Happy Holidays

This past year has been massive for epmsource.com, with record numbers of readers and traffic.

Happy Holidays

Next year looks to become an even bigger year with the release of Project, SharePoint and Project Server 2013. To get ready for this, I am taking a blogging holiday for a couple of weeks to spend some time with my family and will be back in late January.

To all of our readers, thank you for your continued support and happy holidays. See you bright and fresh in 2013 Smile

Building your first Project Server app : Part Zero–The introduction

PublishAllLogoOne of the many exciting additions to Office 2013 was the introduction of apps, through these apps it is possible to add, extend and enhance the functionality available to users, for example you could have an app to help track election results, add Facebook social to your sites or build workflows. The apps themselves are available for a number of the desktop clients, as well as SharePoint 2013 and Project Server 2013.

The idea behind apps in SharePoint is pretty simple, instead of allowing users to deploy what are known as ‘Full Trust Solutions’ to the SharePoint environment (these are solutions that execute code directly on the SharePoint servers) that could destabilise or alter SharePoint and impact it’s availability, Apps allow the same functionality to be hooked in remotely. The key to the app model is some clever architecture, allowing apps to be run either inside an isolate app site within SharePoint (known as SharePoint hosted), within a Microsoft Azure instance (Auto Hosted) or remotely on a providers infrastructure (known as Provider hosted).  Through a number web friendly technologies such as oData, REST and CSOM, these apps can hook into SharePoint and Project Server seamlessly as if they were still installed on the same servers.

The apps, once built are available to be added to your SharePoint and Project Server sites from a central app marketplace. There are two options to choose from, a Microsoft hosted and operated app store, where apps are submitted, validated and then made available for download either at cost, or in a trial mode. Or if an organisation has developed their own app that they just want used internally, they can be deployed to a organisational app store called the Corporate Catalog (we’ll talk more about that later on).

SharePoint App Store

Of course the great thing about apps and the Microsoft ecosystem in general is the information and tooling that is provided for you to build and customise these apps. Microsoft has spun up a dedicated blog and developer site to guide you through the concepts, requirements and process of building apps.

So where is all this going?

Well, I thought I would set out to build an app for Project Server. Thanks to an idea from a mailing list and some discussion amongst some of the Project MVPs, I decided to set out to build an app that when installed in PWA, allows you to publish all Enterprise Projects at the click of a button.

There is a fair amount of things to cover, so I have created a number of posts to cover the various topics:

    So make sure you stay tuned over the next few weeks

Smile

Introducing Project Social

A couple of weeks ago I traded in my iPhone for a new Mango based Windows Phone 7. For those of you that haven’t tried WP7, I would strongly suggest you do. In addition to being able to view your favourite EPM software through the mobile browser, the whole platform and experience seems vastly superior to the Apple offering.

Whilst the WP7 marketplace has a wide variety of application that is growing on a daily basis, it is a little light on Project related applications. So inspired by the fantastic Project Server and SharePoint iPhone app by Giles Hamson, I thought I would have a go at doing something myself, so I am pleased to introduce Project Social.

Project Social Panorama

What is it?

Project Social is a social viewer application that aggregates MS Project related Twitter and RSS feeds from the official MS Twitter accounts and blogs, a number of community blogs and the Project Server Technet content feeds all into one convenient application. Each item can be read directly on the phone where you can interact socially with it by via twitter (tweets, replies or retweets) email or directly via the browser. The application is based on the excellent Codeplex Social Viewer template which is constantly being updated, so watch out for some exciting new updates in the future.

Where can I get it?

Project Social is available now as a free download from the Windows Phone Marketplace or by clicking on the image below.

Download Project Social for Windows Phone

If you have any suggestions, or would like to add or remove your feed, please contact me directly at wp7@epmsource.com.

On cloud nine….

image Today I was lucky enough to receive the 2010 MVP award for Project from Microsoft. For those of you that are unaware, Microsoft definition of an MVP is as follows:

MVPs make exceptional contributions to technical communities, sharing their passion, knowledge, and know-how. Meanwhile, because MVPs hear the opinions and needs of many others in the technical community, they are well-placed to share highly focused feedback with Microsoft.

MVPs are independent experts who are offered a close connection with people at Microsoft. To acknowledge MVPs’ leadership and provide a platform to help support their efforts, Microsoft often gives MVPs early access to Microsoft products, as well as the opportunity to pass on their highly targeted feedback and recommendations about product design, development, and support.

I am very humbled by this award. To the people that nominated me, the readers of EPMSource and to Microsoft, I am on cloud nine, thank you :)