Project Siena: Enabling Business Users to Create Mobile Apps for the Enterprise

The proliferation of mobile devices presents a great opportunity for the enterprise. App experiences that simply weren’t possible before are appearing with more and more regularity. For example:

  • Apps to support conversations, where a customer can reach over and touch the employee’s screen, make changes and ultimately own the solution
  • Apps with the smarts to help users make on-the-spot decisions by offering choices first and allowing trade-offs later
  • Apps for tasks that involve capturing real world information through photos, videos and voice

What has emerged is a new, purpose-specific type of app. These are apps rich in media, distinctive in their look (generic looks simply won’t cut it), simple to use, yet loaded with custom intelligence and connected to high-value data. To fully unlock the value of mobile devices for the enterprise, millions and millions of these purpose-specific apps will need to be authored in the coming years. To accomplish this, we must enable a broader class of people to author these apps.

Project Siena
Today, I’m excited to announce the availability of the beta release of Project Siena (code name). Project Siena is for business experts, business analysts, consultants and other business users with the imagination to conceive an app for today’s mobile devices. Now, using little more than PowerPoint- and Excel-level skills, they can create a whole new category of powerful apps, often in a matter of minutes. These are apps for the device-first and cloud-connected world, with the potential to transform today’s business processes and customer interactions.

Siena provides a familiar and easy document editing experience: put your information on the canvas, compose and style it, and add custom logic and interactivity using the power of Excel expressions. The result is an immediately usable app with all the rich information, differentiated looks and purpose-specific intelligence expected of modern Windows apps.

Siena works well with corporate and web data: SharePoint lists, Excel and Azure tables, RSS feeds and REST services. The authored apps are IT-friendly. Since the output is just HTML/JavaScript, developers can also open up and extend them in their favorite HTML/JavaScript programming tools, if needed.

I'm excited about the potential for Project Siena to enable broad classes of business people to build mobile applications for the enterprise. I encourage you to install Project Siena, watch one of the how-to videos on, and then build your own apps.


S. Somasegar, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft