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Microsoft Debuts a New Introduction to Office 365 Development on Microsoft Virtual Academy

Jeremy Thake, a Technical Product Manager for the Office 365 Marketing Team at Microsoft is now one of the two hosts of an Introduction to Office 365 Development on the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) web site.

It is worth noting Jeremy is a close colleague of Asif Rehmani, founder and CEO of SharePoint-Videos. This writer’s interest in watching the video set on this topic, frankly speaking, was to compare the approach of our course instructors on similar topics (the best example of which is Steve Fox’s set of video training, SharePoint 2013: Beginning Development), to the approach presented by Jeremy and his co-host, Brian Jones, Program Manager of the Office Developer Platform team.

Anyone with a familiarity with the new Office development model (which encompasses not only Office 365, but any of the other Office components, including SharePoint 2013, on premises) will likely understand the importance of vetting one’s opinions about the rationale behind this new approach, to ensure consistency with Microsoft’s own messaging on the same topic.

With the above said, it is worth noting, right at the start, how the importance of HTML and JavaScript, as development methods, is portrayed differently in this set of videos on MVA.

We emphasized, in this blog, the security benefits inherent to using these markup languages to customize processes and to develop complementary (or, at a minimum, dependent) processes to SharePoint Server 2013, on premises. By using these tools, and eschewing the legacy approach of building trusted solutions to run directly on the server, SharePoint Server 2013 (or, any of the Office server components, for example, Exchange) would be isolated, and insulated, from any of the problems potentially arising from any attempts to customize processes. This was clearly good news in the opinion of this writer.

But the presentation on MVA, at least for the first 10-15 minutes makes no mention of the security benefits of this approach. In stead, Jeremy and Brian emphasize how these markup languages, for Office 365 Development open the possibilities of systems development to better address the needs of users on non Microsoft hardware and O/Ss — iOS and/or Android.

Brian Jones’s mention of the new role played by OAUTH (which we recently noted Fabian Williams speaking about in a video training set on BCS, recently released on SharePoint-Videos) is precisely to illustrate how developers more comfortable writing solutions for these non Microsoft platforms and requirements can do fine servicing requirements for Office 365 development.

The next post to this blog will include additional comments on this video set.

Ira Michael Blonder

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