This three part series goes over the trials of what it means to be an early adopter of new technologies, specifically using Microsoft’s new App Model - creating the app and then deploying it through the store. While B2B Technologies has made a successful and long-standing career of implementing Microsoft solutions for our customers, we wouldn’t have nearly the experience and reliable expertise if we didn’t venture out on our own first. This allows us to get the tough questions answered before our clients engage us for their projects. That being said, when Microsoft first released the new App model with Office 365 and SharePoint 2013, we were excited to create a solution using this architecture.
Microsoft has a large investment of resources in developing Office 365 for Education and offering sites available to schools for little or no cost. Due to B2B Tech’s emphasis on the education sector, and the number of Office 365 Education sites we have converted and deployed, the result of this endeavor was the B2B Quiz App. The B2B Quiz App was written as a SharePoint App website accessed through an educator’s O365 portal, which would allow teachers to share quizzes with members of their classes using a PC or tablet. It would be made available for free through the SharePoint App Store.
When a teacher installs the app on their O365 or SharePoint site, a new Azure website and SQL database is automatically created for their exclusive use with no configuration or registration required on their part. These sites are managed by their own SharePoint subscription. This is made possible through the auto-hosted architecture. When the new website is first accessed, the authorized user is determined to be the teacher. The teacher can then set up classes, build and schedules quizzes, and analyze the results. Any subsequent users to the website are recognized as students who can locate and take their quizzes.
SharePoint Apps can be built to look like the SharePoint Host Website by sharing the host styling; however, we chose to give our app an appearance conveying more of the intent of the application.
Check back next week for Challenges of Being an Early Adopter: Part 2 - Hosting Issues!