What is the difference between cloud business apps vs SharePoint online apps and When the use of one better than other?
A very good question, which is hard to answer. However, from what I’ve read, Cloud Business Apps uses LightSwitch technologies, which is wider in its scope and is possible to download to a client and run on the client desktop or a mobile device. SharePoint Apps don’t have that “download to client” possibility since its iframed in a SharePoint page as an app part, which can use Silverlight (XAML).
This difference in technology makes the business scope more clear when to use a SharePoint App and when to use a Cloud Business App.
Cloud Business Apps
By using the Cloud Business App template in Visual Studio, you can quickly and easily create line-of-business apps that are hosted on SharePoint for Office 365 and based on Visual Studio LightSwitch technologies. Users can download and run cloud business apps on desktop computers and most mobile devices.
Visual Studio LightSwitch is a development environment designed to simplify and shorten the development of businesses applications and data services. LightSwitch makes it easy to create data-centric business applications that can consume a variety of data sources and create clients that can run on a variety of devices. With LightSwitch you can:
- Build HTML5-based apps that run on all modern devices
- Consume and aggregate multiple data sources like databases, SharePoint and OData
- Eliminate plumbing code and focus on what makes your application unique
- Have flexible deployment and cloud hosting options including Azure and Office 365
- Trust that your solution is built on best-of-breed technologies and practices
Almost every major type of SharePoint component can be part of an app for SharePoint, including custom content types, list templates, list instances, pages, workflows, event handlers, and many more. You can also have built-in Web Parts, including a Silverlight Web Part that hosts a Silverlight application and an app part that wraps an IFrame.