SharePoint 2013 offers developers 3 different methods of deploying applications:
- Farm Solutions
- and Content Solutions
Developers will benefit from understanding more about each option in order to successfully choose the most appropriate method of deployment. Yaroslav Pentsarskyy, an acknowledged subject matter expert (SME) on SharePoint application development, and published author, defines each of these methods in a video tutorial available on SharePoint-Videos.com, The 3 Main Development Options.
Using content to deploy a solution is defined in this video tutorial as simply an effort to customize pages, lists, libraries, etc. in SharePoint Server 2013. The most obvious limitation of this method is a lack of scalability. Hard coding a custom site, library, list, etc. works fine for a local implementation. But scaling it across a farm, and managing any modifications via version control, requires a different deployment method.
The last deployment solution, a farm solution, “is actually a package containing DLLs, Libraries, and Controls.” (quoted from this video). A Farm Solution cannot, however, be run in SharePoint Online. If this package of DLLs were to run on SharePoint Online, there would not be a reliable method of limiting the applicability of the solution. SharePoint Online is a multi-tenant environment. Any farm solution implemented on SharePoint Online will impact on each of the tenants. Managing any farm solution would be challenging and complex. So these solutions cannot be used for SharePoint Online. Finally, Farm Solutions cannot be distributed via Microsoft’s App Marketplace. Farm administrator privileges are required to install them.
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