SharePoint - Client Object Model | C#
SharePoint is a web-based platform developed by Microsoft that provides organizations with a wide range of tools and capabilities for collaboration, document management, business process automation, and content management.
At its core, SharePoint is a centralized repository that allows users to store and manage documents, files, and other types of digital content. Users can create sites, lists, and libraries to organize their content, and then share that content with other users within their organization.
SharePoint also includes a range of features and functionalities that enable teams to collaborate and work together more effectively. For example, users can create and participate in discussion forums, share calendars, create and manage tasks, and even create and manage workflows that automate business processes.
In addition to these core features, SharePoint also supports a wide range of customization options and third-party integrations. Developers can use tools like C# to build custom SharePoint solutions and integrate SharePoint with other business applications, such as CRM or ERP systems.
Architecture of SharePoint
The architecture of SharePoint is based on a three-tiered model that separates the user interface, application logic, and data storage layers. This architecture is designed to provide scalability, security, and flexibility for SharePoint deployments of varying sizes and complexities.
The Presentation tier is the user interface layer of SharePoint. This layer provides the end-users with access to the SharePoint content through web browsers, mobile devices or desktop applications. The Presentation tier consists of Web Front End (WFE) servers that host the web application and handle the user requests.
The Application tier is the logic layer of SharePoint. This layer consists of SharePoint application servers that run various services and provide functionality such as content processing, search, and indexing. SharePoint application servers run services like Central Administration, User Profile Synchronization, Business Data Connectivity, and Excel Services, among others.
Data Storage Tier:
The Data Storage tier is the back-end layer of SharePoint. This layer consists of a database server that stores all the content and configuration data of SharePoint. SharePoint supports various database platforms such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL. All the data in SharePoint is stored in the content database, which includes all site collections, sites, lists, and documents.
Types of SharePoint
There are several types of SharePoint available, each designed to meet specific business needs and deployment scenarios. Following are some of the most common types of SharePoint:
SharePoint Online is a cloud-based version of SharePoint that is included with Microsoft 365 subscriptions. It provides users with a range of collaboration, content management, and business process automation features that are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.
SharePoint Server is the on-premises version of SharePoint that can be installed and managed within an organization's own data center. It provides all the features and functionalities of SharePoint Online but requires more infrastructure and management overhead.
SharePoint Foundation is a free, on-premises version of SharePoint that provides basic collaboration and content management features. It is designed for small businesses or organizations with limited IT resources and can be used as a starting point for more complex SharePoint deployments.
SharePoint Designer is a free tool for creating custom workflows and applications in SharePoint. It provides a user-friendly interface for building workflows and applications without the need for coding.
SharePoint Workspace, previously known as Microsoft Office Groove, is a desktop application that provides offline access to SharePoint content. It enables users to synchronize SharePoint content to their local computer and work on it offline.
SharePoint Mobile is a mobile application that provides access to SharePoint content on mobile devices. It enables users to view, edit, and share documents, lists, and sites from their smartphones or tablets.
Best practices for developing SharePoint solutions using C#
Following are some best practices for developing SharePoint solutions using C#:
- Use the SharePoint Object Model: When developing SharePoint solutions using C#, it is recommended to use the SharePoint Object Model to interact with SharePoint data. This model provides a set of classes and APIs that allow developers to access and manipulate SharePoint content and configurations.
- Follow SharePoint development patterns: SharePoint development patterns, such as the Provider-Hosted App Pattern, Model-View-Controller (MVC), or Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM), can help you to structure your code and make it more maintainable and scalable.
- Use sandbox solutions: If you're developing custom code for SharePoint, consider using sandbox solutions, which are code packages that run in a separate, isolated environment from SharePoint's main process. Sandboxed solutions can help to prevent code from affecting SharePoint's stability and performance.
- Use SharePoint features: SharePoint features are a way to package and deploy customizations to SharePoint. By using SharePoint features, you can ensure that your customizations are installed and configured consistently across your SharePoint environment.
- Use version control: Use version control tools, such as Git or SVN, to keep track of your code changes and collaborate with other developers. Version control can help you to manage code conflicts, roll back changes, and maintain a history of your code changes.
- Use unit testing: Use unit testing frameworks, such as NUnit or MSTest, to test your code and ensure that it works as expected. Unit testing can help you to catch bugs early and avoid regressions when making changes to your code.
