Reader Level:

Introduction to Service Application Framework in SharePoint 2010

By Dipal Choksi on Nov 10, 2009
Here in this article, I provide you an 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. 

Dipal Choksi
Dipal Choksi

Dipal Choksi has over 10 years of industry experience in team-effort projects and also as an individual contributor. She has been working on the .Net platform since the beta releases of .Net 1.0.