Advantages and Disadvantages of SharePoint Apps

In this article I would like to explain the advantages and disadvantages of SharePoint apps.

SharePoint Apps overview

SharePoint 2013 introduced the apps as in the following:

  • The apps for SharePoint provides a new method to deliver specific information or functionality to a SharePoint site.
  • SharePoint 2013 introduces the “Cloud app model”that enables you to create apps.
  • Microsoft will host and control a public SharePoint Store, where developers will be able to publish and sell their custom apps for SharePoint.
  • SharePoint apps are self-contained functionality that extend the capabilities of SharePoint web application.
  • Apps are essentially web applications that runs “outside” of a SharePoint host web.
  • It’s an easy to use, stand-alone app that solves a specific end-user or business needs.
  • We can use any language for creating the apps, such as HTML, PHP, .NET and web development tool and so on.
  • By using “NAPA” we can create a SharePoint apps.
  • We can use the Client Object Model (CSOM) to talk to SharePoint
    JavaScript for Asynchronous
    .NET for Synchronous

Example: we can create the custom branding and themes for SharePoint 2013 and share them with the other users with the Office market place.

Types of apps

  • SharePoint "On-premise" hosted apps: An app is hosted entirely internally on a locally installed SharePoint environment.
  • Remote apps hosted by Azure: Apps are hosted in Microsoft's developer cloud service Azure.
  • Provider hosted apps: Apps can be hosted anywhere, and written in nearly any language.

Advantages of apps

  • Various Hosted options.
  • Multiple development platforms supported for creating apps
  • Advantage is that the code is out of SharePoint
  • SharePoint apps are capable enough to replace the most farm and sandbox solutions. Apps are mainly providing the more advantages for:

    Third-party app Developers

Advantages to Users

  • Users can easily add the new functionality to the SharePoint System
  • More apps are available in the SharePoint App Store as compared with sandboxed solutions
  • Upgrade supports are available to users
  • Users can get the apps through the app catalog (within the organization) and App Store (outside organization).
  • Apps provides the easiest installation to the users
  • Users can also be reassured by the fact that all apps in the App Store have been approved by Microsoft to meet coding, interface and integrity standards
  • The end-user process of installing is very simple

Advantages to Administrators

  • Reduction of server outages and downtown
  • Apps are executed outside the environment
  • Apps are very less load and safer compared to the sandboxed solutions
  • The single biggest advantage for administrators of SharePoint systems is control
  • Admins can monitor apps

Advantages to Third parties

  • The central store means a more effective use can be made of any marketing and advertising efforts
  • The technical aspects of the app model also make life easier for many developers, allowing them to write apps in various languages
  • Common web standards of HTML, JavaScript, CSS can be used to develop apps
  • Visual Studio 2012 supports app project templates
  • Microsoft also operates a revenue sharing model for the App Store

Disadvantages of apps

  • The Apps infrastructure is very clunky and in some cases unrealistic to implement
  • Apps are very primitive and rudimentary
  • A corporate catalog is paid or needs to be purchased
  • Apps will need to rely heavily on JavaScript and asynchronous REST API calls/client OM calls to interact with the associated SharePoint context
  • The new App model brings many more cross-server communications with it. Will this impact the performance?


Apps for SharePoint overview


In this article we have explored the advantages and drawbacks of apps in SharePoint 2013.

Happy learning.