Chapter 4

Introducing SharePoint Online

What’s in This Chapter:

  • What is SharePoint Online?
  • A brief technical overview of SharePoint Online
  • Comparing SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-premises
  • Developing for SharePoint Online

A discussion of a locally installable product such as SharePoint may seem out of place in a book on programming for the cloud. SharePoint has, after all, historically been an application that a company installed in its datacenter and managed itself. True, there have been various incarnations of hosted SharePoint, ranging from Microsoft’s massive Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS) instance to many smaller hosting or service companies providing instances of shared SharePoint. However, prior to the 2010 release, these shared instances have been largely static out-of-the-box installations with little support for custom development.

With the 2010 release of SharePoint, Microsoft changed this game entirely. One of the primary drivers for the changes introduced with SharePoint 2010 was a need for large scale multitenancy, that is, multiple companies coexisting within a single SharePoint farm. Another driver was support for enhanced options for customization via server-side code without breaking security or impacting performance across tenants.

This chapter provides an overview of SharePoint Online, mostly from a developer’s perspective, contrasting it with SharePoint on-premises. The goal is to help you to understand what is and is not possible in SharePoint ...

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