Talk to SharePoint Through its Web Services [Archive]


Microsoft Office  is very tightly integrated with SharePoint by utilizing its web services. Windows SharePoint Services comes with sixteen different web services. SharePoint Portal Server  supports an additional five web services. The web services provided by SharePoint do provide a vast array of features. But not all SharePoint features are accessible through them. If required you can build your own web service on top of SharePoint leveraging the managed SharePoint server API itself. The web service interfaces make it very easy to integrate SharePoint capabilities right into your application.

This article is not a detailed documentation of every web method and web service provided by SharePoint. It is rather an introduction to its capabilities and how to use them. You can download the Windows SharePoint Services SKD or the SharePoint Portal Server SKD for a complete reference of all web services and also of the server API itself. Please refer to this article for a guide how to install and administrate SharePoint or this article for a guide how to use and customize SharePoint portals.

How to add a Windows SharePoint web service reference

You can add a web reference to each SharePoint web service through your Visual Studio .NET IDE. In your Solution Explorer right click on your project and select “Add Web Reference” from your popup menu. The table below shows the URLs to use for each web service provided by WSS. Enter the URL to the web service and click the Go button. This will show you in the dialog box a summary of all available web methods. Next enter the name of the web reference and then click Add Reference.

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