Microsoft ‘Project Siena’, an app that builds apps for Windows 8.1 (update)

Microsoft Project Siena app

How about this, Microsoft releases new Windows 8.1 app, called “Project Siena”, to allow users to easily create Metro-style apps without any knowledge of coding whatsoever. The software giant in targeting this app designer for business experts, analysts, consultants and other app engineers, but anyone can use it.

Although you can create beautiful Metro-style apps for Windows 8.1 easily and quickly, there is a limit on the kind of apps you can create, you can only create apps to browse “media-rich product catalogs”, to resolve company issues, and apps for “auditing and inspecting a manufacturing facility” accessing database data set.

Siena can work very well with corporate and web data and media content from different products and services including: Excel and Azure tables, SharePoint lists, RSS feeds and the gamut or RESTful services. Also Project Siena builds apps with standard HTML5 and JavaScript, if you need to extend your application, you can also add more features using a different programming tool, such as Visual Studio.

A difference from regular apps for Windows 8.1, Siena apps don’t get published in the Windows Store, instead the project will be saved locally in a “PublishedPackage” folder, which includes a folder with all the app files and an install.exe run the app in any Windows 8.1 machine.

The Project Siena is available immediately as “beta” from the Windows Store for Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1. Though, it’s not clear if you apps you create with tool will work on Windows RT. Finally, it’ll be really interesting to see if Microsoft allows to distribute these apps through the store in a near future.

Although, it’s really easy to start using this app, you can visit this Microsoft page, to watch demos and download sample apps. Here also you’ll find more information on Siena’s limitations.



Supported architectures

  • x86/x64 (Windows 8.1)
  • ARM

Update: As it turns out Microsoft allows you to publish apps created with Siena to the Windows Store, as the guys from SurfaceGeeks already published the first two apps and the other good news is that apps created with Project Siena also work in Windows RT. 

Source Microsoft via SurfaceGeeks