SharePoint Add-ins (SharePoint App) - Part One

First of all, Microsoft has changed the name “app for SharePoint” to “SharePoint Add-ins”.


First important point in this series to understand is Tenancy.


A SharePoint Tenancy is a set of site collections. These sets of site collections are administrated as a unit.
  1. SharePoint Tenancy in Office 365: When any organization / company purchase licenses of Office 365 for SharePoint sites (SharePoint online) Office 365 creates the new tenancy. The users who access the tenancy are called as Tenants.

    When new tenancy is created in Office 365, for SharePoint an administrative site collection is created. This site collection is accessible to the SharePoint online administrators (also called Tenant administrator).

    This SharePoint Admin site is similar to Central Admin application in SharePoint on premises as,

    Figure 1: SharePoint Admin Center in Office 365

    In left side there is settings for SharePoint features like InfoPath, bcs, apps etc.

  2. SharePoint Tenancy in On Premises: Concept of Tenancy is introduced in SharePoint 2010. In On premises, farm level default tenancy is created in background. This farm wide tenancy enables the installations of SharePoint apps in on-premises farm since apps are always installed and run within the context of tenancy.

Basics of SharePoint Add-ins

  1. SharePoint Add-ins are stand-alone components implemented to solve specific requirements and can be added on multiple sites.

  2. SharePoint Add-in code never runs in SharePoint. All custom code is either executed in client machine or in cloud or in another server depending upon which type of SharePoint Add-ins we are implementing.

  3. SharePoint Add-in code is authenticated and runs under separate identity. I’ll explain in more details in upcoming articles

  4. We developers need to take decision depending on the scenario / requirement which type of Add-ins we need to develop

  5. In SharePoint 2013 everything is Add-ins/App means features in SharePoint like List, Libraries etc.

  6. Following are the few examples of SharePoint Add-ins

    a. Site Creation Wizard - Approval mechanism : Employees of the company/organization can request the creation of sites/workspaces and request will be sent to specific group of peoples to approve.

    b. Feedback App: Where end users of site can give the feedback to site administrators.

  7. App Catlog

    a. Apps are stored in specific sites called App Catalog. Once App catalog site is created, we can use it to upload the apps which we developed so that those apps will be available for the users to install those apps.

    b. In On premises environment, App-catalog site is specific to web application. There is only one App catalog site per web application

    c. In Office 365/ SharePoint online, App catalog site is created at tenancy level.

Types of SharePoint Add-ins

  1. SharePoint hosted
  2. Provider hosted

I’ll conclude here, in the next upcoming articles we will see more details, starting with the development of each type of Add-in, various development approaches for each type of Add-in, authentication and authorization for Add-ins and so on.


  1. SharePoint Add-ins