Monthly Archives: May 2014

Deploy solutions in SharePoint 2013: App vs Sandbox vs Feature

SharePoint 2013

A recent question in asked how to provision branding elements like master page or page layouts into SharePoint 2013? Is deployment by a feature or an App better?

I answered my suggestions and I thought about having a blog about it too.

The Paradigm now: App or Sandbox or Farm solution?

I would suggest that the solution should completely depend on what SharePoint farm you are using currently, online or on-premise. Also, if you are using on-premise, is there a possibility that you will be shifting to the cloud soon?

Apps might be just right for the cloud

Developing an App for deploying branding elements can get kind of complex, considering the scenarios for creating Remote site provisioning events that trigger branding whenever a child site is created.

It’s all possible if you are willing to take this route and explore the challenges. If so, do check out this solution pack that was recently published by Microsoft for SharePoint online branding. It’s a great eye opener and gives lot of insight.

Also note that the App world is not completely matured yet. Recently Microsoft decided to stop SharePoint Auto hosted Apps from Office 365. So, there will be still enhancements and adjustments in the App world leading to a complete mature App development model.

Sandbox solution

A sandbox solution might just satisfy the need for many. But you need to keep in mind that Sandbox solutions with custom code are soon getting deprecated, but you are safe with solutions that just use the declarative markups. Read this blog explaining the whole situation.

There are known drawbacks for Sandbox solution as well, since you need to deploy everything as a solution in a site collection and don’t have much flexibility. But this could be always the first step in pushing yourself to cloud.

Farm solution

This is the traditional way for developers, considering the ease in development and deployment. But again, if your organization wish to move to the cloud in the future, you will have the pain of re-engineering all these solutions.

My Opinion

The App solution might be good if you are already in the cloud or you are anticipating to move to the cloud soon. You might just need to do some tweaks in the future with the future changes in App infrastructure.

For those who do not foresee moving to the cloud can feel safe to use the Sandbox solution to a minimum or a mix of App parts and farm deployments, whichever suits the environment.

As you all know Microsoft is constantly pushing more and more towards the cloud which makes sense as they have their own valid reasons. Also may be after probably the 2016 version of SharePoint, there might not even be an on-premise version. So, plan accordingly folks.

Pulling the plug on SharePoint Autohosted Apps

SharePoint 2013

Microsoft has decided to pull the plug on SharePoint Autohosted Apps Preview experience.

So, no more Autohosted App developments for SharePoint 2013. It’s gone for ever.

As they have pointed out, one of the reasons to do that it gets deployed to a limited version of Windows Azure with no options for the developer to debug, scale or monitor the App.

We’re announcing today that the Office 365 Autohosted Apps Preview program will end on June 30, 2014. After June 30th, developers will not be able to create new autohosted apps in SharePoint. Apps that are currently running in the service will not be affected or shut down. We’ll post an update on this blog once we have an exact date of the shutdown of autohosted apps running in the service.

Please Read the official article here –


Did you solve the Rubik’s cube doodle

Google is celebrating the birthday of Ernő Rubik, the inventor of the great puzzle Rubik’s Cube. Just type in your browser and click on the doodle to start rearranging it.

I’m a great fan of the cube personally and I wanted to know what the doodle does when its solved and here it is 🙂



A digital signature from Larry Page and Erno Rubik !! Pretty cool eh 🙂

Go ahead and try solving it guys.

Fix Custom Access Denied Page in SharePoint 2013


By now, many of you might have come across the moment to realise that the mapped pages in SharePoint 2013, does not switch to the custom pages that you have created.

The mapped pages are as follows:

  • AccessDenied
  • Confirmation
  • Error
  • Login
  • RequestAccess
  • Signout

Even though you run the commands  UpdateMappedPage method and Set-SPCustomLayoutsPage cmdlet, it would not simply reflect. This was identified as a bug.

The new April CU for SharePoint 2013 seems to be the possible fix. The KB article point clearly mentions this in the issues that the CU fixes.

When you access some SharePoint Server 2013 resource that you do not have the permission for, you receive the OOB access denied page instead of the customer access denied page.

So go ahead and download the Hotfix here. Also find the official release of the CU and all KBs here.