Build reusable components for SharePoint

Learn about some of the most important reusable components you can build in SharePoint, including web parts, workflows, custom lists, and more.

Reusable components in SharePoint

Using SharePoint, you can build a variety of components, such as lists, web parts, and content types, which you can reuse in various apps, sites, and solutions. This section summarizes some of the most common reusable components that you can build in SharePoint. Future updates to this documentation will contain information about additional components you can build.


There are some restrictions on which components you can use in SharePoint Add-ins. For more information, see Host webs, add-in webs, and SharePoint components in SharePoint.

  • Web Parts are the most common way to extend SharePoint. Learning to build web parts is a great way to start SharePoint development. For more information, see SharePoint Developer Building Blocks: Technologies for Creating SharePoint Applications.

  • Custom lists in SharePoint sites provide locations to store data. Data manipulation in SharePoint lists is a widely used practice. You can use lists to contain data that you access programmatically. For more information, see Building Block: Lists and Document Libraries.

  • Workflows enable you to codify and standardize business processes, and are one of the essential tools for implementing certain scenarios. For more information, see Workflows in SharePoint.

  • External content types make data from outside the SharePoint deployment available to the SharePoint application. For more information, see External content types in SharePoint.

  • You can define a content type that is a prototype of a list item. If you are using content types for a list, you can define the list so that it contains only items of one content type, or you can specify that it can contain items of one of several content types. For more information, see Introduction to Content Types.

  • Column types and field types enable you to define rich metadata for standardized fields and columns in SharePoint lists. You can define a site column (in a site column gallery) of a specific data type that you can use throughout your site. This resembles defining domains in database schema design. It lets you ensure that columns in several lists use the same value space. For more information, see Custom Field Types.

  • Event receivers enable you to write event handlers that are called when, for example, users add, delete, or modify items in SharePoint document libraries or lists. For more information, see Building Block: Event Handling.

  • Remote event receivers provide a way to notify external systems of SharePoint events. You can specify the endpoint and event properties to call when an event happens. For more information, see Create a remote event receiver in SharePoint Add-ins.

See also