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I'm building a custom app that exists almost entirely outside of SharePoint, but I'd like to be able to use the people picker. Is that possible? I'm seeing some rumblings that SharePoint controls don't work for provider-hosted apps. Has anyone else gotten this to work?

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Please check out the new Office App Model Samples. They include an implementation of a people picker for a provider-hosted app:

https://officeams.codeplex.com/

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It doesn't seem to be possible, I have been looking for this myself.

I found this which states that the SP controls are only build for sharepoint hosted apps not for auto or provider hosted applications ... http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/sharepoint/en-US/2bcfd3da-8226-4fc8-a748-2dc49bfa29df/people-picker-in-aspnet-mvc-4-providerhosted-app-for-sharepoint

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