SharePoint App Model : Rest in peace

Posted on 12/22/2014 @ 3:48 AM in #SharePoint by | Feedback | 8048 views

O ye SharePoint App Model, we barely knew ye!

Cover it up as much as you wish in crafty marketing, confusing documentation, and carefully chosen words, let me break the news to you plain and clear and simple – The SharePoint App model that was released with much pomp and glamour with SharePoint 2013, is pretty much dead. Don’t bother investing in it.

Shocked? Why so? Here is why,

  1. The new way forward is Office 365 APIs – which is entirely different from the App Model. The App model required you to register apps in tenancies/sites etc, used Azure ACS underneath. Office 365 APIs are protected by Azure AD, and are frankly better (albeit very limited in what they do currently, but that will hopefully improve).
  2. The Office 365 APIs as you may have guessed, don’t work with on-prem SharePoint (duh!).
  3. The pure on-prem SharePoint App Model using S2S trust has significant issues which are not being addressed, and I have no hope they will be addressed. Everyone I know on-prem is still writing WSPs. I know of a few projects that tried the app model, and got frustrated and dropped it.
  4. The greatly enhanced CSOM and REST APIs in SharePoint 2013 – will be eventually transported over to Office 365 APIs, see this tweet from the great Chaks. CSOM and REST are a very valuable addition in SP2013. I especially like REST API over CSOM.

So all that noise about SharePoint hosted apps, Provider Hosted apps, Autohosted apps etc, client webpart, etc. etc. etc. .. the list is endless. You know what? Wasted time!

So was the Apps model .. Sandbox solutions v2? I wouldn’t go that far. Here is why?

  1. The real value here was REST and CSOM – those will continue to live.
  2. The concept of “custom code off of the server” and OAuth2 is the king – will continue to live.

If anything, I feel Microsoft overestimated + poorly executed the marketplace, and they greatly underestimated the value of custom applications, not apps, that wish to use services offered by platforms such as SharePoint and others, as merely a service. We don’t have to stuff everything inside SharePoint, and really when we did, we ended up doing so many surgeries on SharePoint that we turned it into a Michael Jackson.

I like the Office 365 APIs approach backed by Azure AD. I just wished this was RTM’ed in late 2012, and not the whole “Apps model” detour we took for 3 years.

And before I hit “publish” on this – if anyone says Office 365 APIs consuming applications are also apps – read again what i said about “carefully chosen words and confusing documentation”. You bloody well now what I mean when I say “the apps model” .. the AppRegNew.aspx stuff ...

Sound off but keep it civil:

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