Microsoft's Project Siena Enables App Creation With No Programming

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-01-02 Print this article Print

"To fully unlock the value of mobile devices for the enterprise, millions and millions of these purpose-specific apps will need to be authored in the coming years," Somasegar said in a blog post on Siena."To accomplish this, we must enable a broader class of people to author these apps."

Somasegar added that users with PowerPoint- and Excel-level skills can use Siena to build apps in minutes. In a separate blog post, Ben Hodes, a Microsoft senior program manager, offers a series of tips for Siena users.

"Siena provides a familiar and easy document-editing experience: put your information on the canvas, compose and style it, and add custom logic and interactivity using the power of Excel expressions," he said. "The result is an immediately usable app with all the rich information, differentiated looks and purpose-specific intelligence expected of modern Windows apps."

Moreover, because Siena apps are HTML5 and JavaScript and are deployed and managed like any other Windows 8 app, developers can open them up and, if needed, extend them in their favorite programming tools, Microsoft said.

Indeed, with Siena, business users you can conceptualize, validate and build out their app ideas almost as fast as they can come up with them. And if their needs change, updating the app is no big deal, the company said.

Meanwhile, in his post, Quick likens Siena to Microsoft's App Studio: "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."

IDC's Hilwa noted that the key marker for success for Siena is how Microsoft engages its enterprise customers, particularly those responsible for managing content and knowledge through initiatives that have brought in SharePoint in a big way to enterprises.

"It is those thought-leading groups inside of enterprises that are likely to spearhead significant adoption of this technology in the enterprise and in the citizen developer community," he said.



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