Scrutinizing SharePoint 2013 Application Development Models

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sharepoint 2013The new version of Microsoft’s SharePoint document management platform is the latest SharePoint 2013 App. Well, you might be quite familiar with the recent gossips about this state-of-the-art application development model included in the Microsoft’s release list.

A Brief Introduction to SharePoint Apps

Well, Microsoft is in big plans of moving their discipline to a “Software-as-a-Service” model. It is unpredictable and more so, totally depending on the market conditions as to how quick will Microsoft be able to reach the sky. From what is clearly visible, Microsoft is in process of developing a model which allows its users instant access to SharePoint with a monthly subscription fee. The features like infrastructure, maintenance and upgrades is something that many enterprises have been looking up to. And, talking about SharePoint features, Variation was first introduced in SharePoint 2007. Over a period of time, Microsoft got the opportunity to understand what customers what and expect. Bearing this in mind, the Variations of SharePoint 2013 were developed. This is something that allows creating, translating and managing domain-specific content for various publishing sites on the Internet and Intranet.

Well, who doesn’t want a feature that allows him to build his own solutions minus affecting the already hosted model? This gave rise to a model called SharePoint App. The greatest feature of this App is it doesn’t require a SharePoint server side code.
Really? No Server Side Code?

Yes! You heard it right! This is fundamentally a solution, which includes HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Silverlight XAP files, images, and others. So, ‘how do you develop a useful App without server side code in SharePoint?’

Three SharePoint 2013 App Development Models

You obviously want to know about the possibilities of developing an app minus the server side code. But let us first discuss about the SharePoint App’s 3 development models.

  • SharePoint-hosted
  • Azure Web App
  • Self-Hosted

SharePoint-Hosted App

This app is created solely of inactive files on your instance of SharePoint. Once the app is added to your site, The files in your app are distributed by SharePoint to a specially alloted domain specially in the space where your app resides. When your app is accessed bys a user, It will redirect the user to that page of the App domain from where they can use your App. And more importantly, you will not require any server side code in this model.

Azure Web App

To understand basics of this app, you first need to go through a little bit of it’s history. It is believed that this app is developed to be operated from SharePoint environment hosted by Microsoft. Naturally, its prime audience will be those software- vendors who are dealing with online customers of SharePoint.

Now, this app, basically can be hosted outside of SharePoint and can also run custom code. Even so, once this app is added to a user’s SharePoint instance, he will be given an option of provisioned to Azure. If the user opts for the same, then the Azure instance will be billed to their SharePoint Online account. This app gives you all the capable and flexible server-side code minus the cost associated for hosting.

Self-Hosted App

The third model is a self-hosted app, where the files for the application live on an external server. The users who use your app are redirected to a page on this external server, the place where your app lives. This model allows you to run server-side code; however, it needs to be run on the external server.

There is one advantage, which I am sure all will love. Your external server need not be a Windows server. The process that is followed by SharePoint is simple redirection to another web page. This means, you can use any operating system and app server for fulfilling web requests. One more advantage of this model is that it allows controlled upgrades.

Compatibility of SharePoint 2010 Appli2013/03/scrutinizing-sharepoint-2013-application-development-models/cations With SharePoint 2013

In spite of the advantages each of this model has, you might still have a question – Will the apps of SharePoint 2010 work in SharePoint 2013? Yes is the answer to your valuable question. ‘N’ number of enterprises have invested handsomely in certain custom apps for SharePoint. So, this can be of utmost concern to such organizations. The challenge faced by Microsoft, in case the former app doesn’t work in the latter, is the sales of SharePoint 2013.

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Ellis – Digital Marketing Manager of Viteb – leading web & mobile application development company Expert in Microsoft Development, SharePoint Application Development, SharePoint Integration and providing other Enterprise solutions.

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