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Update on Autohosted Apps Preview program

Over the last few months, we’ve received a lot of great feedback on the Office 365 Autohosted Apps Preview experience. We heard loud and clear that while the goal of a friction-free development experience with the Autohosted Apps Preview was right on track with what developers wanted, the preview experience lacked some critical capabilities that you needed—for example, the ability to access all the features of Microsoft Azure, better insight and transparency into running apps for debugging and monitoring purposes, and more control and options for scaling apps. We’re working closely with the Azure and Visual Studio teams to incorporate developers’ feedback and evolve the autohosted apps model, as well as to deliver a seamless experience for developers by the end of this year.

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.

If you are currently using autohosted preview apps in a production environment, we recommend that you follow this step-by-step on how to transition autohosted preview apps to provider-hosted apps.

We’re excited about the possibilities we’re evolving for the autohosted app model, and later this year we’ll announce the new capabilities we’ve added to better address developers’ needs. The improved model will include nailing the fundamentals you told us were crucial: streamlined deployment and management, the ability to leverage the full power of Azure, and easy scaling for apps.

Throughout this year we’ll also continue to introduce better integration with Azure for the provider-hosted model. We announced the first of these integration improvements in March at SharePoint Conference 2014—common consent and discovery services—and we’ll continue to add these kinds of improvements going forward to drive developer productivity in Office 365.

As always, we value your feedback and comments. You can provide your suggestions on our UserVoice site.

 

 

 

 

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6 comments
  1. Will this have any impact on Access Apps?

  2. Soooooo…In January, you said you were deprecating sandboxed solutions, to push everyone to client-coded apps. NOW we can’t auto-host any of those, for who known how long…these two things together make the immediate path forward difficult.

    So my question is:
    For the online web parts I need to develop within the next three months, is provider-hosted apps my only choice? These are web parts that need to run against content in the online intranet sites (not content relegated to Apps spaces.) What are my options now?

    • The app model provides ways of extending the Office 365 UI and does not interfere with the sustainability and reliability of the Office 365 service. Autohosted apps were automatically deployed into a Microsoft-owned “black-box” Azure tenant that you would have had zero control over.

      One option is to create Client app part if you do not need or want a backend and are just trying to create a custom interface for your users to do something interacting with SharePoint. Otherwise, you can create an app part backed by a provider-hosted app if you need to run managed code on the backend. Depending on how you want to surface your custom UI, you may want to hook into the Office 365 APIs that will give you access to Calendar, People, Docs, and Mail from Office 365.

      See this MSDN Article (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/fp179921(v=office.15).aspx) for details on app parts and various implementations.

  3. App providers need some extra information regarding your post.

    Your announcement said
    - “We’ll post an update on this blog once we have an exact date of the shutdown of autohosted apps running in the service.”. For developers it would be helpful for our planning if you could
    • give a rough indication of when this will be e.g.
    • in about 1 year / 6 months / … 1 month
    - 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. Can you please clarify if an app currently running in the service can be updated after June 30th.

    • Hi Rafal,

      Thanks for your question. Yes, you’ll be able to update existing apps until further notice. We will post an update on this blog letting everyone know when you will no longer be able to update existing apps.

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