Hand-sorting grapes at peak flavor, punching-down wines in open tanks, that's the wine making philosophy in Napa Valley, California. Coding apps in open SharePoint 2013 Online tank instead of pumping must in small barrels. Bottling Napa-apps under your own private label, that's the Napa-app making philosophy in SharePoint 2013.
The world of making wines, the idea of making my own apps and having my own app-vineyard sounds pretty good to me. Being my own master and concentrating on building good quality apps is not that bad. Kind of cozy, scary and exciting at the same time. This romantic notion of having a vineyard is in reality a lot of hard work. Wine making requires a lot of manual work in the field, extended knowledge about grapes, fermentation, bottling...
Working in the field equals many hours outdoors under the sun. I just need one glimpse in the mirror. A quick reality check. I'm just a pail skinned developer. I'll need a lot of sun cream...
There is also that little funny thing with designing your own label. That's hard too.
It is important, because there are lot of wine bottles on the shelf at the store. Just like wine bottles, my apps will end up on the even bigger shelf in Office Store.
I was also wondering about the region and climate of Napa Valley and quality of grapes. What is the corresponding quality attributes that influence my app making?
I thought it through, and I think it's a challenge. If I continue on making my own apps, I can end up as tanned cool SharePoint fantastic something-something, or I can end up as being good at making apps.
Anyway, here is my top 5 for having my own app-yard:
1. Choose the right app to make
2. Some good quality coding
3. Testing app in different environments
4. Usability, end-user support
5. Design own label
There is a very nice step by step how-to start building Napa-apps here.
The only thing that I can add is that you don't really need Office and Exchange to build Napa-apps for SharePoint 2013.
I signed up for SharePoint Online developer site. I clicked on Get tools to build apps and started on my first Napa-app. It's that simple. After you get your developer site and click on Get tools to build apps, you only have to follow the directions on the screen and there you have it. Your first Napa-app with default page and Client Web Part, displayed in browser.
I must say, it's cool to be able to code apps in browser. It works fine. I also tried to open my Napa-app in Visual Studio, and yes, that experience is still top of my pops. :-)
When you click on "Download to Visual Studio" icon, you can download Visual Studio tools for Napa apps.
If you decide to download your Napa-app to Visual Studio. You only need a VM with Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2012, and Visual Studio 2012.
Your Napa-app is deployed to your developer site regardless of you are working with code in browser or Visual Studio. Another smart thing about developer site is that you have "Publish to Office Store" tile - a shortcut to Office Store here. When you sign up as a developer, it becomes a shortcut to your own "Seller Dashboard":
I got my own Seller Dashboard. I also made a Napa-app and I uploaded it to my Dashboard. My app is not complicated, but I did a lot of work to get in the store. The first time is always the hardest. I made a logo, decided how much it will cost, made end-user tutorial for my app, made images and text to present my app, and finally my app was sent to test.
My first Sharepoint 2013 app is a slideshow app. It looks like this:
I waited patiently, and I got my app approved ;-) I was happy and proud of myself the entire day.
It's only one bottle, my SlideShow app. I know. I know. One bottle of wine usually gets me drank though.
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50% of profit goes to charity.
50% of profit goes to charity.
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