We want to develop an application that reads/downloads zipped files from document library on SharePoint online portal. We would like to know that is there an alternative to get this done without using Service/Shared account? If no what are the implications of using a Shared account in multiple instances of a client application?

Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


If you want to get this done without using a Service / Shared account, you can use oAuth which authenticates using security tokens instead of username / passwords.

More information on this here: http://blog.symprogress.com/2013/11/call-sharepoint-online-csom-from-an-external-application/

  • Thanks. Also wanted to know that can we have a shared account in SP 2013 online just like we do in SP 2013 on premise?
    – TheCoder
    Oct 13, 2015 at 11:23
  • What do you mean by shared account? If you mean service accounts, then, no. There are no service accounts for you to maintain in SP2013 online.
    – Akhoy
    Oct 13, 2015 at 11:37
  • Ok, Can we have a dummy live id and use that in our client applications to access the documents. (Giving access to that dummy id and using it in the applications) ?
    – TheCoder
    Oct 13, 2015 at 12:17
  • That'd be bad practice afaik. You'd use that if you were using SP 2010 since there'd have been no options. Ever since SP 2013, OData is the preferred approach instead of hard-coding credentials. Hard-coding is also supported though. See here: vrdmn.com/2013/01/authenticating-net-client-object-model.html
    – Akhoy
    Oct 13, 2015 at 12:22
  • Thanks. Also wanted to know - If we use OData approach can we share the same client id and secret id to different users as part of desktop application so that all can download using that? Also does OData support only site level access or can we control the library folder level access also? Also is there a way to get an id or external user account which can be shared with different users so that they can only download the files from that location. Are there any legal constraints?
    – TheCoder
    Oct 15, 2015 at 9:10

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