David Chappell


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The SharePoint 2010 Developer Platform  
# Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The popularity of SharePoint continues to amaze me. It's a useful technology, so I'm not surprised that people like it. What I marvel at is how rapidly it's spread. Are there any Windows customers left who aren't using it in some way?

SharePoint is a platform for building applications as well as an application itself, but its platform aspect hasn't gotten as much attention. At least in part, this is because the SharePoint development environment hasn't been as easy for .NET developers to use as it might have been.

Yet a SharePoint app is fundamentally an ASP.NET app, so the two worlds have a good deal in common. With the 2010 release, Microsoft has put a significant amount of effort into making SharePoint a better development platform for creating what might otherwise be straight ASP.NET applications.

If you're interested in this area, I've written a Microsoft-sponsored white paper titled The SharePoint 2010 Developer Platform: An Introduction for ASP.NET Solution Architects. The paper's goal is to provide a big-picture view of SharePoint as a platform for creating applications. It's clear to me that with the advent of SharePoint 2010, a significant number of applications that might have been built using plain ASP.NET will instead be built on SharePoint. If you're interested in why, you might find the paper useful.

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While SharePoint will be a good platform for developing collobration type apps I believe the next killer platform for LOB apps from MS is what they are coining XRM, which is based on MS CRM today.


xRM certainly has lots of potential. From a cloud platform perspective, it would be a direct competitor to Force.com, offering a similar kind of service but without the cloud lock-in (since there's an on-premises version of xRM, too).

Still, I'd argue that Microsoft isn't promoting xRM as a mainstream platform yet. I'd also argue that the SharePoint platform is closer to .NET than xRM, so it's a more natural fit for most Windows developers today. Finally, the installed base of SharePoint is much larger than that for Dynamics CRM, the home of xRM. Given all of these things, I'm expecting lots more new apps to be built on SharePoint in the next couple of years than on xRM.

These are some great insights into the rapid spread of SharePoint in the workplace. I am looking forward to reading your paper and will pass it along to my SharePoint developer friends. Keep up the great posts!

You should also consider joining the SharePoint conversation at http://www.facebook.com/office

MSFT Office Outreach Team

Dave I've read your white paper, I'd actually written a post before reading this here for SP2010:
and had also written one for SP2007 too here:

Be interested on your comments on both.

Your post is really interesting, Jeremy--thanks very much for pointing me at it. 2010 looks like a watershed moment for SharePoint developers.

I admire David Chappell, I really do. This paper reflects his trademark precision, clarity and integrity. I’m sure that’s why Microsoft funded it. This is a large and important topic, and David’s short paper is a worthy contribution. But it’s incomplete and potentially misleading. I get the feeling he did not talk to all the right people. Probably not architects who have spent years making SharePoint work as a platform in a mid-sized IT department in a Fortune 250 company, like me. If I can make the time, I will write up a full response and try to identify the missing pieces (though I’m not sure whether I should try to share it outside my company). In the meantime, I’m concerned that pointy haired decision makers will not detect the ambivalence that I see in David’s concluding paragraphs. If his article is SharePoint’s resume that wins it a full interview, that’s good. If it is an unqualified offer of employment, something’s wrong. Ironically, my Sunday morning reading of the article was interrupted by a call. “SharePoint is down.”

Thanks for the kind words, Anonymous. To me, though, the paper is full of caveats, down to explicitly stating what kinds of apps SharePoint is and isn't intended for. My goal was absolutely to win SharePoint an interview, to help ASP.NET solution architects think more clearly about when building on SharePoint could make their lives better. I'm certainly not arguing that all ASP.NET apps should really be SharePoint apps.

And server farms running ASP.NET also go down from time to time.

Thank you for the good post, I agree with most of your points.Great posts, loved reading it, thanks!

Nice article..........

SharePoint 2010 offers a better development platform and probably faster search capabilities as well.

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