As you no doubt know, I’ve written a framework called SP SIN which allows you to inject stuff into your SharePoint pages without touching the master pages or giving users access to SharePoint Designer. And a ton of other cool stuff. For example, SP SIN is extremely extensible, allowing you to customize virtually every factor of the operation. Check out http://spsin.com/ for more information.
One of those “other cool stuff” things is an app store. No, I’m not talking about the mindbogglingly stupid App model in SP 2013 although that can certainly be included, but a real application store for SharePoint, working in SP2007, SP2010, and SP2013. Oh, and any future version as well. Sadly, no SharePoint 2003 support, though. I have to draw the line somewhere, and I do so at .NET 2.0 🙂
Did I mention the SP SIN store extensions supports farm solutions, sandbox solutions, and, when I have time, the 2013 App model as well? And any future model that Microsoft throws at us as the newest, greatest thing since sliced bread?
And if you think that is cool, how about designing your own solution model? I plan on introducing the SIN package, a completely new solution model in SharePoint that will support pretty much anything you want, including all the existing models. Imagine having one solution deployment model that can deploy:
- both farm and sandbox WSP, STP, APP packages
- multiple packages at the same time
- server side code (for example deploying custom SQL server databases or installing custom Windows applications like SharePoint Manager)
- any combination of the above (for example two farm WSPs, a sandbox WSP, and an APP, plus deploying SharePoint Manager or SharePoint Designer to the server)
Don’t like this approach? Want something simpler? Well, the SP SIN store extensions supports deploying any type of solution package, so you can create your own as well.
I also want to build an actual App store, and I’ve even gotten some help with the design. I’ve built the core functionality which allows a much easier approach to getting your solutions into the store. In fact, if you have the WSP with five clicks, you can have your solution deployed to the store and ready to be installed by anyone that has the SP SIN store extension installed.
Don’t want me to control your application deployment? Want an internal organization store instead of a public one? Fine, the SP SIN store extensions support that too. I’ll add an extension that creates an application repository in Central Admin or somewhere else, allowing users with the appropriate permissions to install apps from the approved repository only.
But really, anyone can create their own app repositories and support whatever features they want. For example, my store will not include payments so it closely matches how the WordPress plug-in repository works. However, if you want to build a store that supports payments, fine, you’re welcome to do that if you want.
And because everything uses standard SharePoint deployment methods, just like SP SIN, you can even put your fancy new store in my store to have it deployed to whoever wants to use your store instead of mine.
Yeah, I know, it will blow your mind, but really, it’s just an example of how awesome SharePoint can be.
Here’s the thing… I’m limited in how much time I can spend on this because, you know, I get hungry sometimes and I need to eat. As such, it may be a long time until I can actually get down to doing all of this.
I have a lot of the code done already, and I’ve even set up a demo of the organization app repository. There’s plenty of stuff I haven’t done, though, so at best, this is alpha software only, and definitely not ready for production systems.
So, what I’m suggesting is that I put up early alpha code now, or shortly, so that your can start to get an impression of how it works. It will also allow you or anyone to start building components or stores yourself, and perhaps you’d even like to contribute to the core functionality by helping me develop.
To gauge interest in this, I’d like you to comment and let me know. If enough people show interest, I’ll put up an alpha version of the store extensions. Perhaps I should even do a public presentation of the SP SIN store and show you how it all works?
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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