Design Tips for SharePoint 2013 Apps on Tablets and Subnotebooks

If you’ve ever thought about doing a startup you are probably familiar with the idea of the minimal viable product. For Instant Legal Practice and Instant Consulting Practice we decided that this meant focusing on a great experience within Office 365 and Microsoft Office and on some sophisticated backend designs that make it possible for us to be nimble and continuously improve the products. What we want to know is…

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Custom Navigation in App Webs

Of the things that I most dislike about app webs is the lack of support for navigation. There is no provision for a top link bar or quick launch and if you try to add items to the web’s Navigation collection you will get an error. Fortunately it is easy to create these menus with a little JavaScript. Don’t Touch the Master Page Like most folks in SharePoint land we…

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Sandbox Solutions – Not Completely Dead

Recently Richard diZerega (whose blog you should be reading) wrote a post called SharePoint Sandbox isn’t Dead…UserCode is wherein he explained that the use of sandbox solutions for declarative provisioning via CAML with features is not deprecated but that the use of procedural code within the sandbox user code host is deprecated. This got some folks talking because none of the official Microsoft docs make this clear. Today I was…

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Host Web versus App Web Case Study – Clients

App Web versus Host Web in Office 365 Apps Chris O’Brien and I have had a running conversation about the merits of using the host web versus the app web as the container for app functionality. If you’d like to catch up on the conversation, it has gone thusly so far: Me: Building Traditional SharePoint Collaboration Solutions with the App Model Chris: Working with data in the app web, and…

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Screen Scraping – the Last Best Option

I have a confession to make. I am a people pleaser. I really want people to like the software I write and I agonize over the possibility that someone somewhere is muttering obscenities as they use something I wrote. When I write a blog post I compulsively look at analytics stats for the next couple of days wondering ‘did they like it?’ ‘how long did people spend reading it?’ ‘how…

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Cross Domain Communication in SharePoint 2013 Apps

I believe that the most common types of apps people will build will be either provider-hosted or hybrid apps that include important server-side components. These server side components will manipulate content inside of SharePoint based on actions performed in the browser and on-demand based on scheduled jobs or in response to input from other parts of the overall system. How this communication takes place and the overall architecture is of…

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Using the Web and Folder Properties Collections with CSOM (2013)

One annoying thing about CSOM in SharePoint 2010 is that there is no way to add persisted items to Web.AllProperties or Folder.Properties. This deficiency is fixed in 2013 but the way it works is not obvious because if you look at the objects (and you are me) you’d guess that the way to set a property is to manipulate the PropertyValues.FieldValues collection and you’d be wrong! Here is a working…

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SharePoint 2013 App Web versus Host Web Redux

One thing I do not like about apps as they exist today is the reduced functionality of app webs compared to a normal web, e.g. a team site. To review, an app web is created as part of a SharePoint-hosted app and as part of hybrid provider-hosted app. I wrote about my complaints in more depth here: Building Traditional SharePoint Collaboration Solutions with the App Model. In that post I…

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An Architecture for Provider SharePoint 2013 Hosted Apps on Azure

For the past several months I’ve been working on a complex app and last month I wrote a post called The SharePoint 2013 App Model is better than Farm Solutions based on my experiences. This post led to much discussion online, in person, and via email. These conversations have made it clear to me that if I want to continue blogging about app architecture I need to provide more detail…

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