Racing to the Races - Putting our Office App out there

As I'm posting this blog entry, our (SharePoint Gurus) first Office App (Add-In) would be available on the store.

I might let you in on a secret - it has in fact been in the store in the last few days, but as it is our company's first Add-In, we had some hiccups and had to push out subsequent updates.  We are pleased with this version and we'll run with it to the actual Melbourne Cup race, which actually isn't all that far away.  It would be on November 3, 2015, and the horses list would be available on October 31 - a Saturday, yes that means our Add-In would prompt you to automatically update data on Monday morning.

Feedback through the week from our clients has been very supportive.  This could turn out great (or a great learning experience).  But either way, we have fun and we hope our clients and friends have fun with our App too.

The Team

We are all consultants and this Add-In is something we wanted to build for a long time, but never could tear ourselves away from our great clients to just stop and write this Add-In.

  • We learn AngularJS along the way
  • We became pros at JavaScript Promises... chaining promises, grouping promises, catching error promises and retrying them.
  • Everyone in the company got involved.  We are not a large company, but this one Add-In has 100% contribution from the entire team.
  • We had different people deploying to their own developer sites, both On-Premises and Office 365. 
  • We use TFS but had an open checkout policy (you have to merge any changes).  This turned out not as disastrous as we think, it gave us freedom to work on the project when we can, without having to wait for a certain colleague to check in first.
  • We started the journey a long time ago with Wiki pages, Task lists and Yammer discussion group.  We are now on Office 365 OneNote (available anywhere, offline, and synchronized) and Office 365 Groups for conversation.  We use the Outlook Groups app when we are on the run.  If Office 365 Planner had been available, I'm sure we would be all over it too.  We had a white-board with moving tasks and Post-It notes.

The Stack

The Add-In is a SharePoint-Hosted App. 

 Sweepstake Horse says SAAI.  Also, horse is sorry he didn't say on-premise s

Sweepstake Horse says SAAI.  Also, horse is sorry he didn't say on-premises


The Learning (so far)

  • v2 will be provider hosted.  The complexity would lie in provisioning, and also not all our consultants are fluent with ASPNET MVC or C#
  • The benefits are to do with ease of updating the various components, and hiding core logic.
  • We may tackle NodeJS instead

You

You should download our Add-In and give it a whirl.  Come next Monday, hopefully we hear good things from you.

We already have people asking to do a Rugby World Cup one next year, which would have been fun, this weekend is finals between Australia vs. New Zealand.