In this first post on how to build an app for Project Server to publish all projects, we will look at setting up your development environment.
Before we start, for the purpose of these posts we are going to leverage an Office 365 based Project Online tenant. Using Office 365 takes away some of the pain of setting up your own server environment and can be provisioned in a fraction of the time. It should also be noted that whatever works on Office 365 will also work on premise, so we can rest assured that our app will work in all environments.
The process of signing up for online account is relatively simple and takes about 20 minutes to provision. To sign up for a tenant, click here and following the prompts. Once the tenant is provisioned you need to create a special ‘Developer site collection’ by creating a new Private Site Collection with the developer template.
To start building our app, we are going to use an app itself that Microsoft created called ‘Napa’. To install Napa, click on the Build an app tile and you will be redirected to the store to install the ‘Napa’ tools. They will install when you click on the ‘Add it’ button.
Once it is installed, the Napa app will be available to use, click on it to open up the web based Napa editor. Napa is a really cool technology providing a web based development environment in the cloud that you can develop apps in and then at the touch of a button push them down into your SharePoint environment.
When the Napa editor has loaded, choose to create an App for SharePoint and name the app Publish All Projects.
Napa will then go off and create a template for your app which you can then fill in.
Setting up the corporate catalog
The second thing we need to set up is a location to deploy our apps to within the tenant called a Corporate Catalog. Whilst SharePoint has a public app store, it also has an organization specific app store that you can use to deploy your internal apps into.
In Office 365, choose SharePoint from the Admin menu.
On the left hand menu, choose Apps.
Choose app catalog. The first time you do this, Office 365 will ask you to create a new app catalog, choose ‘Create a new app catalog site’ and click on OK and then enter the requested details.
Once the site is provisioned, navigate to it and click on Apps for SharePoint.
In the next post, we will use the developer site and Napa to build our first app for Project Server.