In a recent announcement, Microsoft unveiled the deprecation and end-of-life plans for SharePoint add-ins, marking a significant shift for users who have relied on this extensibility model for over a decade. This blog post will go into the details of the announcement, providing a comprehensive overview of the timeline, implications, and recommended actions for users.
SharePoint add-ins, introduced in 2012, have served as a key extensibility model for Microsoft users worldwide. However, in the face of evolving technologies, Microsoft is now steering users toward more modern alternatives like Power Platform and SharePoint Framework. The announcement emphasizes the need for users to transition away from SharePoint add-ins, which are slated to be retired in April 2026.
Timeline and Implications
The timeline for the deprecation and end of life for SharePoint add-ins is as follows:
March 2024: Microsoft stops accepting new SharePoint add-ins in the store.
July 24, 2024: Existing add-ins can no longer be installed from the store.
November 2024: New tenants are unable to use add-ins.
April 2026: SharePoint add-ins cease to function entirely.
This timeline is relatively swift, urging users to start considering the implications for their current usage and future projects. While existing tenants will retain add-in capabilities until April 2026, the emphasis is on preparing for a shift to more modern technologies.
Microsoft provides tooling to assess how SharePoint add-ins are being used within a tenant. Users are encouraged to utilize these tools to gain insights into their current add-in landscape.
Guidance for Modernization
Depending on the functionality of existing add-ins, users are advised to explore modernization options. SharePoint Framework is highlighted as the default modernization target for user experience (UX) extensibility. However, alternatives like Power Platform may be suitable for specific scenarios.
Dependence on Azure ACS
With the retirement of Azure ACS (Authentication Client-Side), users need to plan for alternatives in the authentication model. Microsoft suggests exploring application registration in Entra ID (Azure AD) as a way forward.
Impact on SharePoint 2013
Workflows – Users relying on SharePoint 2013 workflows should note that these workflows will cease to function after the end-of-life date due to their dependency on Azure ACS. The recommendation is to transition to more modern alternatives, such as Power Automate.
Provider-Hosted Add-ins – For provider-hosted add-ins, the recommendation is to consider developing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions or web applications secured by Entra ID, moving away from the add-in model.
As Microsoft signals the end of life for SharePoint add-ins, users are urged to modernize, embracing technologies like SharePoint Framework and Power Platform. The timeline provided offers a window for users to assess, plan, and implement the necessary changes, ensuring a seamless transition away from the deprecated SharePoint add-in model. By understanding the implications and following the recommended actions, organizations can pave the way for a more agile and future-ready collaboration environment.