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I started a new sharepoint 2013 enterprise server on-premise project for a customer, and on the first phase I want to do the following which requires me to create 2 farm solutions:-

  1. I need to add some event receivers which get fired when new items are added to a list where the event receiver will create a new sub-site for each item
  2. I also want to add an advance search web part for my list, and I found this farm solution https://splistviewfilter.codeplex.com/

So can anyone advice if I should proceed with installing the above farm solutions? Or should I be searching to do so using Apps ? To be honest if I want to use Apps in my above 2 situations, it will require me so much effort. for these reasons:

  1. To implement my first requirement using Apps, I will need to create a provider hosted app, and for this I will need to install a adidicated web application to host the App.
  2. To implement the second requirement, I did not find any ready-made App that provides the same functionalities as the ones provided here https://splistviewfilter.codeplex.com/

So can anyone advice how I should appraoch these requirements? Now I am saying since I am using on-premise then I should use farm solutions without any problem/worried... is this valid ?

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You can still use Farm Solutions in your development. Maybe your customer isn't thinking about migrating to the cloud. Farm solutions are still supported in SharePoint 2016 as well, so I don't see the reason not moving forward with it. Having said that, I suggest doing prototypes and small developments on the side by yourself, just to know how to do these things using the add-in model. You want to tell your customer: "OK we can do it right now with farm solutions and they're still supported in 2016, and it's going to be faster for us to implement them now, however we are able to switch to any recommended model later on if needed."

Also, make sure not to do all of your development tasks using farm solutions, one or 2 requirements that needed farm solutions doesn't mean to do everything as a farm solution. Try to look into the newer ways of doing things. ex: JavaScript development/Remote Deployments, and so on.

  • i think i will follow a similar appraoch, will do these 2 requirements using Farm solutions for now , then we might practice more on using Apps and convert them to Apps. second point now i want to implement an advacen filtering and search for my list and this farm solution is almost what i am looking for splistviewfilter.codeplex.com so my question did you ever work on an App which provide similar functionalities ? – john Gu Dec 3 '16 at 23:18
  • Hi @johnG, no I haven't, but I don't think this would be hard to implement from scratch. The UI design is basic with 10 controls on the page. You can find the people picker and the taxonomy already on the PnP github site and you can reuse their code, and on the apply, you can call the search api in SharePoint with JavaScript. For this requirement I don't see the reason to go for Farm Solution, it wouldn't take much from someone experienced in HTML, CSS to do the design and playing with search api to achieve this. You can even do it without search api since you only need data from one list. – Mohamed Derhalli Dec 4 '16 at 1:32
  • You can have this module "for the moment" as a farm solution webpart, but make the code with JavaScript only to be able to migrate it later on. Try to avoid adding too many 3rd party stuff in your environment, if you want to customize them later or anything, you'll find a lot of problems. Do the filter module as a farm solution webpart as you're familiar with these things already, but invest a day or 2 doing it in JavaScript only, you'll start preferring doing things in JS and it will help you achieve upcoming tasks the same way in a manner that would be supported later on. – Mohamed Derhalli Dec 4 '16 at 1:37
  • so will install this farm solution for now,, and try to implement similar thing from scratch using javaScript, and replace the farm solution once done... – john Gu Dec 4 '16 at 3:22
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    Yes. That would be the way – Mohamed Derhalli Dec 4 '16 at 7:13
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Sharepoint add-on is new standard and MSFT encourage all the customer to adopt that one.

Main reason (there are many others)is Office 365, if your company want to move Office 365 then you have to rewrite all customs solutions as add-on. In O365 no farm solution deployment at all.

And you know this feature already on the path of death, so why not start with new standard and may be initially cost you more time but at the end you farm will be with best practices range.

Its upto you and customer, you can deploy solution with no issue as of now, but at the end of day you have to convert them into add-on. No date from MSFT for on Prem but Office 365 there no more customs solutions

  • one of the reason why we are more comfortable with farm solutions is our knowledge and it is easier to do thing using farm solutions. since we have only 2 farm solutions for now, then we might implement them as farm solutions to have everything working well, then we are going to practice more on the App (add-in) and next step will be to convert these farm solutions into Apps. but doing this right now will mean to postpone the project 3 weeks. second question did you know any App which provide an advance filtering similar to this farm solution splistviewfilter.codeplex.com? – john Gu Dec 3 '16 at 23:16
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    It is good plan... no I don't know about the app that provide adv filtering. – Waqas Sarwar MVP Dec 4 '16 at 2:50
  • so do you suggest to use this farm solution as it provides so many features and exactly what i am looking for OR to build this from scratch ? – john Gu Dec 4 '16 at 3:20
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    As you said it will delayed the project then it is good plan...start with solution then eventually convert them into add-instead – Waqas Sarwar MVP Dec 4 '16 at 3:21
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In short, by now (December 2016), official MS guideline is "Use new add-in model whenever it's possible".

In reality, you're absolutely correct, new add-in model in most cases requires a lot more efforts and money investments.

In my opinion, you need to explain to your customer all different options available, including time, cost and consequences of selecting farm solutions model.
By now (December 2016) farm solutions are not deprecated and still you can use it, but in case if your customer has long-terms plans for SharePoint, he is planning upgrade to the latest versions of SharePoint in future, he wants to use this custom solution for all future versions of SharePoint, in that case that's one additional strong argument to go with add-in model.
I think, in one day MS will deprecate farm solutions, may be not for the next two years, but may be later.

Take a look at the picture from latest European SharePoint conference, it's about the future of SharePoint:

future of sharepoint

That means that have plans to use the same code for on-premise and online versions, and I don't think there will be a place for farm solutions in this model.

Here is additional reading from msdn, which describes all current options available and when to use them:
SharePoint Add-ins compared with SharePoint solutions

  • now we are on sharepoint 2013 on-premise,, so even if we decide to upgrade to sharepoint 2016 on-premise then we can still use farm/sandbox is this correct ?? so for SP 2013 & SP 2016 farm/sandbox solutions are supported .. now if after that we realize that farm/sandbox solutions are no more supported we can chnage all the farm solutions to be Apps but seems this will not be the case in the next maybe 2-3 years . and yes our customer have future plans for sharepoint . – john Gu Dec 3 '16 at 12:10
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    for SP 2013 & SP 2016 farm/sandbox solutions are supported - true, but sandbox solutions with code already deprecated. we can chnage all the farm solutions to be Apps but seems this will not be the case in the next maybe 2-3 years - correct. In my opinion they will deprecate farm solutions in 2-3 years, but they will have to support them for a longer period. Like sandbox with code - deprecated, but still working in SP2013 – Sergei Sergeev Dec 3 '16 at 12:20

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