- Follow security best practices: When developing custom code for SharePoint, it's important to follow security best practices, such as using least privilege, input validation, and encryption. This can help to prevent security vulnerabilities and protect your SharePoint environment from attacks.
How to develop SharePoint solutions using C#?
Following are the steps to develop SharePoint solutions using C#:
Set up a development environment:
You'll need a development environment with Visual Studio and SharePoint installed. SharePoint can be installed locally or on a server.
Create a new SharePoint project:
In Visual Studio, create a new SharePoint project. You can choose from different project templates, such as a SharePoint web part or a SharePoint feature.
Write your code:
Write your C# code to implement your SharePoint solution. You can use the SharePoint Object Model to access SharePoint data and configurations.
Debug your code:
Debug your code to identify and fix any issues. You can use Visual Studio's debugging tools, such as breakpoints and watch windows.
Package and deploy your solution:
Package your SharePoint solution into a .wsp file, which can be deployed to SharePoint. You can use Visual Studio's packaging and deployment tools to do this.
Install and activate your solution:
Install and activate your solution in SharePoint. You can do this using SharePoint's Central Administration or PowerShell.
Test your solution:
Test your solution to ensure that it works as expected. You can test your solution by adding it to a SharePoint page or using SharePoint's features, such as workflows.
Maintain your solution:
Maintain your solution by monitoring its performance and updating it as needed. You can use SharePoint's to identify any issues.
Basic operations with the SharePoint .NET client object model
The SharePoint .NET client object model is a set of APIs that allow you to interact with SharePoint data from .NET applications. Following are some basic operations that you can perform using the SharePoint .NET client object model:
- Connecting to SharePoint: To connect to SharePoint using the .NET client object model, you need to create a ClientContext object and specify the URL of the SharePoint site that you want to access.
- Retrieving data: Once you have a ClientContext object, you can use it to retrieve data from SharePoint. For example, you can use the ClientContext's Web property to retrieve information about the SharePoint site, such as its title or description.
- Adding data: You can add data to SharePoint using the .NET client object model. For example, you can create a new list item using the List.AddItem method and set its properties to add it to a SharePoint list.
- Updating data: You can update data in SharePoint using the .NET client object model. For example, you can use the ListItem.Update method to update an existing list item in SharePoint.
- Deleting data: You can delete data from SharePoint using the .NET client object model. For example, you can use the ListItem.DeleteObject method to delete an existing list item from a SharePoint list.
- Querying data: You can use the .NET client object model to query data in SharePoint. For example, you can use the CamlQuery object to specify a query that retrieves items from a SharePoint list based on certain criteria.
- Working with files: You can work with files in SharePoint using the .NET client object model. For example, you can use the File.OpenBinaryDirect method to download a file from SharePoint, or the File.SaveBinaryDirect method to upload a file to SharePoint.
C# program that Connecting to SharePoint
Following an example C# program that connects to a SharePoint site using the .NET client object model:
In the above program, first define the SharePoint site URL, username, and password that want to connect to. Then create a new ClientContext object with the site URL and set the credentials to the SharePointOnlineCredentials object with the username and password. Then retrieve the web information using the Web property of the ClientContext object and load it into the context using the context.Load method. Then execute the query using the context.ExecuteQuery method. Finally, display the web title and description in the console.
Note that you'll need to add a reference to the Microsoft.SharePoint.Client assembly in your project for this program to work.
C# program that retrieve the properties of a website
Following is an example C# program that retrieves the properties of a website in SharePoint:
In the above program, first define the SharePoint site URL, username, and password that want to connect to. Then create a new ClientContext object with the site URL and set the credentials to the SharePointOnlineCredentials object with the username and password. Then retrieve the web information using the Web property of the ClientContext object and load specific properties into the context using the context.Load method. Then execute the query using the context.ExecuteQuery method. Finally, display the web title, description, and URL in the console.
SharePoint provides organizations with a powerful platform for managing their content, improving collaboration and teamwork, and automating business processes. Its versatility and customizability make it a popular choice for businesses of all sizes and across a wide range of industries. SharePoint can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud, and the architecture can be customized and extended to meet specific business needs. Developing SharePoint solutions using C# requires knowledge of the SharePoint Object Model, C# programming, and SharePoint development best practices. With these skills and tools, you can develop custom SharePoint solutions that meet your business needs.