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Beginning SharePoint 2013 Development by Donovan Follette, Chris Johnson, Steve Fox

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WOPI AND THE NEW OFFICE WEB APPS SERVER

With SharePoint 2013 Microsoft took a new architectural approach with the Office Web Apps and decoupled the service from SharePoint. With SharePoint 2010 each SharePoint server in the farm had an instance of the Office Web Apps running to serve up documents for viewing in the browser. But with this release, Microsoft separated the Office Web Apps into its own server product. Now, as a standalone service (server farm capable) the Office Web Apps server can provide the singular function of serving up documents to be viewed in the browser simply by receiving the URL for a specific document. The viewing request, however, can come from any host server: SharePoint, Lync, Exchange or any other server that is designed to use the Office Web Apps’ REST-based WOPI (Web application Open Platform Interface) API. What matters to the Office Web Apps server is simply whether or not it can access the document source location that is passed to it; if it can, it renders the document in the viewer. All traffic between the host and the Office Web Apps server is over the standard HTTP/HTTPS ports.

For the developer, your SharePoint on-premises environment will no doubt have been configured to use the Office Web Apps server, and those developing against Office 365 SharePoint Online will have this configuration as a part of their developer site. Because of this, you can take advantage of WOPI in your SharePoint applications, for instance if you want to have an Excel, ...

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