In the first article about enhancements in the Office Development Tools for Visual Studio 2013 Preview, I showed you the new wizards you have when creating SharePoint Apps. Specifically, Visual Studio 2013 Preview (VS 2013 Preview) allows developers to choose between traditional ASP.NET Web Forms Applications or ASP.NET MVC Web Applications when they have decided to develop an Auto-hosted SharePoint App or a Provider-Hosted one. Doubtlessly, this is a great feature we can find in the Office Developer Tools for VS 2013 preview, but there are other cool ones I will introduce you in this blog post.
What’s new in the publishing process of SharePoint & Office Apps
VS 2013 Preview simplifies the process you have to follow in order to publish a SharePoint App or an Office App either to a SharePoint Apps (On-Premise or Online) catalog or to the Office Store. This is possible thanks to the new Publishing Manager available by default in VS 2013 Preview. This new manager helps developers to get all packages ready to publish a SharePoint or an Office App.
The Publishing Manager provides different functionality depending on the App type you want to publish. For instance, the functionality available for SharePoint-Hosted and Auto-hosted Apps is different to the one for SharePoint Provider-Hosted Apps.
Publishing Manager for SharePoint-Hosted and Auto-hosted Apps
For these App types, the manager is quite simple since it only provides the following links:
The “Package app” link allows to generate the “.app” file for the application. This file can be loaded to a SharePoint Apps catalog or to the Office Store.
The “View the Seller Dashboard” link provides a shortcut to the Seller Dashboard, the place where the developer have to load the App in order to start the Office Store validation process.
Publishing Manager for SharePoint Provider-Hosted Apps
In the case of Provider-Hosted Apps, the Publishing Manager provides some extra functionality to help in the App publishing process:
“Current profile” textbox allows to indicate the publishing profile for the web application that is part of the SharePoint Provider-Hosted App. When you click the “…” button, a profile wizar is started. In this wizard, you can create a new Windows Azure Web Site profile or use an existing one.
The “Visit the Seller Dashboard” link provides a shortcut to the Seller Dashboard, the place where the developer have to load the App in order to start the Office Store validation process.
Publishing Manager for Office Apps
In the case of an Office App, the Publishing Manager provide the same functionality we have seen for SharePoint Provider-Hosted Apps enhanced with a manifest validation checker that is ready to perform a validation in the Office App manifest before submitting to the Office Store.
The only thing you have to do in order to check the manifest file is just provide its path. Once it is provided, you will see the validation checker in action throwing any errors or problems found when analyzing the Office App manifest.
And that’s all for the moment regarding new things in the Office Developer Tools for VS 2013 Preview. Happy CloudSharing!