps for SharePoint and SharePoint solutions

Create a SharePoint solution.

SharePoint Solutions

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