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Apps for Office and SharePoint: Common questions

apps for Office and SharePoint

Apps for Office and SharePoint extend and personalize the way we create and consume information by combining cloud services and web technologies from within the familiar environment of Office and SharePoint. Use your existing skills to build apps and take advantage of familiar tools, languages, and hosting services. Deploy, update and maintain your apps faster in the cloud. Publish and sell your apps on the Office Store, or distribute IT-approved apps within your organizations by using an internal corporate catalog.

Overview of apps for Office

Overview of apps for SharePoint


There are three different types of apps for Office, based on where the app is displayed in the Office application: task pane, content, and mail apps.

See Types of apps for Office in Overview of apps for Office.

There are two different types of apps for SharePoint, based on where the components for the app are hosted: provider-hosted, and SharePoint-hosted.

See Where does the code for an app run? in Overview of apps for SharePoint.

The general development lifecycle for apps for Office and SharePoint is start, design, develop, and publish. Read the following articles to learn more about the app lifecycle:

Build apps for Office

Build apps for SharePoint

Because you don't need to spend time downloading and installing software to get started—Office 365 for developers includes the tools and resources you need to start building and testing apps right now, including:

  • Office 365 Developer Site

  • "Napa" Office 365 Development Tools, to create your first apps right within the browser

  • Office Professional Plus 2013, including Excel, Outlook, Word, and Access

  • Exchange Online

Sign up and get started now.

Because apps for Office and SharePoint are built on web standards, you can build apps with your existing skills, using familiar languages and your favorite web development tools.

Visual Studio offers two great ways to create apps: "Napa" Office 365 Development Tools and Visual Studio 2012.

"Napa" Office 365 Development Tools

"Napa" Office 365 Development Tools enable you to create your first apps for Office or apps for SharePoint right in the browser.

You can install "Napa" Office 365 Development Tools on your Office 365 Developer Site.

Install "Napa" Office 365 Development Tools to your Developer Site

Use the links in the following table to learn how to develop your first app for Office or app for SharePoint by using the "Napa" Office 365 Development Tools.

Visual Studio 2012

Certainly, although you’ll have to download, install, and configure SharePoint and the development tools you’ll need.

How to: Set up an on-premises development environment for apps for SharePoint

How to: Create high-trust apps for SharePoint 2013

How to: Package and publish high-trust apps for SharePoint 2013

Want to have Microsoft take care of setting up your development environment? Sign up for an Office 365 Developer Site.



Browse or download sample app projects for Office and SharePoint that illustrate how to use Office and SharePoint features and accomplish common developer tasks in your apps.


Use the following links to continue learning how to build great apps for Office and SharePoint.

Build apps for SharePoint

Build apps for Office


Browse developer-focused how-to training and walkthrough videos about creating apps for Office and SharePoint.

Apps for Office and SharePoint developer training

Office and SharePoint developer centers, forums, and blog

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