Microsoft Project Siena

From MSDN Blogs December 27, 2013 at 03:22PM

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So, anyone remember App Studio, and how quickly you can build Windows Phone apps?  Well, for any of you out there like me who loved that and have been waiting around for the Windows 8 version, there is good news…and it goes by the name of Microsoft Project Siena.  Let me start by giving a warning that Microsoft Project Siena is not exactly the same as App Studio, but the general idea is still there…to take the necessity of writing code out of the app making process, in fact, it does just that.

You can customize the UI for your application using text blocks, galleries (images, text, or both), video, audio, toggle buttons, list boxes, input boxes, just to name a few.  You can see some of them in the screenshot below.  With these you can create navigation, get input from the user and store/display it, and even add the ability for the user to draw on the screen with the pen.  Not necessarily all of the options that you would find in Visual Studio, but definitely enough controls here for someone to get creative, and yet, still not have to write a single line of code.

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As far as data, you can  pull data from an Excel sheet, Azure Mobile Servics, REST calls, RSS Feeds, or SharePoint.  This gives the developer a couple of different options for loading dynamic data, which potentially makes your app more enjoyable.  Simply pump out new data to the user, and that gives them more reason to open back up your app, right?

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I haven’t had much time to play around with Project Siena yet, so I am interested to see what kind of response it gets.  I can tell you one thing though,I am happy to have it, as I have been waiting for the App Studio Windows 8 Counterpart for some time now!  All in all, there is enough potential here in terms of the kind of apps one can build, that I think it will find some interest. 

Comment below with any thoughts or experiences!

p.s. Here’s a link to “Help Topics” to help get you started, and a screenshot that shows the soon to be Windows 8 app for this blog!

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