SharePoint Protocols "explained"

April 18, 2008

If you were not aware, Microsoft released a bunch of PDF documents specifying various protocols that SharePoint uses to communicate internally and with other servers. The package is available for download at Microsoft Download site and weighs about 134 MB, but if you are used to downloading the SDKs it's no sweat.

The "bunch" of documents is grossly divided into Front-End protocols (SharePoint internal communication) and Back-End protocols (talking to SQL Server, Exchange, etc). Excel Services calls, Active Directory communication and Office/Outlook protocols are also included.

Good news, huh? Well...a sort of.

The not-so-good news is that it's not like SDK or technical documentation we're used to. Microsoft just dumped 152 ugly PDF files that have a ton of links to each other. It's very hard to just skim the content, the "noise" is very high (and the "Preliminary" watermark doesn't help either).

Protocol documentation sample

Well, at least we have some official documents that can shed some light on the inner workings of SharePoint and help us make it better by extending them. Too bad they are barely usable in their present form.

An added bonus: you can find some geek funny protocol abbreviations such as SPFEPO (SP Front-End Protocols), SPBEPO (Back-end protocols) and SPEMAWS (SP Email Web Service), for instance.

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Written by Edin Kapić Insatiably curious code-writing tinkerer. Geek father. Aviation enthusiast. Cuisine journeyman. Follow me on Twitter