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SharePoint as Backend!

Posted by Paul on May 30, 2015

I was observing a new trend in the SharePoint Development World:

“SharePoint as Backend!”

What is SharePoint as Backend?

Here, SharePoint is used as a replacement for  SQL Database!

All the required tables will be created as SharePoint Lists.  Any, additional document storage will be managed through SharePoint libraries.


How the CRUD code is managed?

Good Question! Here the CRUD is managed through SharePoint REST CSOM code.

How Filtering works?

You can use OData filters for performing filtering on list items.

Okay! What are the other advantages of using SharePoint as Backend?

Following are the advantages on cost, time & effort:

  1. No need of a separate database
  2. No need to design SQL tables
  3. No need to write CRUD codes
  4. No need to manage Scalability
  5. No need to write Authorization code
  6. No need to write Search code
  7. No need to write WCF/Service code

The advantages are gained once you have an existing SharePoint implementation with Scalability taken care of.


Wait a second! Consider following factors too before going for decision:

  1. Response Delay SharePoint REST API can perform little bit slower than your WCF services.  Ensure your project NFR (Non-functional Requirements) accommodate this delay.
  2. Skill Shortage Developers with SharePoint REST API skills can be rare.  Ensure you have an expert/trained developer.


Following are few examples of SharePoint as Backend:

  • Mobile App If you are writing a mobile application, you can quickly manage the data storage by writing REST/OData code to SharePoint using JavaScript/JQuery.
  • .Net App If you are writing an ASP.NET application which requires database tables, you can use .Net code to access the CSOM of SharePoint.
  • Document Storage App If you are writing a document management application, you need not worry about SQL Server tables & BLOB storage.  You can use SharePoint REST/OData API for achieving same.


SharePoint as Backend can save you lot of time & effort.  Please do your valuations appropriately.


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