Catching Up With Office 365: News About Domains, Auto-hosted Apps

Catching Up With Office 365: News About Domains, Auto-hosted Apps

Add a generic top-level domain without using PowerShell; no more creating auto-hosted apps after June 30; cloud-first documentation

Did you see this Office 365 news this week? Plus, we're just now taking in the news of the end of the auto-hosted apps preview program and what that might mean. And we're curious about documenting in the cloud. Read on!

One Reason You DON’T Have to Learn PowerShell (But it still would be a good plan to)

In the past, if you wanted to add a generic top-level domain such as .art or .design to Office 365, you had to use Windows PowerShell. But now you can. Without PowerShell.

Check out what Microsoft senior product marketing manager Lawrence Chiu has to say at the Office Blog.

Auto-Hosted Apps No More

On May 16, the Office 365 team wrote “We’re announcing today that the Office 365 Autohosted Apps Preview program will end on June 30, 2014. After June 30th, developers will not be able to create new autohosted apps in SharePoint. Apps that are currently running in the service will not be affected or shut down. We’ll post an update on this blog once we have an exact date of the shutdown of autohosted apps running in the service.”

The team noted it was “working closely with the Azure and Visual Studio teams to incorporate developers’ feedback and evolve the autohosted apps model, as well as … deliver a seamless experience for developers by the end of this year.”

Deconstructing this, I’m not cheered by the “deliver a seamless experience” but I’m not a developer, so I’ll leave it to them to decide what this means. Or we can all wait until December and check back.

How Much DOES Documentation Lag Behind In a Cloud-First World?

In a post on Yammer in the Office 365 Technical Group-- (and that’s a whole other story--what do you think about Microsoft requiring you to use Yammer to discuss or get help with Office 365?)--a Yammer participant said he noticed a change in access to a portal but the documentation still referred to the previous access to the portal. A commenter on his post wrote:

“In this cloud-first environment, documentation will always lag behind till there is an army of editors or documentation responsibility is opened up to trained and approved public editors.”

It makes sense—you keep rolling out new features faster, you’re going to need people to hustle to keep up with documentation.

Because their challenges have changed too, as this blog post from Adobe about authoring in an Agile environment acknowledges. The post references a whitepaper released by the UK firm Cherryleaf, and I think the challenges are similar to those in writing about cloud-based products.

You can call it a problem or you can call it an opportunity, I suppose. I vote for salary increases for the documentation folks, all of ‘em. Or permanent Employee-of-the-Month parking spots.

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