Web Services in SharePoint Online

In addition to the client object models, SharePoint Online provides web services for developers to access SharePoint data.

Applies to: SharePoint Designer 2010 | SharePoint Foundation 2010 | SharePoint Server 2010

Available in SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online supports two Representational State Transfer (REST) interfaces that provides access to lists and libraries as a relational data service. In addition, SharePoint Online includes several default web services that enable developers to access SharePoint data remotely.

SharePoint REST Interfaces

SharePoint Online also includes a REST interface that provides access to lists and libraries as a relational data service. A core concept of any RESTful interface is the resource, and in SharePoint Online, lists and items are represented as HTTP resources that can be addressed by remote URLs.

Operations in the SharePoint REST interface constitute a standard set of operations for RESTful web services. Read, Create, Update, and Delete operations are mapped directly to GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE HTTP verbs, which eliminates the need for intermediate layers between client and server.

The REST interface uses flexible URL conventions for querying data, which enable you to filter, sort, and select information from SharePoint lists directly from the browser. You can also retrieve information from SharePoint lists through multiple representations, including support for JSON, Atom, and AtomPub standards.

For more information, including example URLs that implement the REST interface, see SharePoint Foundation REST Interface.

Developers can also access the Excel Services REST API in SharePoint Online. This API enables developers to access workbook parts or elements directly through a URL. This allows for a flexible, secure, and simpler mechanism to access and manipulate Excel Services content.

The discovery mechanisms built into the Excel Services REST API also enable developers and users to explore the content of the workbook manually or programmatically by supplying an Atom feed that contains information about the elements that reside in a specific workbook. Some examples of the resources that you can access through the REST API are charts, PivotTables, and tables.

Using the Atom feed provided by the REST API is an easier way to get to the data you need. The feed contains traversable elements that enable any piece of code to discover what elements exist in a workbook.

For more information, see Excel Services REST API.

ASP.NET Web Services Available in SharePoint Online

The following earlier ASP.NET web services are available in SharePoint Online. Although these and other external data connections are not available for use in sandboxed solutions, you can access them through client applications such as Microsoft Silverlight and ECMAScript (JavaScript, JScript).


Whenever possible, it is recommended that you use the new client-side object model to work remotely with SharePoint Online data, instead of using the legacy ASP.NET web services listed in Table 1.

Table 1. Web services available in SharePoint Online

Web Service



Provides methods for working with alerts for list items in a SharePoint site.


Provides services for copying files within a SharePoint site and between SharePoint sites.


Provides methods for managing Document Workspace sites and the data they contain.

The following method is not available in SharePoint Online:

  • FindDwsDoc


Provides methods that enable you to create and manage picture libraries.


Provides methods for working with SharePoint lists, content types, list items, and files.

The following method is not available in SharePoint Online:

  • AddDiscussionBoardItem


Provides methods that enable you to create and manage Meeting Workspace sites.


Provides methods for associating user identifiers (IDs) with security groups for site permissions.


Provides methods for working with the permissions for a site or list.


Provides methods that return metadata or list data from sites or lists.


Provides methods for returning information about the site templates for a site collection.


Provides methods for accessing search results from client applications and web applications that are outside of the context of a SharePoint site.


Provides methods for working with users and groups.


Provides methods for working with file versions in SharePoint document libraries.


Provides methods for creating, deleting, or updating list views in SharePoint Online.


Provides methods for working with Web Parts.

The following methods are not available in SharePoint Online:

  • AssociateWorkflowMarkup

  • ExecuteProxyUpdates

  • GetAssemblyMetaData

  • GetDataFromDataSourceControl

  • GetFormCapabilityFromDataSourceControl

  • RemoveWorkflowAssociation

  • ValidateWorkflowMarkupAndCreateSupportObjects


Provides methods for working with sites and subsites.

The following method is not available in SharePoint Online:

  • CustomizeCss

See Also


Customizing SharePoint Online Using SharePoint Designer 2010

Developing SharePoint Online Solutions

SharePoint Online Developer Feature Availability Matrix

SharePoint Online Quick Links

Other Resources

SharePoint Foundation REST Interface

Excel Services REST API

SharePoint Online General Reference

SharePoint Online Developer Resource Center