Nothing gets a developer more excited about a new software release than when the development API gets extended resulting in an easier development process! That is exactly what Microsoft has done with SharePoint 2013 and the Client-Side Object Model (CSOM). In this blog, we will explore how Microsoft extended CSOM to include additional capabilities and embraced the simplicity of REST.
Microsoft SharePoint 2010
Microsoft SharePoint 2013
With the release of SharePoint 2013, Microsoft has extended the CSOM to include many of the features not available in 2010. A few of these features include: Search, Taxonomy, User Profiles, and Publishing. Microsoft also simplified the usage of the client.svc WCF by aliasing its path from “_vti_bin/client.svc” to “_api.” However, in my opinion, the best improvement was the inclusion of a REST endpoint.
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Open Data Protocol (OData)
With the REST endpoint, we no longer need to work with one of the proxies. We can leverage the OData Protocol to easily perform CRUD operations on SharePoint. With just a browser, we can perform any read operation, which makes self-discovery an easy way to learn the API and its structure. We won’t take the time to cover the benefits of REST and OData, but having the ability to cache results and use jQuery allows for better performance and an easier implementation.
Please note that REST is not yet appropriate for all implementations. It is only a subset of the functionality of JSOM. Specifically, you may have trouble performing updates on Content Types or trying to change more than one list at a time. Likewise, JSOM has more documentation available. However, in most situations, REST should be considered for client-side SharePoint implementations.