Office Development 2017

Office Dev Center

After many years of Office Development, starting with Excel Functions, VBA, COM (VSTA/VSTO) it is time to dive in and see how things are in done in 2017. What are your options, is it still possible to do things in VBA or doesn’t it exist anymore?

In my upcoming blog posts I want to look at the options available and look at the Office Platform in general. What clients are there these days and on what platform do they run.

The world changed a lot in the last decade and Microsoft Windows is not the only platform anymore. There is iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows … even Linux distributions are growing in popularity.

Even if you just look at it in the online (web) world many of the ‘old’ clients are now available in an Online version. Think of Word Online or Excel Online where you get your editor or spreadsheet application running in a browser application. Again, not so easy as you might think … browser applications should be running in a wide variety of browsers. Do they run in Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Opera etc. etc.

My goal with these Office Development blogposts is also maybe a bit selfish … coming from the ‘old’ (as you might discover) VSTO world, or even older VBA world, I need to polish my knowledge around the current options available and I can already tell you that this ‘new’ Office Development world is huge compared to what it was as the number of clients increased dramatically with the operating systems that I mentioned above, but there is also a huge amount of mobile applications for Android, iOS and (currently not so many for) Windows Mobile.

So … a big challenge. I have no idea where this ends because Office Development these days also include developing for Microsoft Graph (it was Office Graph before, but it was revamped into Microsoft Graph this year, growing bigger than it already was), SharePoint Framework or Office Connectors to extend your Groups or Teams.

That said, stay tuned and feel free to share your comments, tips or complaints in the comments section below!

For now, your starting point for Office Development (next to my blog off course) is:

https://dev.office.com/  

SharePoint Framework Extensions Developer Preview now available

SharePoint Framework Extensions Preview

Today the Office Team announced the availability of the SharePoint Framework Extensions Developer Preview. With this you can build site, list and command extensions.

To start building your own Extension Preview projects you can go and start looking at the Preview documentation. If you don’t already have an Office 365 Developer Tenant you can get one if you go to the Office Developer Program so there is no argument not to start using that.

The preview is obviously meant to serve as a way to collect feedback from the community and while the preview is running you can expect new SharePoint Framework Extension capabilities and changes based on your feedback.

If you want to provide your feedback you can do this by adding issues to the GitHub issues list but on the SharePoint tech community, the SharePoint Developer section on the Microsoft Tech Community site.

To give you an impression of what the SharePoint Framework Extensions Developer Preview brings, here are three:

1. Build your own Custom Banner using the ApplicationCustomizer.

Adding a Custom Banner is now one of your options to build your own banner with exactly the information you want to share on your list page.

1. Custom Banner SP

2. Create your own Custom Field Rendering using the FieldCustomizer.

In this example you see that the fields of the list are blurred to hide sensitive list information.

2. Custom Field Rendering SP

3. Adding Command Extensions with CommandSet

With this option you can add your own custom menu actions to be able to trigger your own custom actions.

3. Custom Extensions

If you are looking for more examples (extensions examples will be added soon) for what you can do with SharePoint there is a special SharePoint Showcase site for you to look at and to enjoy all the great options and examples.

Now go ahead, and build your own Extensions using the SharePoint Framework Extensions Developer Preview!

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