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What is Sandboxing?

Posted By:Manning       Posted Date: February 02, 2011    Points: 75    Category: SharePoint    URL: http://www.dotnetspark.com  

Sandboxed Solutions or User Code Solutions are giving SharePoint a whole new level of extensibility. It allows the end-users to build their own, download, or buy reusable solutions that can be used in the farm without involvement of administrators. These solutions can also be installed without having downtime of your web applications.
 

This article is taken from the book SharePoint 2010 Web Parts in Action. The author shows you different ways to query a standard Tasks list for all items that have the status set to Completed.


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40% off any version of SharePoint 2010 Web Parts in Action with the checkout code dnspark40. Offer is only valid through www.manning.com.


Sandboxed Solutions or User Code Solutions are giving SharePoint a whole new level of extensibility. It allows the end-users to build their own, download, or buy reusable solutions that can be used in the farm without involvement of administrators. These solutions can also be installed without having downtime of your web applications.

The Sandbox is a service in SharePoint Foundation called Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Sandboxed Code Service in which all Sandboxed solutions is executed. This process runs separately from the rest of SharePoint so any crashes or hiccups in the Sandbox will not affect SharePoint. SharePoint communicates with the Sandbox using a proxy and vice versa. The code executing inside a Sandbox is deployed to the database but never ends up in the file system. The sandboxed worker process has very limited security policies. For instance, you are not allowed to call web services or use custom database connections. You can add Web Parts, lists, workflows, and content types and you can use event receivers in a Sandboxed solution.

Sandboxed solutions are deployed into the Solution gallery of a Site Collection. This also means that sandboxed solutions can only access information within the site collection it is deployed into. To deploy a solution into the Solution Gallery, you go to Site Settings of the root web of the Site Collection and choose the gallery called Solutions. By selecting the Solutions tab in the Ribbon and clicking on the Upload Solution button, you can upload a WSP package to the gallery. When the solution package is uploaded, it appears in the solution gallery. You can select the solution and click Activate in the Ribbon to activate it or Deactivate to deactivate the solution (see figure 1). To be able to install Sandboxed solutions the user has to be a Site Collection owner, so not everyone is allowed to install Sandboxed solutions.



Figure 1 The Solution Gallery in a Site Collection is used to manage the Sandboxed solutions. Solutions can be activated, deactivated, and upgraded and the current resource usage is shown for the entire Site Collection and each solution.

SharePoint monitors all solutions running in the sandbox and logs counters such as CPU usage, thrown exceptions, database queries, and so on. Each usage of resources is logged and given points, as seen in figure 1. When the total points from one or more solutions in one Site Collection reaches a certain threshold, the Sandbox for the Site Collection will be shut down and the users will not be able to use the solutions until the usage is reset. The point quota is per day, so after 24 hours, the solutions are available once again. To prevent a single sandboxed solution from shutting down all of the other solutions in the sandbox, it is crucial that you make solutions that do not throw unhandled exceptions, make unnecessary database calls, or other operations that count towards the resource quota.

Summary


Running applications in full trust is the easiest way to build powerful applications but requires that you and your administrators are in total control of the code that is being deployed. You and your power users can use Sandboxed solutions to deploy applications. This makes sure that your SharePoint farm always is safe and your applications are monitored.


SharePoint 2010 Web Parts in Action
EARLY ACCESS EDITION

Wictor Wilén
MEAP Release: March 2010
Softbound print: December 2010 (est.) | 375 pages
ISBN: 9781935182771


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