Even the best of friends grow apart. Sometimes your interests change and you slowly lose contact with each other. Other times the situation is more one-sided: One friend moves on to new things, leaving the other one wondering what happened.

Well guys, SharePoint has stopped answering our calls and doesn’t want to hang out with us any more. If you still think SharePoint’s your best buddy, read the signs for yourself:

You’re not invited to parties

Back in 2007 SharePoint was all “Woo! Yeah! Get yourself down here!” with farm solutions running free all over the house.

By 2010 things had started to change. SharePoint had started to hang out with it’s Power Users more. You could still come to most of the parties, but now SharePoint was asking you: “Please don’t do that thing you do. Y’know ‘code’. Unless it’s in the sandbox out back.”

Now with 2013’s app model it’s gotten even more awkward. SharePoint’s moved on from the Power Users and is in with the End User crowd: “Code? Yuk. Go do that in your own house.” The preferred method is for you to run code on your own servers, displaying the information via JavaScript.

You don’t have anything in common

When 2010 made it easier to publish code, it seemed like you were both enjoying yourselves. But SharePoint was growing restless. With it’s plans to go hosted, it started to make it more and more awkward to do things together.

At first it was making the Office 365 authentication painfully complex, leaving it to you to chase after them: “Oh, yeah. I changed my e-mail address to avoid spammers.”

Then suddenly 2013 just doesn’t support installing SharePoint for local development (see the Note): Exiling us back to the days of remote debugging: “Well, send me a letter or whatever.”

So where does that leave us?

It means if we want to stay friends with SharePoint we’re going to make all the effort and do it on their terms. They’d prefer it if they hosted nowadays, where we can code only JavaScript and HTML (if we ask nicely) and leave that old-fashioned server code thing at home.

But it’s OK because somewhere deep down SharePoint is still our friend… Right?


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Developers: SharePoint doesn’t like you anymore

| Development, SharePoint | 5 Comments
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  • Mark Jones

    I still think the App Model wont be mainstream until SharePoint vNext.. I don’t think the business case is there – to move from 2010. It’s also very costly to move so why would you ?

    I think orgs that do go straight for 2013 (for their “main” apps) will – on the whole – take on-premise. O365 I think is either for small businesses, schools and “pet projects” by big customers. Maybe I am wrong, are there any big corporates that have gone “all in” ?

  • Profile photo of Stuart Pegg
    Stuart Pegg
    Reply Report user

    It seems that Microsoft’s goal with 2013 is to push as many people to Office 365 as possible. The farm solution -> sandbox -> app model path shows a clear strategy to make hosting easier, presumably for them.

    More importantly: When big corporates are choosing between the two options, the hosted proposal has the neat little word “Cloud” in it, whereas the other contains horrifyingly expensive polysyllabic phrases like “Disaster Recovery”.

  • Profile photo of Marc D Anderson
    Marc D Anderson
    Reply Report user

    I just talked to a client today that is going “all in” with the app model in their SharePoint 2013 on premises instance. Part of the reasoning is to undo the harm they have inflicted upon themselves with managed code over the last 6 years.

    Within the same hour I did work for a client that uses SharePoint 2007 with little managed code.

    The number of variations will continue to expand with time passing and more versions of SharePoint offered by Microsoft.

    It’s a big playground. Stuart can hang out with his posse on one end of it, I can hang with mine, and app kids can have their fun, too. There’s work of all sorts to be done.


  • Profile photo of Stuart Pegg
    Stuart Pegg
    Reply Report user

    It’s true, it’s a big (but not limitless nor guaranteed) playground.

    I guess the underlying cause of my little rant is that the balance has been very much shifted away from custom development. No doubt in part because in the past many things were coded that should have been configured instead.

    In attempting to rebalance away from unnecessary development they may have handicapped SharePoint’s flexibility; one of its key selling points.

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