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Build apps for SharePoint

apps for SharePoint

Discover what apps for SharePoint are—and how to create them using standards-based technologies like HTML5, JavaScript, and OAuth. Delve into the app development lifecycle. Learn where to start your apps, how to design and develop apps, and what to expect when you're ready to deploy an app for SharePoint.

Last modified: August 29, 2014

Applies to: apps for SharePoint | Office 365 | SharePoint Foundation 2013 | SharePoint Server 2013

In this article
What is an app for SharePoint in SharePoint 2013?
Start developing apps for SharePoint
Design apps for SharePoint
Develop apps for SharePoint
Publish apps for SharePoint
Send feedback
Additional resources

Code: Apps for SharePoint sample pack

In SharePoint 2013, you now have the ability to create apps for SharePoint. So what's an app? It's best described as a solution that carries a light footprint and uses standards-based technologies such as HTML5, JavaScript, and OAuth. Apps have a light footprint because they don't actually install on the host server, and that means they don't overload a SharePoint site with excessive API calls. Instead, you have a variety of hosting options for an app that gives you the flexibility to manage those services independent of the app package you add to your SharePoint site. See Overview of apps for SharePoint to learn more.

In this section of the docs, we outline all the concepts you need to know up front to build great apps. The docs are organized to step you through the app development lifecycle that we recommend—start, design, develop, and later, publish. Figure 1 shows you what that lifecycle looks like.

Figure 1. Lifecycle for app for SharePoint development

Start, design, develop, and publish apps

In Start, we tell you all the basics—about getting set up with Office 365 for developers, about the app model in general, and about discovering the technologies that you'll need to learn or those you might already know and can apply right away to your app for SharePoint development. We've provided links to deeper info, code samples, and how-to tasks to help you get started building great apps. If we succeeded with providing what you need to know in Start, you should have all the info you need to navigate the rest of the docs. If we didn't, we want to hear from you about where we can make the docs better! This set of docs is just a preview–we are constantly updating topics based on customer feedback and questions, offering new articles. See Send feedback for ways to reach us and participate in making the docs better!

Jump directly to Start

Let's say you have a killer idea for an app. In this section, we'll guide you through the design decisions you need to make and offer best practices to build your app. For example, what makes a good user interface? What are the app "shapes" available? When should I use one instead of another? What options do I have for data access? You get the picture.

Jump directly to Design

Develop is the meat of the docs. We've got in-depth overviews, how-to articles, and code snippets to help explain all the different things you can do in an app for SharePoint. You'll find articles about performing CRUD operations on lists, how to build REST queries and interact with the new APIs, how and when to configure OAuth for security, and how to bring the richness of SharePoint into your app. SharePoint has enterprise social features like activity feeds and user profiles, along with enterprise content management features, LOB interoperability features, and website design features that can really make your apps stand out. Learn more about them in Add SharePoint 2013 capabilities.

And, code is key, so take a look at the "Samples" menu in the Dev Center. It's a direct link to our code samples for apps. As soon as you've set up your development environment, you should check out a few of our samples. Take advantage of a community feature that lets you request a code sample if we don't have one you'd like to see. We take those requests, along with other doc feedback and use them in our continuous updates to the content and samples. So please, let us know if you'd like to see something!

Jump directly to Develop

So now you've built your app, and you're ready to share it. Publish teaches you how to make your app available to your users. You can do this by publishing the app to one of two places:

  • The public Office Store. Publish your app to the Office Store to make the app publically available, so that it can be acquired by users of any SharePoint deployment.

  • An internal organization app catalog. Publish your apps to an internal organization app catalog, hosted on your SharePoint deployment, to make them available to users with access to that SharePoint deployment.

If you decide to submit your app to the Office Store, take a look at Publish apps for Office and SharePoint to make them available to users. This section gives you instructions on how to use the Seller Dashboard to submit your apps for SharePoint or Office to the Office Store. It also includes our validation guidelines, which we use to validate apps for listing in the Office Store.

Jump directly to Publish

Each article in the SDK has a "was this topic useful?" link at the top, and there is a free-form comment section to help you better express the issue you have. Please use these to send us your comments; we monitor this daily and make changes based on your suggestions.

You can also amend each topic using the Community additions section at the bottom of each topic. We also monitor this daily and make changes based on your suggestions.

Do you have feedback on how we're doing? Another way to send feedback is via email. Contact us at docthis@microsoft.com.

If you have a support issue, the best way to get a quick response is to post to the apps for SharePoint forum on MSDN.

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