Office 365 FAQs: Part 1 – Customisation and development techniques

In this article we are answering the frequently asked questions we get from our customers regarding Office 365. The answers are from Microsoft MSDN and TechNet.

1. What are the customisation and development techniques?

Configuration by using the browser Customizations that you can perform by using the SharePoint Online user interface in your browser. For example, you can edit page layouts, add and customize the default Web Parts, add lightweight Microsoft Silverlight widgets to a page, or embed jQuery code in a Content Editor Web Part.

Because in-browser configurations are primarily performed by end users, they are outside the scope of this article. For more information for enterprises, see the SharePoint Online Planning Guide for Office 365 Beta for Enterprises. For more information for small businesses, see SharePoint Online Planning Guide for Office 365 Beta for Small Businesses.

Customization by using SharePoint Designer Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 is a Web and application design program you can use to design, build, and customize your websites within SharePoint Online. With SharePoint Designer 2010, you can create data-rich webpages, build powerful no-code workflow-enabled solutions, and design the appearance and behaviour (look and feel) of your site. Customizations that you can perform in SharePoint Designer are generally declarative, and can also employ client-side scripting.

Developing SharePoint Online solutions that contain custom code To enable more technically complex solutions, SharePoint Online provides both server and client object models for developers. Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 provides a range of specialized templates for creating sandboxed solutions that contain a variety of SharePoint items, such as site and list definitions, workflows, Web Parts, event receivers, and content types, to include in your SharePoint solutions.

2. What I can do with Sandboxed solutions?

You can include the following programmatic or declarative items in your sandboxed solutions:

  • Code components:
  • Declarative components:
    • Declarative workflows
    • Content types, site columns
    • Lists and list definitions
    • Visual and nonvisual Web Parts
    • Custom actions, ribbon extensions
    • Client-side technologies
    • Web templates, site pages, page layouts, and master pages

3. What I cannot do with Sandboxed solutions?

  • Access to the Internet to make web service calls
  • Access to a hard disk to read or write files
  • Web application-scoped or farm-scoped Features
  • Adding assemblies to the global assembly cache
  • Running security-related functionality; for example, RunWithElevatedPrivileges or other SPSecurity methods
  • Custom Action groups
  • HideCustomAction element
  • Content type binding
  • Web Part connections

Additional Solution Restrictions in SharePoint Online

4. Can I access data from SharePoint Online?

You can access some of SharePoint web services through Client Object Model. SharePoint Online also includes a Representational State Transfer (REST) interface that provides access to lists and libraries as a relational data service. A core concept of any RESTful interface is the resource, and in SharePoint Online, lists and items are represented as HTTP resources that can be addressed by remote URLs.

5. What are the differences between SharePoint server features and SharePoint Online features?

Microsoft updates Office 365 frequently and adds new features in almost cycles of 3 months; you have to updates with Microsoft releases.

These are comparisons between on primes and online platforms

Comparison of SharePoint Online Features and SharePoint Server Features –

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