Microsoft releases Project Siena Beta 2, allows business users to connect apps to powerful web services

Microsoft releases Project Siena Beta 2, allows business users to connect apps to powerful web services

About three months ago, Microsoft unveiled Project Siena Beta, a Windows Store app that allowed non-developers to create business-oriented apps. Microsoft has rolled out Beta 2 of the app, after receiving a positive response from enterprise business users, partners, and general app creators.

"Today, we are taking the next big stride for Project Siena with the release of Beta 2. This major update changes the kind of impact that apps built with Siena can have within a business.  Project Siena now enables business users to connect apps to powerful web services – from popular consumer services to enterprise SaaS to services created by IT," Microsoft's S. Somasegar stated in an official blog post.

This is a visual app creation tool. Interface elements can be dropped into place and you can set about the task of linking to the data you want to use. The apps you create are based on HTML5 and JavaScript, and while they can be started and finished in Project Siena, there is also scope for tinkering with them using other tools if you feel so inclined.

"Microsoft Project Siena (code name) is a new technology for business experts and other app imagineers. Now, without any programming, you can create apps that harness the power of corporate data and content, and web services," the app description reads. Here are the key features of the app:

  • Conceptualize, validate and build your app ideas as easily as editing a document
  • Connect to corporate data and web services
  • Compose rich interactive visuals and media to create custom, unique apps
  • Add business logic and intelligence using the power of Excel-like expressions
  • Use the app yourself, share with colleagues or with the world

Project Siena allows business users to compose multiple services with ease - making it as easy as linking two Excel functions. For example, an app might look up product information from an enterprise catalog and then translate the description to Japanese. The Bing Translate service can also be utilized to speak aloud the description.

Microsoft is also releasing video walkthroughs along with sample apps so business users can get started on their own custom app. With Beta 2, business users can now focus on social connections and instant communications, text to speech, translation, voice recognition, and integration to SaaS and other back-end workflows with their Project Siena app.

Hit the download link below to snag the app. It's free!

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