"Napa" Office 365 Development Tools in SharePoint 2013 & Office 365 - Part 4

Before moving to the next article, read the previous parts of this series:

Welcome to the Part 4 of the "Napa" Office 365 Development Tools in SharePoint 2013 and Office 365. In this part we will see some details on “Mail App for Office”.

This article will help you to learn how can you create a Mail App using Napa Tools. Apps are everything these days. We need several apps for doing many things in our daily activity.

Similarly Microsoft also wants its users to understand their requirements and build their own apps in a few clicks. When we see some new apps, the first thing a techie thinks is “Even I want to make an app”, but people either get carried away or it is difficult for them to determine how to start.

Here in this article we will see how to make an app using Napa Tools whose installation we saw in my first article. So, let's keep you excited and show you how to do it.

We'll see them step-by-step as in the following.

  • Go to the site contents of the site and click on the Napa Office 365 Tool.

    Go to your site contents

  • It will ask you what kind of app you want to build, for us in this article it will be Mail App for Office.

  • Provide it a name and click on Create.

  • After clicking on Create, you will get to the app as in the following screen:


  • You will get to the Home.html page of your app displaying the code behind. This app doesn't need an external interface or software. It will use your browser.

  • Here this is like a code editor where you can put your JavaScript, JSON, HTML files and CSS files and publish them on your app directly.


  • Here we have a pattern to write code on a presentation layer in Visual Studio, a similar way can be used in Napa where you can define your CSS folders, image folders, pages, scripts and so on as in the screen above and making a reference when building an app will be very easy.

  • So you can define your code as App Compose, App Read, Content, Images and Scripts here and you can also create new levels depending on your requirements.

  • Then on the left we have the ribbon on the tool that will help us to deploy our app without any PowerShell or any WSP. It will deploy it to your site directly.


  • Lets' see all the options on the ribbon.

    1. Explore: You can explore the code
    2. Search: Search for some functions within the code
    3. Properties: Properties of the app
    4. Run Project: Once you make all the necessary updates to you code, click on the Play button that states “Run Project”. It will deploy your app.
    5. Retract App: Retract the app
    6. Open in Visual Studio: You can open the same code in Visual Studio
    7. Share Project: You can share this file among your colleagues
    8. Publish: To publish it.
    9. Quick Open

      The following are the other commands along with the preceding that is used in Napa Tools differentiated as:

      1. Global Commands
      2. Editor Commands

        Global Commands

        Editor Commands


      3. So to deploy an app, click on Run Project. It will first prepare, then deploy and launch.

        deploy an app

      4. Once deployed, the app will be ready to use.

Here in this article we saw the fourth and the last kind of an app that can be made using Napa tools. We will see other aspects of Office and SharePoint 2013 in my other articles.

Until then, keep learning.