SharePoint 2013 Development: Solutions vs. Apps
Execution of Code: The SharePoint apps run completely outside the SharePoint server. Further, the custom code is executed on a non-SharePoint server or the client browser. However, a business has options to pick from three types of apps, i.e., SharePoint-hosted, provider-hosted and auto-hosted. The SharePoint –hosted apps can run within the framework without any external dependencies. But the provider-hosted apps are designed with a single or multiple SharePoint components. Similar to the provider-hosted apps, the auto-hosted apps are also designed with external business logic and data storage. When these apps package is installed, a user can avail both website and database.
Enhanced Stability and Capability: As the apps run outside SharePoint server, these are effective in providing enhanced stability, performance and compatibility. A business can easily switch to a more advanced version of SharePoint as the apps are testing platform independent. At the same time, the apps can communicate with SharePoint through CSOM, ODATA and REST API. Microsoft has optimized these features to enable developers to build custom SharePoint apps without using the server-side API.
Easy to Deploy and Reuse: Microsoft has further made it easier and simpler for developers to install and upgrade the SharePoint apps. The simple configuration will further encourage many developers to switch to Sharepoint application development. At the same time, the apps can also be reused, packaged and marketed through a Public Marketplace or Corporate. The options make it easier for end-users to buy apps that can run on-premise and cloud environments, while complementing their specific needs.
Support for Server-Side Code: Unlike SharePoint solutions, the apps do not support server-side code. So the programmers have to build a solution to implement a new functionality by writing server-side code. Further, the code cannot be stored on the SharePoint farm as part of the app. The server-side code needs to be hosted on premises or in the cloud. On the other hand, the SharePoint app enables enterprises to promote a custom functionality by targeting relevant users. That is why; the solutions will be still used as part of robust SharePoint apps.
Custom Functionality: SharePoint allows enterprises to manage a variety of documents and content store on their intranet and on the web. The customized SharePoint solutions are used widely by businesses to manage their online and offline content. But Microsoft recommends enterprises to build apps to create a custom functionality as a sandboxed solution in SharePoint 2010. Further, the apps can also be used in SharePoint Online. On the other hand, the SharePoint solutions will be effective only in local and on-premise environments.
Adding User-Centric Functionality to SharePoint: In comparison to SharePoint solutions, the apps are more effective in adding user-centric functionality to SharePoint. The apps can also be used as a medium to implement functionalities according to the specific needs of an enterprise. These custom-functionalities further extend the internal functionality like Event Handler or Timer Job of SharePoint solutions. Also, the apps are effective in creating custom-functionality to make SharePoint more user-friendly.
As a business has option to choose from SharePoint apps and solutions, it is always important to do a cost-benefit analysis. A company can further determine its exact needs before comparing these two options. However, an enterprise can always switch to SharePoint apps to avail a number of advantages, while meeting the latest trends technology.
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