Applications for SharePoint and Office
An app for SharePoint and Office is a small, easy-to-use, stand-alone application that performs a specific task or meets a business need. You can download apps from Microsoft’s SharePoint Store, Microsoft’s Office Store or from an app catalog created and maintained within your enterprise. Use these apps with SharePoint, Word, Excel, or PowerPoint to create new SharePoint sites, add specific functionality, or to display information drawn from web sources. Office and SharePoint Server 2013 include support for the development, installation, management, and use of such apps.
The Benefits of Applications for SharePoint and Office
- IT departments are able to easily deploy and maintain them.
- End-users are easily able to find and use them.
- These apps can work on premises but also work with SharePoint and Office 365 in the cloud.
- Cloud-based apps for SharePoint and Office install no code on the end-user’s machine. Cloud-based app code executes in a limited area (or sandbox) on the end-users machine. In this way the target machine is protected from security issues.
- Office 2013 products are able to support cloud-based apps automatically. Often this is done by displaying at "task pane" on the right side of the user’s work area in an application like Word or Excel.
- Content inserted into a document by a cloud-based app remains in the document whether or not the app is available later when someone else is using the document.
These applications for SharePoint and Office address the needs of specific business processes (such as coordinating a help desk or tracking marketing campaigns). They can, for example, automatically create and configure a team project portal, create a shared documents folder, or store and share process guidance for projects based on a specific process template.
The 3Sharp Approach to Applications for SharePoint and Office
3Sharp’s extensive experience creating applications for Office has given us an inside track on this new Office 2013 technology. We have created many cloud-based apps for Microsoft and clients. We understand when it’s most appropriate to use this technology and when an add-in application is called for. 3Sharp stays up to the minute as this technology evolves.
Here are a few examples of how applications for SharePoint and Office might be used:
- A provider of instructional tools creates an application helping teachers create lesson plans using state or federal Common Core standards. A cloud-based app for Office that any teacher can download free from Microsoft’s Office Store creates a custom task pane that sits next to an open Word document. This pane shows the approved standards and allows teachers to pull specific learning objectives from it and place them in their daily lesson plan. It includes the ability to select specific objectives from the Common Core and allows the teacher to review suggested learning aids from the web or search the web for additional reading material or tools. These items can also be easily inserted into the lesson plan. The result is a simple Word document that contains comprehensive accurate standards-based information but also allows teachers to rapidly plan the lesson creatively using their own approach and selected materials. This document can be read by Word users whether or not they have downloaded the cloud-based app.
- A complex visualization app inside of Excel that will draw a 3-D representation of complex data contained within an existing Excel list.
- A CRM App for Outlook that will automatically show relevant content from the CRM system based on the sender’s email address. Imagine seeing a list of follow-up activities as well as recently closed activities when receiving an email from a contact. The sales person will be able to quickly understand the content in which your organization has been interacting with the prospect and move the conversation in the appropriate direction.
- An Excel task-pane that will show rich contextual data from your ERP system based on the selected content with an order details list contained within the spreadsheet.