SharePoint intranets are evolving. One of the biggest trends is moving intranets from on-premise servers to the cloud. SharePoint Online is included in Office 365, but when building an intranet, there is more to consider than what SharePoint alone can offer. There are excellent applications outside SharePoint like Yammer, Microsoft Stream, and Delve that you can use when building your intranet.
For developers, the biggest recent change is the way to perform customizations. Transformation from using full trust code to the SharePoint Add-in model has made coding SharePoint fun again. And, SharePoint isn’t as affected by Office 365 platform updates due to using client-side code, REST APIs, and remote provisioning from Azure.
All SharePoint Add-ins are self-contained pieces of functionality that you write to extend the capabilities of SharePoint sites to solve well-defined business problems. Add-ins don’t have custom code that runs on the SharePoint servers. Instead, all custom logic moves “up” to the cloud, or “down” to client computers, or “over” to an on-premise server that is outside the SharePoint farm or SharePoint Online subscription. Keeping custom code off SharePoint servers provides reassurance to SharePoint administrators that the add-in can’t harm their servers or reduce the performance of their SharePoint Online sites.
Business logic in a SharePoint Add-in can access SharePoint data through one of the several client APIs included in SharePoint. Which API you use for your add-in depends on certain other design decisions you make. Almost all major types of SharePoint components can be part of a SharePoint Add-in, including pages, lists, workflows, custom content types, list templates, Web Parts, and more. The SharePoint websites where SharePoint Add-ins are installed, and from which users launch them, are called host webs. The SharePoint components, however, are generally in a special child web of the host web called the add-in web.
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