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Use the JavaScript Knockout.js Library to Port C# ViewModels to SharePoint Apps

Over the last 6 months we’ve released three sets of video tutorials on the new SharePoint 2013 App Model, which is a component of Microsoft’s Cloud App Model for its Office products. Our tutorials include:

Each of our course authors has emphasized the importance of a thorough understanding of JavaScript, and, even, HTML for anyone looking for a successful method of developing applications conforming to the new development guidelines included in the SharePoint 2013 model.

In a post, titled How to Get ASP .NET MVC 4 and Knockout.js to Play Nice Together, Robert Grenier, a Manager at Pariveda Solutions, shows how another OpenSource JavaScript Library (Knockout.js) can be used to add a set of client-side features to a SharePoint 2013 app. These client-side features would otherwise only available as “server objects”, and, therefore, could not be used in the SharePoint 2013 development model, which isolates the server from any custom code.

The nice thing about this type of development is the further indication it provides of how the developer community is adjusting to the new Cloud App model. Once these “server objects” have been ported over to JSON “ViewModels”, server security has been preserved, but with a very limited reduction, if any, on functionality.

I’ve written earlier in this blog on the importance of Microsoft’s new development architecture for SharePoint 2013 and its other Office Cloud Applications. This new architecture should be very attractive to enterprise customers looking to provision functionality to “consumerized IT” user segments, while preserving a higher level of security than would otherwise be possible via typical cloud applications.

Mr. Grenier’s post should also provide some good news for C# developers looking to migrate existing applications into a form conforming with the new Cloud App model. “Re-purposed” code makes a lot more sense than committing resources to rewrite it. The cost savings for enterprise customers implementing this type of development should be very attractive.

Ira Michael Blonder

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