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I am a bit new in SharePoint development. and read some articles and online tutorials.. but I can not get what are the main differences between:-

  • REST API

  • CSOM

and is there a preferred method to be used over the other ?

Thanks

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those are 2 different things. REST endpoints are being used to query and perform CRUD operations based on a list. similar to using any external APIs . and REST end point is based of the oData standards. while the CSOM is used to also query list data, and it is a way to do some client side programming on office 365 and APPs using client Context() and it is a method to replace the server side object module which is not available inside APPs and office 365..

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CSOM is mainly used for sharepoint provider-hosted apps it means that the application runs in a tirth part host like azure etc CSOM includes a Microsoft .NET CSOM, a Microsoft Silverlight CSOM, a Windows Phone 8 CSOM, and a JavaScript object model (JSOM). In addition, the CSOM includes an OData service that enables a REST interface. allows to create more complex apps, with REST you can do applicaions as sharepoint hosted apps inside sharepoint itself, using just javascript the ability for you to remotely interact with SharePoint sites by using REST. Now, you can interact directly with SharePoint objects by using any technology that supports standard REST capabilities. depends of the scenario you can choose which is better.

For more info go here CSOM: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/dn268594.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

REST: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/fp142380.aspx

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