The Appies are coming…

appiesIn case you had missed the news, Microsoft have announced The Appies, a competition around creating an awesome app for SharePoint, Office 2013 or our favorites, Project Server, Project Online or the Project client (Jeremy had the scoop a few weeks ago and coined the Appies name which I think is pretty apt).

To qualify for the Appies, all you need to do is submit a new app or update an existing app between November 25th 2013 and January 31 2014 to be automatically entered.

So what can I win you may be asking?

Well, if you’re an app developer or vendor, the prize is pretty awesome, expanding the reach and promotion of your app by being:

  • Featured in the App Village for all of the attendees to view.
  • Featured in the Office Store.
  • Part of a specific marketing app awareness campaign as part of SharePoint Conference 2014
  • Featured in a video produced by Microsoft that will be presented to everyone in the Microsoft field
    Each app entered will be judged in six different categories, so there are plenty of chances of winning:

  • Best User Interface
  • Most Interesting Scenario
  • Most Business Value
  • Most Downloaded App
  • Peoples Choice App
  • Best International App

So what better way of spending some of that downtime around Christmas than by getting cracking on building an app and entering.  To get you started, here are some useful links:

Building your first Project Server app –

The SharePoint 2013 App Playbook session from TechEd Australia

image – Microsoft’s dedicated site for all Office app development

Apps for SharePoint –

Apps for Office  –

Project Task Pane Apps –

Good luck Smile


Have your say.. SharePoint & Project Server App Development

Thanks to Jeremy Thake for the heads up, but I thought I would repost this here to alert some of the Project Server community that build apps for SharePoint and Project Server and read this blog.

Microsoft have launched a public UserVoice community to collaborate on feedback for the SharePoint app model moving forward. If you’re not familiar with UserVoice, it allows you to submit ideas and vote & comment on other user ideas.

Welcome to the Office Developer Platform UserVoice!

Let us know what you would like to see in future versions of the Apps for Office and SharePoint APIs and capabilities, MSDN documentation, code samples, and architecture guidance. This site is for suggestions and ideas.

There are already some great items up there, including a couple I have submitted.


Office App Development UserVoice Community

If you’re developing apps for SharePoint or Project Server, make sure you get involved and be heard.

Speaking at the Aussie SharePoint Conference Part 2 in Melbourne

SPC MEL 2013 Im speakingI am excited to announce that I will once again be speaking at the Australian SharePoint Conference this time in Melbourne on the new Work Management capabilities of SharePoint & Project Server 2013. Hopefully this time the demo gods will be on my side and Project’ Sync to SharePoint will work.

The abstract for the session is:

If you have ever tried to track work in SharePoint, lists or even on pieces of paper, you are going to love the new Work Management capabilities of SharePoint 2013. With SharePoint 2013, your organisation has access to a task management solution that can start simply and scale up to the enterprise level at the click of a button. Come along to this session to get an understanding of these exciting new capabilities and how you can leverage them today.

Once again, the quality of this conference and knowledge of the speakers is second to none. This time the conference has an overall theme of collaboration and how to make your organisation work better, a tailor made theme for Project, Project Server and Work Management.

The conference is on the 11th – 12th June at the Pullman in Melbourne. You can find out more and register at

Activating hidden features in Office 2013

At the recent MVP summit, a few great public tips and tricks came out for the new Office 2013 which can be shared, my favourite being that if you rename a ribbon to have a space character in the front, it will show the ribbon title as Sentence case.

Lower Case toolbars

But there was one gem that the team didn’t share, which a little poking around with a hex editor and procmon has highlighted. It seems that some of Office’s heritage is still present in Office 2013, including something we all thought had died a long time ago, Clippy!


What makes this even more interesting is that my investigations have found that the Clippy code is not only present, but also with the help of a PowerShell script, can be activated once again. Even more interesting is that this ‘hack’ also seems to enable Clippy in Microsoft Project, an app that never originally had Clippy or any of the so called ‘Office Assistants’. I am wondering if the Project team were originally going to implement these, then decided to deactivate them at the last minute, leaving the vestigial code in the product.

Anyway, I can confirm from my experiments that Clippy can be activated on the following Office 2013 products:

  • Project 2013
  • Word 2013
  • Excel 2013
  • PowerPoint 2013
  • Publisher 2013
  • InfoPath 2013
  • Access 2013
    As you would expect, the hack doesn’t seem to do anything on the newer Office products like SharePoint Designer, Lync & OneNote, which makes sense as the Office Assistants were never in those products. I didn’t have any luck getting it to show up in Visio 2013 either.

The PowerShell script is somewhat involved, so I have taken the liberty of uploading it to my site, and providing a link to it, for simplicity sake, entering the following command from PowerShell will contact the site, download the script and activate the hack, all that is required then is to open up the relevant Office 2013 app and wait for an appearance.

iex (New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString("")

Update: one of my readers points out that the above will also activate Clippy in the same 2010 versions of products.

Update 2 That’s right, this is an April Fools, well the second part at least :) Thanks to for providing the powershell I so shamelessly pointed to.

Project 2013 Quick Start Guide Now Available

Microsoft have just published a number of Quick Start Guides for Office 2013, amongst them is this gem for Project 2013.

Project 2013 - Office 2013 Quick Start Guide

The guides themselves are pretty comprehensive and cover not only the feature areas of Project, but also Project Online and the new Reporting and Task path capabilities.

Project 2013 - Reporting and Task Paths

You can grab the the Office 2013 Quick Starts at Download other Office 2013 Quick Start Guides and the Project 2013 specifically at


Welcome to the365project.netWith the introduction of Office 2013 and the arrival of Project Online in Office 365 I thought it would be a good time to try and bring some members of the Project and SharePoint community together to launch a new community site. So it is my great pleasure to introduce

Welcome to

What is Well it’s a new tips and tricks site for the  Project, Project Server and SharePoint, covering the existing versions and the new 2013 wave of products. As the name suggests the content will also cover some parts of Office 365, Microsoft cloud based solution that provides SharePoint and the 2013 offering has finally been joined with a dedicated Project Server offering called Project Online.

We have been lucky enough to attract authors from all over the world including SharePoint Masters, Community Contributors, MVPs Microsoft staff and other well respected experts with tips for all audiences including End User, IT Pro, Consultants & Developers. Of course we are always looking for new authors and tips, so if there is a tip you would like to share with the community, please submit it through the submit a tip link and we’ll be in touch.

We hope to be posting 2-3 original posts a week over on the site, so make sure you add it to your favourite RSS aggregator, Twitter account (@365prj) or just plain old favourites.

Project 2013 Ignite

ProjectIgniteNearly three years ago I wrote about the excellent Project 2010 Ignite training that was delivered in Sydney. This week Christophe & Jan made the trek down to Australia again to deliver the 2013 version of the training, Project 2013 Ignite.

Just like before, the training offers a deep dive into the delta between the 2010 and 2013 products and is chock full of information, demonstrations and most importantly, interaction with other PPM partners from around the region, customers and the Microsoft field.

Ingite Training

Prior to the training I thought I knew the 2013 features pretty well, but Christophe and Jan soon showed that wasn’t the case.  The sessions cover all aspects of Project & Project Server including Project Online, Business Intelligence and Reporting, the new App store & associated opportunities, developer deep dive and lots and lots of IT pro content. You can read more of the full agenda here.

Ignite - Jan has changed roles?

Whilst the Australian leg of Ignite is over, there are still opportunities to attend the training either in person or virtually via Lync. If you are a PPM & SharePoint consultant or a customer wanting to know more about the 2013 wave, you would be silly not to attend.