SharePoint 2013’s APIs, Office 365 API Tools and Development Options

Posted by Errin O'Connor on May, 08, 2015 04:05

SharePoint 2013’s APIs enable apps, as well as other elements, to connect and integrate with SharePoint’s core features. The APIs, as depicted in the image below, provide apps the capability to view content or integrate with a workflow or even perform searches.

For example, if you were developing an app for a business intelligence initiative, SharePoint 2013’s APIs would enable your app to connect to SharePoint’s BCS and other elements in a secure manner to access specific data.

SharePoint 2013 APIs can really initially be put into three major “buckets” to help better understand their overall capabilities:

  • Server-side object model
  • Client-side object model

Server Object Model in SharePoint 2013

The server object model in SharePoint 2013 is the largest API set, and it covers all features and functionality both from an administrative perspective and for an end user.

The server object model’s core assembly is Microsoft.SharePoint.dll, which is installed in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC). The table below from EPC Group details the server object model’s most utilized classes.

The server object model in SharePoint 2013, for example, can be utilized to create serverside utility application or can even be used to create Timer Job services to run in the background.

It is extremely useful in modifying list items, performing searches, modifying and/or manipulating permissions, or assisting with business continuity elements with backup and restore.

I recommend reviewing a very detailed “business case” example available on MSDN on how the server object model can be utilized from an administrative perspective because this may help to identify similar tasks within your organization’s environment.

Client-Side Object Model (CSOM)

The client-side object model (CSOM) updates, retrieves, and manages data in SharePoint 2013, and it is available in several different forms to support many of SharePoint 2013’s core capabilities, as depicted in the image below.

The CSOM provides for:

  • NET Framework redistributable assemblies
  • Office 365 API Tools
  • JavaScript library

(An overview of underlying interactions in CSOM within SharePoint 2013) 

  • Silverlight redistributable assemblies
  • Windows Phone assemblies

EPC Group’s Nationally Recognized Practice Areas

EPC Group leading SharePointOffice 365, Infrastructure Design and Business Intelligence Practice areas continue to lead the way in providing our clients with the most up-to-date and relevant information that is tailored to their individual business and functional needs.

Additional “From the Consulting Trenches” strategies and methodologies are covered in EPC Group’s new book, “SharePoint 2013 Field Guide: Advice from the Consulting Trenches” covering not only SharePoint 2013, Office 365 and SharePoint Online but Information Management, ECMRM and overall compliance strategies in this ever changing world of “Hybrid IT.”

Errin O'Connor
About the Author

Errin O'Connor

With over 25 years of experience in Information Technology and Management Consulting, Errin O’Connor has led hundreds of large-scale enterprise implementations from Business Intelligence, Power BI, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, IT Security, Azure and Hybrid Cloud efforts for over 165 Fortune 500 companies.

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