First, walk through creating a simple app
Use any common web development tool of your choice to create a task pane, mail, or content app.
Take advantage of in-browser development, sharing, and publishing with "Napa" Office 365 development tools to create any app for Office.
Enjoy the full-featured experience of Visual Studio to create any of the three types of apps.
Next, identify the data and Office host application
Does your app handle data in a document, mailbox item, presentation, project, or workbook? The purpose of the app and kinds of data it interacts with largely determine the host applications appropriate for your app.
Then, explore features available for apps
Apps for Office let you create features that integrate web services and technologies with Office applications on a growing array of devices, including desktop, tablet, and smartphone.
Available in Excel, Excel Web app, PowerPoint, Project, or Word
Write once, run in Outlook, Outlook Web app, or OWA for Devices
And, decide the purpose of your app
Which scenarios can you target to create apps that your customers will be eager to use or buy?
Identify key scenarios and focus your design on streamlining the tasks your customers need to perform to get their work done. If you've developed solutions for Office in the past, take some time to think about how the cloud and cross-host platform can open up new scenarios for your app.
Now that you know what you can do with your app, get ready to design, build, and publish it to a corporate or organization catalog, or to the Office Store.
A well-designed app will solve a particular problem end-to-end with ease and efficiency. Spend some time up front thinking about the tasks and activities your customers will perform as they use your app. Do some preliminary sketches that show how you expect customers to interact with your app and how its UI is laid out. Remember that design is an iterative process and the more you're willing to test and refine your designs the better your app will be.
Use the guidelines below to help you design an app that's attractive, easy to use, and lets your customers get their tasks done as quickly and effortlessly as possible.
Learn about the scenarios and common interaction patterns supported by the different types of apps for Office.
Learn about the recommended UX building blocks for apps for Office, such as tabs, buttons, dialogs, and toasts for notifications.
Learn style guidelines for the layout, typography, color, icons, borders, and backgrounds of your apps for Office.
Read the criteria we use to validate apps submitted to the Office Store to help you plan your app.
Use common web development techniques and the features of the apps for Office platform to turn your ideas into something real. Read about concepts and common development tasks, then download sample apps that the demonstrate features of apps for Office development.
After you’ve finished developing your app for Office, the final step is making it available for download. To do this, you can publish your app to one of three places.
For a task pane or content app, IT departments can deploy and configure private corporate app catalogs to provide the same Office-solution catalog experience that the Office Store provides. This catalog and development platform lets IT use a streamlined method to provision an app for Office and SharePoint to managed users from a central location without the need to deploy a solution to each client.
A mail app is installed to an Exchange catalog that is available to users of the Exchange server on which it resides. It enables publishing and management of mail apps, including internally created ones as well as solutions that are acquired from the Office Store and licensed for corporate use. A mail app is installed into an Exchange catalog by using either the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) or by running remote Windows PowerShell commands (cmdlets).
Office provides the ability for end-users to discover solutions directly from a public marketplace hosted on Office.com. The Office Store provides a convenient location for developers to upload new app solutions aimed both at consumers and businesses. As a developer, when you upload your app to the public marketplace, Microsoft runs some validation checks on it. For example, it checks whether the app manifest markup is valid and complete and verifies that any included SharePoint solution packages (.wsp files) do not include disallowed elements or features that have a scope broader than Web. If all tests are passed, the app package is wrapped into a file and signed by Microsoft.
Quick links for app development