SPServices v0.7.2 Countdown, Updates, and Futures

Inukshuk near Golden, BC, CanadaHello, all! I was away on a fantastic trip to Western Canada.I posted BETA1 before I left and there have already been over 500 downloads. I’m back and ready to push out the v0.7.2 release of SPServices as soon as I work through the feedback I received while I was gone.

I haven’t seen any significant issues except that I heard that SPServices wouldn’t work with jQuery 1.8.x. As usual, the jQuery team made some subtle changes – no doubt improving the library overall – that had an impact on SPServices. Luckily, this one was a pretty easy fix (for those of you interested in details, here’s the issue in the Issue Tracker), and it seems to work just fine with the earlier versions of jQuery I’ve tested as well. Of course, I’m just one guy, so any testing that you can do with the BETA2 that I posted last week would be great for the SPServices community. If there’s one thing I’d ask of anyone who uses SPServices extensively, it’s help in testing new versions.

Another thing I wanted to comment on was a question from Paul Tavares (@paul_tavares) due to a comment I made in the SPServices Discussions.

[notice]By the way, the Discussions is the right place to start any threads on SPServices, NOT the Documentation pages. Codeplex doesn’t give me any good way to track comments on the Documentation, so odds are I’m going to miss your question or comments – there are a lot of documentation pages and I can’t check them all regularly. Also, starting with an item in the Issue Tracker is often not the best thing because code posted there cannot be formatted.[/notice]

Microsoft has officially said that the ASP.NET (SOAP) Web Services have been deprecated in SharePoint 2013 – thanks to Rene Modery (@modery) for the link.

Two API sets are still supported in the SharePoint 2013 Preview framework for backward compatibility, but we recommend that you not use them for new projects: the ASP.NET (asmx) web services, and direct Remote Procedure Calls (RPC) calls to the owssvr.dll file.

So while the SOAP Web Services are deprecated, they still exist in SharePoint 2013, though they will go away sometime in the future. However, that future could be quite a way off (2016? 2019?) because earlier versions of Office rely on the SOAP Web Services to interact with SharePoint. The Microsoft replacement to SOAP is the REST interface, along with the Client Side Object Model (CSOM). In SharePoint 2010, the coverage of functionality in those two options is limited, however. In 2013, they have been significantly extended, but I haven’t yet seen (or done) a side-by-side comparison with SPServices and REST and CSOM in SharePoint 2013. I believe that the SOAP Web Services will still have better coverage in SharePoint 2013.

All that said, I believe there’s still a “long tail” for SPServices, at the very least. People are still using SharePoint 2007 and 2010 and will be for a long time. This is certainly true of my client base, as well as in the wilds, based on my conversations at conferences. Upgrades are very expensive – hardware, licensing, but most importantly time – and many organizations are making damn good use of the existing versions of SharePoint.

This means that SPServices isn’t going to become useless anytime soon. I’m going to continue maintaining it and extending it. I still see it as an extremely viable development tool for SharePoint. One of its best qualities is that it works as you move from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2010 and now SharePoint 2013. You may need to tweak your code, but you won’t need to rewrite it. None of Microsoft’s client side tools can do that for you!

Stay tuned for more updates about the release, and let me know if you have any issues or feedback.


  1. Great work Marc on the improvements you continue to make to this great library. My question to you on twitter had two purposes: what are the alternatives and were you thinking about deprecating SPServices as well. It does not sound like you are just yet, which is good for all of us that rely heavily on it for client side programming.
    That being said, maybe it is time to start to really pay attention to the alternatives and how we can adapt.
    Thanks again for all that you do for the SharePoint community.


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