On 29th July 2016, Microsoft announced that it is removing code-based Sandbox Solutions in SharePoint Online. As per the announcement, in 2014 Microsoft had recommended that customers and partners should make a transition of their solutions to the add-in model or pure client-side development (which is known to provide higher scalability and cloud-first approaches to extending SharePoint). There are a number of enterprises that see this move as abrupt and sudden as the support will end on 31st August 2016.


As per the Redmond Magazine, even some SharePoint experts feel that the announcement came too close to the depreciation date and feel that more notifications should have been issued.


With the Sandbox solution, enterprises could customize code in order to run processes on a server and not having to load it on client side. The customization used popular technologies such as InfoPath 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010. Microsoft’s announcement explained that “we do not plan to deprecate or remove support for declarative (no-code) sandboxed solutions.” Microsoft considers “declarative markup and JavaScript” to be “no-code sandboxed solutions.”


Vesa Juvonen, who is a senior program manager for SharePoint engineering at Microsoft and also a Microsoft Certified Master provided a few useful resources around the sandbox solution transformation in his blog dated 9th August 2016. He has suggested an inventory approach to focus on the problem areas. He further added that enterprises should get rid of applications that are not used rather than opting for substitute solutions. In the same blog, he also provided a link to the SharePoint Sandboxed Solutions Inspector. The tool can help you to detect the sandbox solution that were found, also the fact if they are active and consist of a code and also points out to the coded elements.


Microsoft will be stopping sandbox solution support for SharePoint servers as well. Vesa Juvonen also stated that the code-based sandbox solutions are discontinued in SharePoint 2013 and in SharePoint 2016 as well.


Microsoft stated in the blog that migration from legacy solutions can prove to be worrisome and disruptive for enterprises. They added that help and support, however, is available with Microsoft certified partners and vendors.


The deprecation of sandbox solutions may impact your business if your SharePoint Online solution is using code based sandbox solutions. It will perhaps stop working all together if you don’t act now and transition to an add-in-model or client-side model.


If you don’t act now, it will mean the following attributes will stop working:

  • Event receivers
  • Feature receivers
  • Workflows (coded)
  • InfoPath forms (if using code behind the forms)
  • Web parts (if coded using sandbox code)
  • Any branding code with assemblies


Are you still not sure how this move will affect your business operations and to what extent? You can speak to one of our SharePoint experts to understand the challenges that you may face as a result and how ISHIR can help to find a solution. Send us a mail at info@ishir.com or give us a call at +1(888) 712-4344 for assistance.


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