SharePoint Online is a collection of Web-based tools and technologies that help your organization store, share, and manage digital information. Built on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, this hosted service is ideal for working on projects, storing data and documents in a central location, and sharing information with others. The following features support developers who want to build apps and solutions to extend SharePoint functionality.

App Catalog (SharePoint)

Publish your apps to an internal corporate catalog, hosted on your SharePoint deployment, to make them available to users who have access to that SharePoint deployment. Learn more about publishing apps for Office and SharePoint.

App Deployment: Cloud-Hosted Apps

Cloud-hosted apps for SharePoint include at least one remote component and may also include SharePoint-hosted components. Learn more about hosting options for apps for SharePoint.

App Deployment: SharePoint-Hosted Apps

SharePoint-Hosted Apps allow you to reuse common SharePoint artifacts, such as lists and Web Parts. When you take this approach, you can use only JavaScript and you cannot use any server-side code. Learn more about hosting options for apps for SharePoint.

App Management Services

The App Management Service database stores licensing information for all of the apps for SharePoint.

BCS: App Scoped External Content Types (ECTs)

With the addition of the new app model in SharePoint, Business Connectivity Services (BCS) can now scope external content types at the app level instead of at the farm level. This gives great flexibility to app developers by allowing them to use external data inside their apps. Learn more about app scoped external content types.

BCS: Business Data Web Parts

Business Data Web Parts are special web parts that work with external data. They are used like standard SharePoint Web Parts, but are based on external content types, which are XML descriptions of connections to the external data.

BCS: External List

An external list is a special kind of SharePoint list that displays data from an external data source. It is built on an external content type that describes the data source, and allows users to work with the data in a familiar SharePoint interface. Learn more about external content types.

BCS: OData connector

The OData connector is new for SharePoint. It allows for Business Connectivity Services (BCS) to use a RESTful OData endpoint as a data source for external lists, Business Data WebParts, and custom user interfaces.

BCS: Rich Client Integration

Not available to SharePoint Online customers. Business Connectivity Services (BCS) uses a complimentary client and server-side architecture that allows for Office clients, such as Outlook and Excel, to work directly with external data exposed to SharePoint through external content types. Learn more about Business Connectivity Services Client Runtime.

Client Object Model (OM)

SharePoint 2013 has three client object models for managed code: .NET, Silverlight, and mobile. In addition, SharePoint includes a JavaScript client object model. Learn more about choosing the right API set in SharePoint 2013.

Custom Site Provisioning Page

Not available to SharePoint Online customers. SharePoint Server 2013 customers get a quick and easy way for users to make their site requests and to start using their sites quickly.

Developer Site

Use an Office 365 Developer Site as a development and testing environment to shorten your setup time and start creating, testing, and deploying your apps for SharePoint. Learn more about signing up for an Office 365 Developer Site.

Forms Based Applications

A form view is basically a view that contains controls. A Forms Based Application lets the user create and use one or more forms within the application. Learn more about Forms Based Applications.

Full-Trust Solutions

Not available to SharePoint Online customers. SharePoint Server 2013 customers can create full-trust solutions. Also called farm solutions. Unlike apps for SharePoint, farm solutions contain code that is deployed to the SharePoint servers and makes calls to SharePoint's server object model. These assemblies always run with full trust. Farm solutions should be used for customizations of SharePoint administrative functions, such as custom timer jobs, custom Windows PowerShell cmdlets, and extensions of Central Administration. Learn more about building farm solutions in SharePoint 2013.

InfoPath Forms Services

Forms Service provides a Web browser form-filling experience in SharePoint, based on form templates that are designed in InfoPath. Learn more about InfoPath Forms Services.

JavaScript Object Model

SharePoint provides a JavaScript object model for use in either inline script or separate .js files. It includes all the same functionality as the .NET Framework and Silverlight client object models. The JavaScript object model is a useful way to include custom SharePoint code in an app. It also enables web developers to use their existing JavaScript skills to create SharePoint applications with minimal learning curve. Learn more about JavaScript API reference for SharePoint 2013.

Remote Event Receiver

To handle events in an app for SharePoint, developers can create remote event receivers and app event receivers. Remote event receivers handle events that occur to an item in the app, such as a list, a list item, or a web. Learn more about handling events in apps for SharePoint.


SharePoint 2013 provides an implementation of a Representational State Transfer (REST) web service that uses the OData protocol to perform CRUD operations on SharePoint list data. Use this when you must access SharePoint data from client technologies that do not use JavaScript and are not built on the .NET Framework or Microsoft Silverlight platforms. Learn more about programming using the SharePoint 2013 REST service.

SharePoint Design Manager

The Design Manager enables a step-by-step approach for creating design assets that you can use to brand sites. Upload design assets—images, HTML, CSS, and so on—and then create your master pages and page layouts. Learn more about SharePoint 2013 site development.

SharePoint Designer 2013

Using SharePoint Designer, advanced users and developers can quicky create SharePoint solutions in response to business needs. Learn more about SharePoint Designer for developers.

SharePoint Framework

The SharePoint Framework (SPFx) is a page and web part model that provides full support for client-side SharePoint development, easy integration with SharePoint data, and support for open source tooling. Learn more about the SharePoint Framework.

SharePoint 2010 workflows (out of the box)

Use out of the box workflows included with SharePoint to model common business processes.

SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016 workflows

SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016 workflows are powered by Windows Workflow Foundation 4 (WF), which was significantly redesigned from earlier versions. Perhaps the most prominent feature of the new workflow infrastructure is the introduction of Azure as the workflow execution host. Learn more about what's new in workflows for SharePoint.

Feature Availability

To view feature availability across Office 365 plans, standalone options, and on-premise solutions, see SharePoint Online Service Description.