SharePoint Conference 2012 – Office Web Apps Server and SharePoint 2013

I am a personal fan of Office Web Application whether it be with SkyDrive Pro or in SharePoint. So being able to sit and listen to some of the incredible advances into this product was a real treat.

The presenter for this session was Nick Simons and Ken Yuhas both from the product team. Nick kicked off by stating that they have multiple offerings of the product including on-premises, SkyDrive and Office 365. All three have the exact same technology behind the platform. This is a win because there is not a lack of parity across the different products.

Another huge change is the Office Web Application (WOPI which is Web Application Open Interface for short) is a standalone product with a separate installation on a different server other than SharePoint. This helps other products such as Exchange and Lync Server 2013 to take advantage of this platform.

The process to delivering the content within SharePoint includes a Host Frame (SharePoint web page) and an iFrame which is where WOPI is displayed. The WOPI server will talk with SharePoint to get permissions based on the SharePoint file location.

Performance is pretty good. For the demo Nick mentioned that everything is be run on Hyper-V with Windows 8 and even with SharePoint 2013 being virtualized, the rendering was phenomenally quick.

Later on Corey did talk through some of the PoSH commandlets that are neede to implement WOPI. This process establishes a connection to SharePoint 2013 and bind this server to the WOPI server. There is no Service Application or installation on SharePoint associated.

New-OfficeWebAppsFarm -ExternalURL -InternalURL -AllowHTTP -EditingEnabled (to make sure that you can edit files)

New-OfficeWebAppsMachine – join machine to the farm

Connecting to SharePoint you can use these commands.

New-SPWOPIBinding – Done on SharePoint

New -SPWOPIZone – Done on SharePoint – need to designate the WOPI Zone http or https

Finally from a license perspective, reading content within this WOPI environment is free however when you want to edit, that will cost an Office CAL.

Ken took over to talk about the end user experience with WOPI. Some really cool changes have happened with the newer version.

  • Document Review
    • Editing
    • Change Tracking
    • Commenting included with PowerPoint and Word web apps
  • Multi-User Authoring (a.k.a Co-Authoring)
    • Excel Web App
    • OneNote Web App
    • Word Web App (new as of SharePoint 2013)
    • PowerPoint Web App (new as of SharePoint 2013)
  • Meetings
    • Presentation Broadcast
    • Lync Integration
    • Async Navigation – move forward and backward within the slides
    • Media Playback

    Also understand that all of this functional is based in the Browser.

I can’t want to test this out.

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