TechEd North America session wrap up

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This morning at TechEd North America i did a session on Office and SharePoint 2013 App development.  In a nut shell it was 75mins of demos (8 or so).  It was a mix of things I have found handy developing Apps, things I think are going to play an important role in App development (SPA apps) and other things that I think are handy for those getting started with App development.

Here is a summary of the demos:

#1 SignalR:  Using SignalR in your apps backends for watching trace and debug information from your application. Great for when your code is running in Azure and you want visibility into what is going on.

#2 Token Caching: When you first are starting out with app development its not entirely obvious what all the tokens and parameters are that are passed to your app code. OR how to work with them.  This demo was all about showing a lightweight way to cache and store the tokens for use in subsequent pages.

#3 Use OAuth to access SharePoint from apps for Office:  This showed how to do “on the fly” OAuth from a task pane App in Excel.  This lets an application ask the user for permissions to SharePoint resources when needed. In the example i showed Excel, but you can do the same from a SharePoint app.

#4 / #5 The SharePoint cross-domain library: Two demos showing techniques for calling out to external services (in this case my blog) from JavaScript running in a SharePoint hosted app.  Also how to set up the CSOM for calling into the Host Web SharePoint site where you app is installed.  Both scenarios show cross domain techniques available.

#6 Bring Office documents into your SharePoint apps with the Office Web Applications:  Most people have seen the document preview windows you get in SharePoint search and document libraries that use the Office Web Applications. But you can also use these in your own Apps too.  Great way to show documents alongside your App content.

#7 SPA Apps:  Single Page Applications.  Very kindly Andrew Connell allowed me to show his recently built Learning Path Manager demo which showcases an App built using Durandal, Knockout, Bootstrap, FontAwesome, LinqJS and Toastr.  Finally SharePoint development has been possible using frameworks, tools and techniques that are moderns and current.  All the cool kids are doing this stuff and I think its going to be a very interesting option for SharePoint app development going forward. For source and more information please refer to AC’s blog post. 

#8 App CSS makes your app look like part of the experience: A simple demo showing how to use the Chrome Control and SP CSS in your provider hosted apps.  I skipped this in the session due to time.

#9 Elevate your SharePoint app’s permissions with app-only calls: No more running code in process as system!  The App model provides a fairly elegant way to elevate permissions without losing control of an apps privileges! Apps can make “app only” calls to SharePoint to do things that the App has rights to do, but not necessarily the user using the App.

#10 Yammer Integration – Bring your app to where users are by posting to the feed:  Yammer provides some nice APIs to work with.  For example REST APIs for posting the feed & OpenGraph APIs for posting activities.  I demoed an App called “ShareIt” that takes a document and posts it to Yammer. The app will hopefully be in the 365 marketplace shortly (free) and I hope to do a follow up “how it works” blog post on it + full source for the app.

Slides: (they are boring … just intros to the demos)

Demo files: The zip below contains the demo files for demos #1 – #6 and  #8 and #9.  SPA code comes from AC here and the ShareIt code (Yammer) will come out as part of my new blog on that App shortly.


The recording of the session will be up on Channel 9 in the next 24-48 hours i am told:
http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2013/SES-B401#fbid=vskrIEZiOtr

Happy App’ing!

-CJ

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