Office 365 APIs Push Developers Further Into Externally Hosted Client Side Application Models

As posted previously in my article Guidelines for Customization in SharePoint 2013, Microsoft is pushing custom code development off the SharePoint platform and providing new ways for developers to provide customizations both as SharePoint embedded “apps” (similar to what used to be called Web Parts) as well as completely external applications that use Office 365 as a backend content repository.

A figure that shows the O365 APIs Preview platform

For those still working with SharePoint 2007/2010 and even SharePoint 2013 on premise, this is a fundamental shift to the farm deployed, server side code solutions or even the sandbox deployed solutions that were the model in previous versions of SharePoint.

In the past few weeks, there have been a few new developer tools that have been published that push this new development model even further:

If your organization is still investing in Web Parts, WSPs, Server Side Object Model, etc. from the SharePoint 2010 days or you are maintaining legacy code that was built for SharePoint 2003, 2007 or 2010 be prepared for a new paradigm and an opportunity to redesign these components as you transition to Office 365 – the world has changed to a Javascript, client-side, HTML 5, JSON, REST model and Office 365 is embracing this model heavily in all the latest API patterns and practices.