SharePoint 2010 Client Object Model

In SharePoint 2010, there is an interesting feature called Client Object Model (Client OM) which is a unified model that uses the same or similar programming concepts as the Server Object Model (Server OM). The Client Object Model can be accessed via web services, via a client (JavaScript) API, and via REST.

Why Client Object Model?

You must be thinking now why should I have Client Object Model when millions of sites are running smoothly without the Client Object Model. So here is the answer to your question – Client object Model is the result of SharePoint customers’ request to Microsoft to introduce more and more web services to get data out of SharePoint. But introducing web services will not fix the issues, as Microsoft found, because then the request for more functionality in the web services will continue. Even if Microsoft provides a good number of web services with SharePoint, customization in web services will be required for different clients, and this will make the out-of-the-box web services unusable. Also introducing a large number of web services will be a waste as not all companies will use all the web services functionalities. Thus, in order to add more web services from users, Microsoft has taken a different approach called Client Object Model (OM). This SharePoint Client Object Model will allow getting data out of SharePoint from PCs that are not hosting SharePoint. Also Client Object Model provides complete API to interact with SharePoint Server which is more intuitive, and useful and very much similar to SharePoint Object Model.

SharePoint 2010 has launched three new client APIs which can be used to interact with SharePoint sites. The three APIs are targeted for three different types of clients:

· For .net Managed applications (for example, console applications, window applications, web applications etc, which are not running inside SharePoint Context).

· For Silverlight applications.

· For using with JavaScript (called ECMAScript). This API is only available for applications hosted inside SharePoint (for example, web part deployed in SharePoint site can use this JavaScript API for accessing SharePoint from browser using JavaScript).

Conclusion: The new Client Object models provide an object-oriented system for interoperating with SharePoint data from a remote computer, and they are in many respects easier to use than the already existing SharePoint Foundation Web services. You start by retrieving a client context object that represents the current request context, and through this context, you can obtain access to client objects at site-collection level or lower in the SharePoint Foundation hierarchy. Client objects inherit from the ClientObject class (ECMAScript: ClientObject), and you can use them to retrieve properties for a specific SharePoint object, to retrieve child objects and their properties, or to retrieve child items from a collection.

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