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Lists, libraries, sites and even calendars are now ‘Apps’. In an interesting move that will at one stroke empower end users, reduce load on overworked IT operations departments and add fuel to the already active after-market for SharePoint add-ons, Microsoft is introducing an Apps Store model with SharePoint 2013.

SharePoint 2013 Preview introduces a Cloud App Model that enables you to create apps. Apps for SharePoint are self-contained pieces of functionality that extend the capabilities of a SharePoint website. An app may include SharePoint components such as lists, workflows, and site pages, but it can also surface a remote web application and remote data in SharePoint. An app has few or no dependencies on any other software on the device or platform where it is installed, other than what is built into the platform. This characteristic enables apps to be installed simply and uninstalled cleanly. Apps have no custom code that runs on the SharePoint servers. Instead, all custom logic moves "up" to the cloud or "down" to client computers. Additionally, SharePoint 2013 Preview introduces an innovative delivery model for apps for SharePoint that includes components like the SharePoint Store and the App Catalog.

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This new app model will take you Microsoft into the New Online World – "The new app model embraces web standards: You can develop the user experience with HTML and JavaScript, and leverage SharePoint and other REST services right from the client using JavaScript and JSON. You can even create your own REST services and provide a web hosting platform of your choice to handle complex logic and integration of data and services. The new cloud app model also takes advantage of OAuth to allow for secure communication between SharePoint and remote hosted apps and services."

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Why ‘Apps’?

- Provide users with an easy discovery, purchase, and installation process.

- Provide administrators with the safest SharePoint extensions

- Provide you with the simplest marketing and sales system based on a Microsoft-provided online app store.

- Maximise your flexibility in developing future upgrades.

- Maximize your ability to leverage your existing non-SharePoint programming skills

- Integrate cloud-based resources in smoother and more flexible way

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- Enable your extension to have permissions that are distinct from the permissions of the user who is running the app

- Enable you to use cross-platform standards, including HTML, REST, OData, JavaScript, and OAuth.

- Enable you to leverage the SharePoint cross-domain JavaScript library to access SharePoint data. Alternatively, you can use a Microsoft-provided secure token service that is OAuth-compliant

- Can extend SharePoint Online websites as well as on-premises SharePoint websites.

Here’s an example of how a user would see apps:

- Need a Calendar on your site/page – Add the calendar app!

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Initial SharePoint 2013 app offerings are already being promoted by Microsoft and it will be interesting to see how this space grows with the full release of SharePoint 2013.

Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 6:53 AM | Back to top


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