Napa is a SharePoint development tool that is centered on the idea to develop in the cloud. By getting a developer Office 365 account, one could get access to a development environment that is available from any browser and has the ability to build projects that could be saved and opened later. Today, there are remarkable changes in Napa since its first launch in July 2012, easing the work of SharePoint developers considerably.
The updated Napa version includes enhancements in new templates, user experience, improved task pane apps for Office support, a Mails application activation rules editor as well as new social features. One could virtually code from any device with no need to download or install anything. The development tool was made as a getting started tool to develop applications for Office and of course SharePoint. It is furthermore considered a lightweight companion to Visual Studio to help users become familiar with the applications for SharePoint.
Developing on the cloud makes a developers life so much easier. Napa Office 365 development tools offer a great way of building apps for SharePoint directly from out of the browser windows. There is no need to install any other tools like Visual Studio. All that is needed is an Office 365 account and a supported browser. Napa makes it easy to download a project and continue the development of an application for both Office and SharePoint. Moreover, the tools provide a page for managing projects. The page could then be used to build a mail application, task pane application, content application or SharePoint app project and rename and delete projects as well. Moreover, it also enables opening any project in Visual Studio if one decides to leverage features like advanced debugging or the capability to utilize a web project as part of an app for SharePoint.
Since it is web based, developing for SharePoint does not require installing anything on a machine or computer. As an application matures and there is more need for advanced tools, a developer could switch to the more powerful, fully featured Visual Studio IDE seamlessly and continue to develop there. Nevertheless, in parallel with Napa, a developer could still continue to use the current extensibility models for SharePoint such as COM, VSTO, VBA and SharePoint solutions. With Napa, SharePoint 2013 could now combine with onsite Windows Phone 7 apps or with SharePoint services that run on the cloud, such as service used for SharePoint online. This enables developers to build extremely power apps that are capable of creating upon functionality and ultimately extending it beyond what is capable on traditional laptops or desktops.
Once a developer signs up and logs into SharePoint 2013 online, Napa could be added to the SharePoint developer site from the SharePoint store. The tools could help in visualization, collaboration and productivity. In addition, it also offers a very good feature name as Share Project in which one could share applications with others. The Share Project feature makes a copy of the application project and offers developers a public link that could be given to anyone to allow theme to view a copy of the project.