SharePoint Apps Overview

In this article I would like to provide an overview of SharePoint Apps.

  1. SharePoint Apps is a standalone and self-contained item.
  2. The functionalities, features and capabilities of a SharePoint site are extended.
  3. SharePoint Apps are easy for users to use, install, manage, upgrade, and remove.
  4. SharePoint Apps are allowed (have permissions) to get back into SharePoint via OAuth and also communicate with SharePoint via REST/CSOM.
  5. Easier to upgrade to future SharePoint, because apps are running as a client-side service.
  6. Multile flavors of SharePoint apps.

SharePoint hosted

  • It contains server-side components.
  • Using HTML, JavaScript and CSS.
  • Its needs (libraries, workflows, content, and so on) are all within the SharePoint environment for deploying.

Provider hosted

  • Provider hosted contains server-side components.
  • Components that contains ASP.Net application.
  • A separate environment is needed for hosting them (non-SharePoint IIS server or virtual machine running in Azure's Infrastructure as a Service).

Auto hosted

  • Auto hosted is exclusive to Office 365 and SharePoint online services.
  • They also contain server-side components.
  • The service automatically turns up the server-side elements in an embedded Azure layer during deployment of the application.

7. App Types

Full Page App

  • It covers the entire page UI.
  • Implements new scenarios like ticketing system.

App Part

  • Surfaces cover an iframe in a page.
  • It’s like web parts (an example is Image Slider)

Extension App

  • Extends item menu actions.
  • Similar to SharePoint 2010 (an example is print document menu)

8. Ways to get apps

  1. SharePoint Store
  2. Corporate App Store
  3. Custom Deployment

9. Apps Boundaries

  • Server-side component in the SharePoint side is not supported.
  • Cannot access server-side object model.
  • Cannot change SharePoint standard definitions (like list and site definitions).
  • Some SharePoint components and services are not supported.
  • Custom code only execute.

10. Scopes

  • Site Scope-apps is installed and launched within the same scope in a SharePoint site.
  • Tenancy Scope requires an apps catalog. Once it’s installed users from multiple sites are connected together.

11. To scale the application without affecting a SharePoint environment.
12. Templates from Visual Studio 2012 are fully supported.



In this article, we explored a SharePoint Apps overview at a high level.