This is my understanding coding for SharePoint Online as it stands today:

Apps are the newest thing, and most encouraged. Visual Studio can be used to create apps for SharePoint Online, without any SharePoint on premises version installed. How do we debug it? Visual Studio won't let us point to a live site.

For any other SharePoint Online projects (such as workflows), an on premises version of SharePoint must be installed before Visual Studio will install the necessary extensions. This is really annoying and not very well thought through from a company that is pushing O365 and SharePoint Online. Overlooking that, we still can't debug our code. Debugging to SharePoint Foundation is useless given the vast differences between SharePoint Online and SharePoint on premises, and we can't point to a SharePoint Online site.

My method of debugging at the moment is creating the project, uploading, and hoping it works. This obviously isn't a sustainable method, and oh by the way, if there is a correlation error there seems to be no way to view the logs...

No serious developer can work this way. What am I missing, or what is the thinking at Microsoft here?

Edited to add: One thing I made was a custom team site template, not JavaScript, obviously. Also, workflows won't be JavaScript?

  • What kind of app is it and what is the code that you want to debug? With SharePoint apps, debug JS in your browser, with provider hosted, debug on your own servers. There isn't really anything else to worry about that I know of. Feb 23, 2015 at 8:36
  • dev.office.com/patterns-and-practices-detail/1947 For provisioning sites and the like you'll want to look at the new Patterns & Practices guidance. They're providing amazing content on a regular basis.
    – user39893
    Feb 23, 2015 at 16:59
  • Security issues prevent you from deploying an app from Visual Studio to any site other than a development site. So as long as you have data on your development site or you develop your app to access a site directly, you can debug with no issue. I've been doing app development for over a year now, and have had no issues with debugging my apps (except for RER and worfklows, those are tricky and the issues I had were network related).
    – wjervis
    Feb 23, 2015 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


In SharePoint 2013 apps are newest thing and encouraged so if you are building an app,your app uses mainly (well only) javascript, your only option is to debug the javascript code with for example fiddler or the development tools in your browser. You have no direct access to the internal ULS logs in Office 365

  • Correct, unless it's provider hosted and then the app is hosted on your own servers and implemented in any language you want. Feb 23, 2015 at 8:37
  • One thing I made was a custom team site template, not JavaScript, obviously. Also, workflows won't be JavaScript? Feb 23, 2015 at 12:46
  • Susan, but those surely would be provider hosted app. so the code then will be hosted outside SharePoint?
    – ova
    Oct 14, 2016 at 13:46

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