When I first heard about an app store coming to SharePoint, I was excited. I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Today, I am excited to announce the release of three new apps for SharePoint 2013. SP2 apps seek to help increase user adoption by providing engaging functionality to your users. I have developed a useful free app that will help you test your list queries from Apps. I’m also proud to say I have the first paid app offering in the Office Store, but there are more to come from developers all over the world. Apps are a great new way to deploy a ton of functionality in SharePoint and I encourage you to taking a look at the sessions on building apps this week while at SPC.
SP2 CAML Query Tester
I want to tell you about my free app, SP2 CAML Query Tester first. I built this app while in the process of building one of my other apps for the purpose of debugging CAML queries. If you have ever messed with CAML, you know it can be picky and the syntax is brutal. While I was developing the app, every time I wanted to try a new query, I had to stop debugging, change the query, and redeploy the app. That process takes over a minute or more. So I thought, what if I just made an app that could do this for me and I could type whatever query I wanted to test right in a textbox. Then SP2 CAML Query Tester was born. The app is simple. You can run it as an app by clicking on the link after you install it or you can add the app to an existing host web site and then use the App Part to test queries against lists on that site. If you’re interested in developing apps, this utility will definitely help. I’ll be adding functionality to it from time to time, so if you see bugs or have feature requests, let me know.
The premise behind this web part is simple. I wanted to provide a way for users to be able to provide feedback on a given page or site. This allows you to collect feedback from users quickly. This allows you to correct issues on your site that otherwise you might not know about. The end user simply fills out their comment in a text box and it the information gets saved to a list for you to review. It captures the URL of the current page they are on automatically. All text in the web part is configurable so you can localize it. Plus the form is collapsible so it takes up less screen real estate if desired. The web part lets yours users feel engaged. If users feel they can contribute to the site and that they can make a difference, it leads to better adoption.
SP2 is available in the Office Store for $19.99 per user or $199.90 for a site license. A single user license is a great way to try it out and see if the app works for you.
SP2 Daily Menu
In my experience building Intranets, I have seen a lot of companies invest time in updating the menu of their corporate cafeteria using SharePoint. It seems simple, but it is a huge driver of adoption. Users get hungry. They want to know what is to eat. They go to the Intranet site to see the menu. Then while they are there, they click on a few news articles or respond to some discussion boards. It’s simple, cost effective way to drive adoption and you would be surprised how well it works.
The app is driven by a custom calendar. The owner of the app just edits the calendar and specifies breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and a description. All fields are optional and you can choose to display only the ones desired. All of the text is configurable as well so you can localize it if desired.
SP2 is approved but not yet in the Office Store. Pricing will be announced when it is available but is comparable in pricing to SP2 Feedback.
If I am going to offer apps, I need a site to go with it. More information about my apps can be found at sp2apps.com powered by Office 365 and SharePoint Online. This site will have the latest information on my apps and serve as a support portal.
You can also follow @sp2apps on twitter.