The SOAP web service API for SharePoint is documented by Microsoft, however there is no explicit mention of BPOS / Office 365 / Microsoft's cloud offering. Google isn't helping much, so I thought I'd ask here:

  1. Is there any documentation on consuming Web Services hosted in Microsoft's cloud?

  2. Are there any differences in authentication or using web services from a non-cloud SharePoint installation compared with a cloud solution? I'm particularly interested in authentication and how the cloud integrates with an Enterpris's existing authentication infrastructure?

  3. Does the Authentication class of the Web Service API abstract away all authentication details and therefore the web service client should have no concern about how authentication is actually achieved (it just sends a username, password and checks the LoginResult returned from the web service)?

  • BPOS or Office 365? They are very different.
    – Ryan
    Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 8:49
  • Is 'SharePoint' a valid answer? I'm only interested in an instance of SharePoint 2010 running in Microsoft's cloud offering.
    – Jack
    Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 8:51
  • 'Microsofts cloud offering' - can you be more specific, do you mean Azure?
    – Ryan
    Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 9:19
  • Think I know where you're coming from - basically the answer is pretty different for Office 365 / BPOS / Azure. If you're after the answer for all 3 then it will be a looong answer. Can you narrow it down to one or do you need all 3?
    – Ryan
    Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 9:28
  • Definitely don't need Azure. I thought Office 365 and BPOS were the same thing. Clearly I'm wrong. BPOS is what I'm interested in initially.
    – Jack
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 9:40

1 Answer 1


BPOS runs SharePoint 2007 and Office 365 runs SharePoint 2010.

If you're using BPOS then you have a password/userid that is separate from anything else. There is a Single Sign On Client that AFAIK runs on your desktop and adds some sort of token to the browser traffic to identify you just so you don't have to type username/password in again (which ISNT necessarily the same as your internal domain username/pwd) - but this doesn't have to be used.

This page has a sample showing you how to use the web services via c# - see in comments where it shows how to setup credentials for BPOS as opposed to local domain.


   = new NetworkCredential("username", "password");

If you're using Office 365 then authentication is massively different to BPOS and has options for federating your authentication with your internal active directory (via ADFS) or all sorts of other authentication providers.

  • OK, thanks for the clarification. I am only interested in Office 365. I had a look at the link you provided. I notice they're using .Net, but if I authenticate using SharePoint 2010 web services, then I should be able to consume this from any operating-system (after-all it's just SOAP)? The reason I ask is because I want to use Office 365 out-of-the-box services on iOS. My plan was to generate an Objective-C stub using GSOAP and use the SharePoint 2010 web service. More generally - I need to perform remote authentication without using the Client Object Model.
    – Jack
    Commented Jun 16, 2012 at 13:09
  • OK so now its 365? You sure? Last change to change your mind? <sigh> Read Wictors article again carefully - the key to authentication on 365 is passing back and forth security tokens and cookies - what programming language or OS you're using or if your accessing via normal site, client object model, REST/RPC OR * Web Services* is irrelevant, its all the same.
    – Ryan
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 8:18

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