Get Started Developing for SharePoint Online & Office 365

My company has been a subscriber of Microsoft’s current Office cloud offering (BPOS) for a over a year. It’s great in a lot of ways:

  • It’s easy to administer
  • It bundles Exchange, SharePoint, & Live Meeting
  • It includes a nice single sign-on app that allows you to move about SharePoint, Outlook, and Live Meeting without entering your credentials multiple times.
  • Users have up to 25 GB of space (although in reality mileage may vary)
  • It doesn’t break the bank
  • It’s almost always working. Given the recent press about an outage, the outages we have experienced is less than if we were hosting it ourselves.

These benefits are great except for the fact that I’m a developer. When we adopt a platform, I start thinking about how we can extend it so that our business processes are integrated with it. With BPOS, our options stunk. The extensibility features just weren’t there.

Office 365, however, has a nice extensibility story…at least with SharePoint online. As more information becomes available, I’m hoping to see development possibilities for Lync, Exchange, and Office Web Apps.

But what I do know about SharePoint Online is that Microsoft is giving developers a lot to work with. If you know anything about Sandboxed solutions for SharePoint 2010, then you already know what you need for developing with SharePoint Online. Of course there is more to it but I’ll direct you to two great resources rather than fill you in myself:

  1. The SharePoint Online Developer’s Guide: This white paper tells you what you need to know to get started. After that, it’s up to you and your creative mind to take it from there.
  2. Channel 9 Video – Start Developing for SharePoint Online: Microsoft Evangelists Donovan Follette and Chris Mayo spend 24 minutes filling you in on Office 365 and the developer “story”. It’s a good video and worth spending your lunch break watching it.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone.

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