Introduction to Service Application Framework in SharePoint 2010

What is Service Application Framework?

  • Replacement for the Shared Services Provider  in MOSS 2007
  • API provided by backend application servers and consumed by front-end application servers.
  • Used for developing middle-tier applications that are hosted in SharePoint and provide data and resources to other SharePoint features
  • Enables services to be shared between computers on a server farm
  • Load balance and manage services
  • Out of the box - 20 built in services
  • Certain objects automatically backed up and restored
  • Ideal for deploying, managing and discovering WCF service clients and endpoints.
  • Windows Powershell support
  • Timer job infrastructure available at Service-scope
  • Use of SharePoint configuration store and support for storing data in SharePoint managed custom database is available.
Load Balancing
  • Use Round robbing load balancing
  • Service application proxy method invocations must be routed thru the front end web server to an appropriate app server by using a load balancing tool.
  • Calls between frontend and app servers to require separate external load balancer than the load balancing for front-end web servers
  • SPRoundRobinServiceLoadBalancer can be enhanced or replaced by third party
Management and Administration
  • Services plug their management UI into SharePoint Service Management page
  • Common admin tools such as upgrade, backup, restore and account management
  • Common UI to manage, start, stop, group, associate, federate and backup SharePoint services.
  • Can define specialized admin roles and can be delegated to users who are not farm admins
  • Security trimmed
  • Claims-based identity model
Example - Search service


The Service Application Framework allows developers to provide load balanced middle-tier resources that can be managed through SharePoint and leverage the full power of SharePoint 2010.

NOTE: These notes are based on the Microsoft documentation on SharePoint 2010 and is subject to change.