I am new to SP2013 development. I have been asked to create the following for a client timesheet system:

  • 8 custom lists (some of these link to each other)
  • each list has 3 or 4 different views
  • 2 of these lists have custom security permissions
  • a page that shows a summary view of each list

What would be the best way to approach this e.g. create app in vs2012, multiple apps, farm/sandbox solution, sp designer, web template.

There are no budget constraints so it should be done the best and most maintainable way possible. In the future more lists and web parts will be added. Please share experiences.


  • lists in apps, doesn't support workflows. go for farm solution. Jun 20, 2013 at 20:31

3 Answers 3


Everything that you have described in the question can be achieved with out of the box functionality with no point of coding custom App. If you can write good apps and you want to support this client and have a way to get paid for every time they request a change, than you can do custom Apps. Otherwise use out of the box solution that will be easy to maintain and expand as necessary.

You can do everything just about everything straight in browser and if you get into really elaborate views than you would have to use SP Designer. Lists can be linked to each other but if you exceed 4 connected lists at once it creates a problem. In SP you can create custom security groups or just use AD groups and users for your list permissions. You can even set different views of the list under different permissions.

I'm also confused on the actual question it self "App or Farm Solution"

The article below describes difference in Farm Solution vs Sandbox when developing, is this what you refering too? http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee361616.aspx

Edit: Here is great article that you should read in regards to SP Apps http://www.sharepointnutsandbolts.com/2012/08/sharepoint-2013-appsarchitecture.html

  • He is talking about the 2013 App framework... Jul 18, 2013 at 5:40
  • Who ever gave me a negative score, please elaborate why you think my answer is not sufficient. SharePoint is suppose to be about making it easy to use and maintain, thus using out of the box makes the most sense if it can be done. Why reinvent the wheel?! Jul 18, 2013 at 12:11
  • 1
    What is the hold up with using OOTB features in a Visual Studio solution? He is really not talking about custom stuff but about how to package the functionality. Believe it or not, but in most bigger scenarios SP Designer and "clicking around in the GUI" is just not sufficient. I also think that the fact that you answered the question without having the slightest idea of what the OP meant with an App, weighed you down Jul 18, 2013 at 12:19
  • First of all it is my problem that he did not phrase his question correctly. Second, everything he described can be done in SP Designer, for more functionality, just modify the code behind. Lastly Sandbox vs Farm Solution is the way of deploy and debug the apps not the way of creating them. And if this is will turn into flame war I would rather not even bother answering questions that you comment on. Just because you have and opinion it does not make it right or perfect for everybody and every scenario. Jul 18, 2013 at 12:39
  • With the add of som App info, you got my blessing :) Jul 18, 2013 at 12:53

Sounds like a pure declarative solution. Just create a WSP with only xml description of what you want (lists, views. etc.) and upload it to the solution gallery. Then you got all advantages of wsp-packaging (re-use etc.), creating it in VS and still have no coding harming your system. And you also do not have to ask an admin to install it, because you can do it by yourself ;)


For me, it would be easiest to conceive all of this in Visual Studio. That being said, everything you're mentioning with the possible exception of the summary web part (there is a list view summary WP OOB but that may or may not work for you depending on your needs) can be constructed either directly OOB or via SP Designer, and therefore for the sake of letting future users be able to make changes to these things easily I'd probably recommend doing it one of those ways instead.

The big exception to this would be if you had to deploy this set-up across multiple sites. Then I'd definitely create a solution via VS because frankly I'm lazy.

  • Using VS does not exclude apps though! Jun 20, 2013 at 19:11
  • Thanks for replying. Would your recommend app, farm/sandbox solution or web template? Jun 21, 2013 at 8:20

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