SharePoint App Model Architecture Overview

What is an App?

An app in SharePoint is a solution that connects to a SharePoint server/installation via client-side API’s (JSOM), CSOM or REST.  It can either be embedded into a SharePoint page or can be deployed as a seperate application that leverages OAUTH 2.0 protocol to authenticate and access SharePoint functionality.  They are managed through the “App Management Service” to manage, secure and license apps.  Since the interaction between the App and SharePoint is controlled through OData-compliant REST interface, remote .Net client API’s and OAuth security protocols, an app can be developed in any language with any development tool.  Apps can be developed either through Visual Studio 2012 or by using web-based development environment called Napa Office 365 Development Tools available free of charge.  Apps can be purchased from SharePoint store (a public app marketplace) where users can find free and premium apps that can be installed onto individual sites (or managed through the App catalog).

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SharePoint App Development – Patterns to adopt.

In SharePoint 2010 “sandboxed” solutions were the recommended way to develop custom solutions, for a simple reason that it was considered to be the best practice to deploy solutions in an external process to help isolate rogue applications and prevent any undue impact on the overall farm performance.  However, “sandboxed” solutions had its own trouble in terms of solving this issue and rather proved to be even more confusing for administrators and power users (who often end up managing the farm in an enterprise) which has led to Microsoft dropping the support for “sandboxed” solutions in future releases.

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