As part of its recent announcement of the new version of Office, Microsoft has introduced a new programming model for developing add-ins that combines web technologies and cloud services. The new model is designed to work with future versions of the Office productivity suite and with the SharePoint portal technology. The "Office 365 Development Tools" – code-named "Napa" – currently have "public preview" status and include a model for developing hosted apps that can, Microsoft says, be operated via SharePoint, Windows Azure and custom web servers. Developers will be able to market their apps and add-ins through the new Microsoft Store, as well as through their own companies' app catalogues.
To start experimenting with Napa, developers must register for the Office 365 Developer Preview. This allows them to access a dedicated developer site with an instance of Office 365 that can be used as a basis for writing, installing and testing apps; developers can then use Napa as described in detail in Microsoft's documentation. An introduction to Napa with screenshots is also available in a blog post by Jason Zander, Corporate VP for the Visual Studio Team in Microsoft's Developer Division. Developers can keep up-to-date with future developments by following the company's new "Apps for Office and SharePoint Blog".