SharePoint 2013 REST Service Integration versus Client Object Model


Hi Folks,

Microsoft has release REST interface in
SharePoint 2013. As a SharePoint solution architect you will be having more
than one options to manipulate SharePoint data in your client applications.


With the REST interface in SharePoint 2013,
folks are asking about what are the differences? And what are the benefits over
each other? I will list all my insights in this blog post.


1) The main difference between Client Object
Model API (COM) than REST API that it requires SharePoint Client assemblies
that’s only available for .NET technologies. While using the REST API doesn’t
require any .NET assemblies to be references in your client application but use
any programming language to execute standard HTTP requests.

2) What if I want to consume SharePoint 2013 data with
Mobile Applications?
If you are planning to consume SharePoint 2013 data through
using iOS or Android devices, then the REST API is the way to go. While if you
are developing SharePoint 2013 solution on a windows phone 8 then still you
have 2 options either REST or Client Object Model while I recommend to go with
the REST for portability and code-reuse purposes specially if you plan to have
different version of your application on iOS & Android platforms.
3) Benefits of using REST over COM in Mobile apps? The size
will be smaller when you use REST since you don’t need to add any assemblies in
your App.
4) What about Windows 8 Apps? If you are developing HTML5
& JavaScript Windows 8 App this requires using the REST API in SharePoint
5) How do you Access SharePoint 2013 REST API?
The REST API is a WCF services hosted on the SharePoint
Application server and has HTTP endpoint; you can access it through the
following URL:
If you want to access a site collection:  http://MySite/site/_api/
If you want to access a web site:  http://MySite/site/_api/web/
To do the basic CRUD operation, check out this article:
“Get started with the SharePoint 2013 REST service”
“Using the SharePoint 2013 REST service”
6) When you read the above MSDN articles, the sample
requires you to get an access token to access SharePoint 2013 REST API, Is
there an alternative?
The answer is yes, you can access the REST API without
getting an access token by using the Cross-Domain JavaScript Library. Here is
your complete reference to code this.
7) The REST API is not just available for Site Collections
and Site scope CRUD operations but it is also available on BCS, Search, and
Social Features in SharePoint 2013. Check out these urls:
a) Using BCS REST service:
Using Search REST service:
c) Using Social Features REST
As a solution Architect and Web guy, I’m so excited with the
SharePoint 2013 REST API. It is a great shift to the web standards and to eliminate
the boundaries to integrate SharePoint with Non-Microsoft platforms and tools.
I see this API will be primarily and heavily used by Mobile
Developers and System integrators toward SharePoint Hybrid Solutions.
Hope this helps.

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