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Since Microsoft deprecated the SharePoint Online Public Website feature, the day is soon coming when we are going to have to go to a third-party provider to create public-facing sites on top of SharePoint Online. (For more on the announcement of discontinuation of third-party support, see "SharePoint Online Public Website feature is discontinued.")
Now it’s not a bad thing except that it costs too much. We have to pay for SharePoint, and we have to pay for the third party. It’s also true that we’ve taken some hits in the area of customization in platforming applications in SharePoint. And the problem that we’re having there is basically that we only have one model to work with and that’s the new app model. That’s basically CSOM, which stands for client side object model. Without getting too technical, it means that you're leveraging all the .NET functionality that Microsoft wants to bother to support. We don't have the sandbox model anymore where we can pretty much do what we please in an app in SharePoint, we have to do it Microsoft's way.
Now they have been very bad about that for 20 years: They make us do things their way. Well, that's not such a good thing, but it's something we have to live with. And now that SharePoint on premises is going to look pretty much like SharePoint Online, there's no place else to go. It's going to be the app model from here on out.
A look at the confusion around Office 365 services
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