Earlier today, Microsoft Corporate VP PJ Hough announced the beginning of a Technical Preview program for Office 15. No specific details of features were announced but it was mentioned that:
Office 15 is the most ambitious undertaking yet for the Office Division. With Office 15, for the first time ever, we will simultaneously update our cloud services, servers, and mobile and PC clients for Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Visio. Quite simply, Office 15 will help people work, collaborate, and communicate smarter and faster than ever before.
While the Technical Preview program is already full, everyone will have the opportunity to try the Office 15 public beta later this summer, and we’ll have more to share about the release then. In the meantime, I do want to thank everyone who is participating in the Technical Preview for their contributions and all our customers for their continued support.
A technical preview of the Managed Object Model Software Development Kit for SharePoint 15 was also released today and this provides some insights into what might be included in the next version of SharePoint. Some of the more interesting additions are:
The addition of a CorporateCatalog enumeration with the following values:
- StoreFront – The package is from the marketplace.
- CorporateCatalog – The package is from a corporate gallery.
- DeveloperSite – The package is from a developer site.
- ObjectModel – The package is loaded via an object model.
- RemoteObjectModel – The package is uploaded via CSOM.
New SPApp, SPAppInstance and SPAppCatalog classes. The description for the SPApp class states: “Represents an app loaded onto Microsoft SharePoint Server and ready to be installed.” which also contains a CreateAppInstance method that states “Creates an instance of an app at the specified site specified by the web parameter. The new instance can then be retrievedby using the SPAppCatalog class and using the returned ID.”
This hints at an extended deployment framework allowing more control over deployment of custom components within SharePoint. For example we also have a SPWeb.LoadAndInstallApp method that is used to upload and install an app package and a SPWeb.AppDatabaseName property.
Another potentially related addition is the SPWebApplication.IsUserLicensedForEntity method that “Checks if the currently logged in user has the proper license to access the specified entity.”
There isn’t a lot of information about what these are used for but it raises some interesting questions – is this an extension to the feature and solution model for deploying additional SharePoint functionality? Will you be able to create apps that work on Windows 8 and SharePoint 15? If you have any ideas or find any other interesting bits of information leave a note in the comments below.