I have been tasked with understanding the pro's and con's of rebuilding our SharePoint 2010 platform. This could either consist of a 2013 local install upgrade or moving to Online.

There are many variables to consider I understand. Current applications and workflows, security model, type of business applications typically used for future development etc.to name but a few.

I have been looking on this site at the advice given to others about setting up new development environments, types of architecture to consider, performance and solutions implementation best practice. This has opened up additional things to consider.

My questions are;

I have read that in SharePoint Online there is no access to Central Admin, so if this is the case then;

  • Are there any configuration limitations in SharePoint Online?
  • Does this mean I am unable to deploy custom code solutions should there be any limitations I need to overcome?
  • Can I increase row-wrapping settings and/or other thresholds for low traffic applications in SharePoint Online?
  • What do I need to consider if I want to migrate current workflow enabled lists and libraries into SharePoint Online if the business decides to do it?
  • This is a very broad question, do you think you can split it up to multiple more clear question that can be answerable ina few paragrahs? Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 12:03
  • Sorry - my head is buzzing with the scope of this.
    – Splunk
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 12:06

2 Answers 2


SharePoint 2013 on-premise would be your choice if many of existing business solutions are through WSPs, which is usually the case with SharePoint 2010.With on-premise setup, you will be migrating the content and rebuilding WSPs to the newer versions, although 2013 also supports deploying SP 2010 solutions which is deprecated. In SharePoint 2013 there are 2 hive folders 14 and 15 which allows the business more time to move to newer version.In on-premise case, you can develop: WSP, Sandboxed solution (deprecated and not recommended) and SharePoint Apps.

As for SharePoint Online (Office 365 SharePoint site), you get something called as Tenant Administration which is similar to Central Admin. You cannot deploy ANY WSPs to SharePoint online. You are restricted to sandboxed solutions or SharePoint Apps.The online version, has a subset of features, control and customization options of the on-premise version. If your company decides to go for Online, then they might need to invest more initially in developing SharePoint apps for existing solutions, but the long-term advantage of not maintaining infrastructure and not bothering about installing latest updates.


@SharePoint Online

Does this mean I am unable to deploy custom code solutions should there be any limitations I need to overcome?

  • Definitely, I'm not familiar with it myself but basically it's a sandbox solution Site collection host in its most basic form. This means you will have the same limitations when it comes to Server Side Code. And scope wise you will be limited to only the site collection (I think?)

EDIT: SharePoint online actually offers another option, Apps for SharePoint, which can also work on-premise and are being pushed as the new alternative for sandbox solutions (which are now deprecated, which means it's still available now in SP 2013 but not recommended).

Regarding your current solutions etc, it's easy to figure out if they will work in SharePoint Online. Are they user solutions (sandbox solutions), than yes, otherwise most likely no.

If you want to go with SharePoint Online, in regards to future development right now, you are limited to sandbox solutions because apps don't yet exist in SP 2010. If you go to SP 2013 on-premise, you will have the most flexibility with future development and current solutions, since they can be farm solutions or sandbox solutions.

  • Thanks for your answer, so you're saying SharePoint Online won't be compatible with any WSP's I may want to deploy in the future? Which I assume SharePoint Server 2013 (local) will be the opposite of?
    – Splunk
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 13:49
  • I have missed the SP2013 part for some reason, blatant oversight of me, I will update my answer Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 13:51
  • This was very informative but does not fully answer the question in it's entirety - which is ok I guess. However, I am certainly a little clearer but I don't have the rep to upvote your answer/comments.
    – Splunk
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 16:38

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