Microsoft releases ‘Project Siena' and you should probably take notice

Microsoft has released a new app called Project Sienna and it's about to become a staple app for Microsoft. The reason why this app is important to Microsoft’s mission is that it allows you to create apps, within the app, that can easily be published to the Microsoft Store and can be done so, for free.

Here is how it works, you download Project Siena and when you open it up, with a little bit of know-how (and we stress little, here) you can create a new app in minutes.

If you understand Visual Basic, this app will feel right at home on your machine and know that the apps that are created are not template based products and that there is quite a bit of flexibility here to pull in outside content. More so, if you are familiar with Excel, you will feel right at home with Project Siena as the expressions are quite similar to connect your data.

This app is targeted at business experts and analysts but can be used by anyone who needs an easy way to create apps that pull curated content from external streams.

A few weeks back, when we posted up our hands on time with Microsoft’s Perceptive Pixel display, we also got a demo of Project Siena and in only a few short minutes, an app was created that was dynamically pulling in content from external feeds to create a working app that would serve as a business dashboard for a corporation.

This may not sound impressive, but when someone with only basic programming skills (Excel and Visual Basic) can put together an app that creates a visual dashboard, in only minutes, it’s a tremendous achievement. More so, the app that was created can be shared among team members or sent to the Microsoft store for distribution. It’s hard to quantify how awesome this type of product is, until you have had to manually create reports by hand and then distribute them to management. Being able to do this within a visual environment and with only basic programming skills is a huge win for Microsoft and business users as well.

Oh, and this app is touch friendly. So when you are working on a Surface (or PPI display) it’s an immersive development application and that’s not something you see very often.

Download: Project Siena

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft adds lists of Windows 8.1 app categories in new store update

Next Story

Microsoft hints at the future of Bing Maps

31 Comments

View more comments

I don't know about you, but imagine if we all were thinking that way when the iPad came out. I for one am happy with this direction Microsoft has taken, proofing once more that they can still invent.

Yea I can see plenty of uses for this, not everybody has the experience (or even desire) to install Visual Studio and learn the whole thing for simpler projects... throw on it being a freebie, kind of silly to bash it. More options and all that, or is that not a good thing anymore?

Instinct said,
A company can't innovate if they don't experiment.

You don't experiment on the public. Your comment is unrelated to mine.

recursive said,
The store is already flooded with piles of ****ty apps.

correction: ALL app stores are flooded with piles of (starry) apps

morden said,

correction: ALL app stores are flooded with piles of (starry) apps

This. One of the most important jobs of these app stores is separating the actual useful apps from the interminable amounts of garbage that gets submitted.

Majesticmerc said,

This. One of the most important jobs of these app stores is separating the actual useful apps from the interminable amounts of garbage that gets submitted.

abso-freaking-lutely; thats why users need options of advanced search - tons of crap sadly cannot be avoided even in an environment thats NOT about the length of your penis... oooops, number of apps in your store

Majesticmerc said,

This. One of the most important jobs of these app stores is separating the actual useful apps from the interminable amounts of garbage that gets submitted.

It would be nice if someone did their damned job, then, because it sure as hell isn't being done now.

lolneowin said,
Brace yourselves for the piles of ****ty apps about to flood the store.

There are already piles of **** there. Will we even notice more after this?

This isn't really designed to make apps to put on the store. It's to make your reports easily available to your executives and sales staff. It probably will fit into Power BI.

lolneowin said,
Brace yourselves for the piles of ****ty apps about to flood the store.

As the 'tools' get better, it should shift the quality of Apps away from the 'farm' development that we see flooding all App markets.

VB created a lot of crap software, but it also let business customers create their own in house solutions easily and also pushed developers to build better products by automating the complexity.

If the tools push developers to do things the right way and automate in basic functionality that is missing from many Apps, it will improve the quality of other Apps, as their developers will have to take time to meet the basic needs a non-programming is producing in their Apps.

There are some brilliant people that have not a clue where to start for developing an App. There were a few applications from the 90s that were brilliant and came from non-developers because of tools like VB and Delphi.

There can never be too many easy ways to create software.

WinRT is an ideal platform, designed for new models, and oddly it is some of the 'older' programmers that don't get the models that create some of the worst software.

recursive said,
The store is already flooded with piles of ****ty apps.

Windows app store still have a lot of catch up to do with filtering out the crappy apps. probably google play has more fart apps but they hide it away from you so you cannot see them.

morden said,

correction: ALL app stores are flooded with piles of (starry) apps

Looks worse on the Widows store cause there's a very limited number of apps in comparion with the Apple/Google Stores

it looks the same... i had an iphone a few years back and my gf had android until recently; on wp youve got 200k apps with 80% crap while on android youve got 1000k apps with 90% crap

sheer numbers: the small amount of good apps are the well made official ones, better-made games, some creative alternatives for absent, crappy or simply boring apps, a few really original ideas and thats all
you can only make that much good apps and their alternatives; the rest are temple run ripoffs, fart apps and a bunch of wrappers for websites

Studio384 said,
The first steps to a metro Visual Studio are made.

If this is where Visual Studio is headed in the long run, I'm retiring as a software developer before this **** becomes mainstream. Or it'll be the time I finally embrace Linux.

Corrected:

BigBoy said,
You are right. Almost nobody has a Surface out there.

(There is a need for a sarcasm font)

Commenting is disabled on this article.