Sandbox solution for o365 public site, access URL to Upload solution

https://<ourdomainname>-public.sharepoint.com/_catalogs/solutions, but why the Microsoft removed the link from site setting page of 0365 public site, long story short, lets have a look.

Without Sandboxed solutions, there is no way to add a custom web part to the site. The Web Part Gallery link is gone from the site setting page  so we can’t upload a custom web part definition. Even if we could, the web part would have to be just a variation of an out of the box web part with, perhaps some predefined settings. Without solutions, there’s no need to monkey with the existing web parts.

Sandboxed solutions are resource throttled. We can see why Microsoft would remove the use of Sandboxed solutions due to throttling capabilities. In a public site scenario, anonymous users can access the site. If our web site has a certain functionality that will cease to execute after a throttle threshold has been hit, it’s conceivable to think that a form of attack could be done by an anonymous user to force the site to hit the throttle threshold on a daily basis. Upping the throttle level only delays the inevitable while removing the throttle opens the door to unnecessary load on the system as a whole. Nixing the whole sandboxed solutions from the start fixes the problem completely.

Anything that a web part can do, a SharePoint App can do. With the addition of the SharePoint App Store, the need for custom web parts has diminished. Additionally, with the App store, the functionality of the apps can be offloaded to other servers which hosts the app thus reducing the strain on the Office 365 front end servers. These front end servers can focus on doing what they’re fine-tuned to do, serve web pages without balancing resources for executing the custom business logic of the sandboxed solutions.

After all this, if we are still bent on installing that Sandboxed Solution to your public Office 365 SharePoint site, fear not, there are some options/hacks. At the time of this article, though the O365 team cleverly removed the link to the Solution library from the Site Settings page, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the functionality is ACTUALLY gone. By directly navigating to the library, you could be able to upload and activate your solution. To access the library directly, use the following URL:

https://<ourdomainname>-public.sharepoint.com/_catalogs/solutions

Here, you will see the Solutions library that you’ve grown to love. Feel free to upload the solution and activate it at will while keeping in mind the resource throttling issue mentioned earlier.

Apart from the Sandbox solution link what else we can have is

Now that we know that some links are simply removed from sight and the functionality is not pulled, what other links should be available? Let’s see if we can find some of the relevant ones…

  • Web Part Gallery  – https://<yourdomainname>-public.sharepoint.com/_catalogs/wp  – Accessible – You can also still select New from the Ribbon, find a whole slew of additional web parts and populate them to your site.
  • Site Content Types  – No Access
  • Site Collection Features  – No Access
  • Site Features  – No Access

List Templates – https://<yourdomainname>-public.sharepoint.com/_catalogs/lt  – Accessible

About Krishana Kumar

Krishana Kumar is SharePoint Architect/Trainer having Architecture experience with high volumes at Enterprise level and global scale - creation of highly scalable solutions with global user base and geographically distributed architectural components. Good knowledge of SharePoint best practices and governance models. I hold Two Master degree in Computer Science with over 11 years of experience working on Microsoft Technologies specially SharePoint, Project, .NET and other Information Worker Technologies. Having good exposer in Client side scripting Angular.js, backbone and Node. I am currently responsible for SharePoint Infrastructure set up and leading teams in various medium and large scale projects, architecting, designing & installing SharePoint farms, developing custom components,, and providing advanced SharePoint administration and development training to teams and customers. I regularly speaks in various SharePoint User Groups and other Events. I have MCSA Windows Azure, MCSA Office 365, MCSE & MCSD SharePoint 2013, Microsoft Certified Developer (MCD) and holds MCPD, MCTIP and MCTS for SharePoint 2010, MCTS MOSS 2007 & WSS 3.0, MCPD, MCITP (EPM 2010 & 2007) and MCSD .NET.
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