Apps for SharePoint – The Complete Guide

Apps for SharePoint are very easy to use and lightweight web-applications that integrate popular technologies to extend the capabilities of a SharePoint site. They are very powerful when added to a website and they help to add more functionality to a SharePoint site. When used properly SharePoint apps can provide a new method to deliver some specific information or complex functionality to a SharePoint website.

Websites owners and SharePoint sites administrators can download apps from a public SharePoint store like Microsoft SharePoint official site or from their organization internal app catalog. Downloaded apps can be installed on SharePoint sites since they are easy to use and stand alone to solve a specific business need.

SharePoint apps do not replace SharePoint features which customize and enhance SharePoint websites. Unlike solutions and features of a SharePoint that require frequent installation, the apps stand alone and webmaster only need to add them once in a while. All of the apps  have a very simple life-cycle, they can be upgraded, installed and uninstalled by website owners.

Apps for SharePoint – The Complete Guide

Why You Should Build Apps 

There are many reasons why should consider building an app for your SharePoint site

1. SharePoint apps use a familiar programming model, popular web technologies and languages.
2. They offer multiple options for hosting
3. They integrate very well with all office apps.
4. They let you reach your site users through the app catalog and office store.
5. Very flexible and they contain a familiar web experience for web programmers.

If you can build any web application, you can also easily create an app for SharePoint sites. All SharePoint apps have a similar development process like that of developing mobile apps, computers, tablets and android apps. When designing SharePoint apps you can use familiar programming languages such as PHP, JavaScript, HTML and .NET to create useful SharePoint apps.

Hosting Options for SharePoint Apps

The SharePoint app model offers several multiple hosting options for your apps. You can host your app on your SharePoint, cloud or on your own web stack. Depending on the hosting option that you choose, an app can contain different elements and take the advantage of different components. In order for users to install SharePoint apps on your site you must configure the hosting environment to support them.

Benefits and Uses of SharePoint Apps

Since SharePoint apps are very easy to develop, your own organization can also develop it’s own apps without necessarily requesting help from a skilled web programmer. When you develop an app, you can make it available for download at the SharePoint store and also in your app catalog, so that your SharePoint user can know the approved apps contained in your environment.

SharePoint apps allow webmasters and users to add quick functionality to their websites without causing any interruption or interventions. Unlike features, templates and solutions of a SharePoint site that must be deployed, webmasters can add SharePoint apps to a site or completely remove them. Since apps for SharePoint contain an isolated URL, they do not interact with the rest of your website content or put your site environment to cross site scripting risks.

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Marissa Hart is the Lead Author & Editor ShareMe. ShareMe is a blog focused on SharePoint Online. SharePoint Online delivers the powerful features of SharePoint without the associated overhead of managing the infrastructure.