SharePoint development overview

SharePoint is a development platform for SharePoint Add-ins and farm solutions. Get acquainted with the capabilities and features of SharePoint to start your development.

Introducing the SharePoint development platform

SharePoint is a versatile development platform for building add-ins and solutions with varying scopes that address a wide range of needs. The SharePoint developer documentation guides you through the features, technologies, capabilities, and models for development that distinguish SharePoint as a development platform. Our developer documentation walks you through the essentials of writing your first add-in, getting started working with the platform, and creating, using and interacting with SharePoint resources in your own code. We provide in-depth articles about SharePoint concepts, step-by-step how-to task guidance, and code samples to help you begin building SharePoint Add-ins and SharePoint solutions quickly and easily.

What kinds of development can you do with SharePoint?

Developers familiar with SharePoint know they can build server-side farm solutions that extend core SharePoint capabilities. SharePoint offers a new flexible development model—you can use SharePoint to create SharePoint Add-ins that take advantage of standard web technologies, such as JavaScript, OAuth, and OData. And SharePoint provides you with functionality to interact with SharePoint resources and a wide range of hosting options. The new SharePoint Add-in development model gives you the ability to build add-ins that take advantage of SharePoint capabilities and that run in the cloud instead of on your SharePoint farm. This flexible development model, along with the integration of standard web technologies, makes SharePoint development work more like other kinds of web development that you may already be doing.

For SharePoint Add-ins development

The following article can help you get acquainted with SharePoint Add-ins and determine whether they are a good option for you.

For SharePoint solutions and add-ins for mobility features development

If you want to develop farm solutions, you can take advantage of many new capabilities, including features for social applications, integration with remote data stores (Business Connectivity Services), and mobile development. Start with our guidance in What's new for developers in SharePoint.

The following sections describe how to create mobile solutions for SharePoint.

The following sections provide information about SharePoint features that are available for farm solutions.

Set up your development environment and start developing

For SharePoint solutions and add-ins for mobility features development

Table 1 shows the resources for setting up a development environment and beginning to take advantage of the new capabilities for building farm solutions with SharePoint.

Table 1. Resources to help you get started with SharePoint farm solutions development

Topic Description
Set up a general development environment for SharePoint
Contains step-by-step instructions on how to install the components of a SharePoint development environment.
Choose the right API set in SharePoint
Describes the several sets of APIs that are provided in SharePoint, including the server object model and the various client-side object models, and the REST/OData web service.
What's new for developers in SharePoint
Provides a gateway to detailed information about new features and functionality in SharePoint.
Programming models in SharePoint
Provides a quick overview of the different kinds of SharePoint development projects that you can create with SharePoint.
Add SharePoint capabilities
Provides a gateway to detailed information about using the capabilities of SharePoint in your solutions.

For SharePoint Add-ins development

If you want to get started development SharePoint Add-ins, first think about the kinds of add-ins that you might want to build, the technologies that you want to include, and the hosting options that you want to use.

When you know the kinds of SharePoint Add-in that you want to create, we provide guidance to help you match them to the appropriate development environment. Table 2 shows the resources for setting up your SharePoint development environment and beginning to create your add-ins.

Table 2. Resources to help you get started with SharePoint Add-ins development

Topic Description
Set up a development environment for SharePoint Add-ins on Office 365
Explains how to sign up for and use an Office 365 Developer Site for developing SharePoint Add-ins.
Set up an on-premises development environment for SharePoint Add-ins
Explains how to set up a local, on-premises installation of SharePoint and configure it for developing SharePoint Add-ins.
Get started creating provider-hosted SharePoint Add-ins
Contains step-by-step instructions on how to create a basic SharePoint Add-in that is hosted separately from a SharePoint site.
Get started creating SharePoint-hosted SharePoint Add-ins
Contains step-by-step instructions on how to create a basic SharePoint Add-in that is hosted on a SharePoint site.

Additional resources