Add support for sandbox solutions upload and activation in CSOM
You have now announced that no-code sandbox solutions are supported after all. Then you should logically (and quickly) add support for uploading and activating sandbox solutions in the CSOM.
If you at MS are planning to NOT add that support in the CSOM, you should reconsider because:
Customers want to use Save Site As Template. For example, they want to save an OOB team site with some extra lists into a .wsp (=sandbox solution). Then we need to be able to programmatically upload and activate that in a new site collection. Now not possible in the CSOM (except with HTTP Post tricks).
Using sandbox solutions allows a faster transformation of farm solutions to CAM for developers, because the features and their SP items (the declarative parts) will be reusable in the sandbox solution.
The feature framework is documented and standardized. If you force us partners to drop the feature framework because of this one missing thing in the CSOM, you are in fact forcing each partner to develop their custom substitute for the feature framework. A huge amount work with no tangible benefits to the customer. Yes, we have some code samples for this now on CodePlex, but come on.
Sandbox solutions have localization support with feature resx files (which work better than MSDN implies). Even this would have to be built custom.
When using the feature framework with sandbox solutions, there is no dependency on XML files on the disk, because it's all in the content database. So what is your reason for not fully supporting no-code sandbox solutions?
All in all, you at MS should not force all SP dev shops to reinvent the feature framework. If you have some issues with the feature framework and sandbox solutions, fix those issues, document the changes, and most importantly add the upload and activation support in the CSOM.
Thanks for your feedback! Although we appreciate your time and effort to give us this feedback, it’s not something we’re planning to do right now.