Microsoft Project Siena, currently in Beta 2, enables business users to create powerful no-code apps for Windows 8.1 that can connect to enterprise applications, cloud services and the web.  Now, without any programming, your users can quickly create apps that leverage their knowledge of corporate content and Internet services to allow others within your organization to work with that data in new and interesting ways.

This article is part 1 of a three-part article mini-series. In part 1 below, I’ll provide an overview of Project Siena with resources to help your users get started developing their very own Windows 8.1 business apps.  In parts 2 & 3, we’ll proceed step-by-step through building a real Windows 8.1 app together with Project Siena and Microsoft Azure Mobile Services - all without any coding whatsoever!

  Interested in learning more about Windows 8.1 for Business?

  Check out our complete blog series at:

Let’s make an app!

Watch this short video to see just how quick and easy it is to create new Windows 8.1 business apps with Project Siena …

What kinds of apps are good candidates for Project Siena?

As an app building tool, Project Siena Beta 2 currently targets Windows 8.1 business apps that fall into one of three common patterns:

  • Apps for consuming and presenting information, such as product catalogs and video-based lesson plans.
  • Apps for making on-the-spot decisions, such as adjusting insurance claims and reviewing project expenses
  • Apps for capturing input, such as pictures, audio, handwriting and other input.

It’s easy to get started with Project Siena!

Building a new Windows 8.1 business app with Project Siena can be as easy as creating a new Excel worksheet or PowerPoint presentation.  Place your visuals on a design canvas, hook them up to business data and services, and then customize how the app looks – all with a few simple clicks.  If an app requires special logic or intelligence, write easy-to-understand Excel-like expressions.  In less than an hour, a new app can be built and shared with colleagues in your organization or around the world.

Be sure to check out these great tutorials and samples for inspiration and step-by-step app building instructions …

What if my app needs to do more?

Once your users have built their initial app in Project Siena, they can easily hand it off to developers in your organization if it needs to be augmented with additional code-based development.  To help developers get started with building and enhancing Windows 8.1 apps with code, we provide lots of additional developer resources and toolkits, such as …

Get started today!

Download Project Siena and get your business users started with building their ideas into full-fledged Windows 8.1 apps.  Along the way, if they run into questions, they can connect with one of our local Tech Advisors who can help with everything from app design to troubleshooting.

Join me for parts 2 & 3 to build a real app together …

Be sure to join me for parts 2 & 3 of this three-part article mini-series, where we’ll step through building a real Windows 8.1 app together using Project Siena.

  • In part 2, we'll use Microsoft Azure Mobile Services to define the backend data source for our app
  • In part 3, we'll build our Windows 8.1 client app to consume that data using Project Siena

In the meantime, please share your ideas in the Comments section below for leveraging Project Siena within your organization.