Note: This article is written based on SharePoint 2013 Preview. Many of the Apps features compared in this article may have changed and may not be applicable in SharePoint 2013 RTM.
With the new Apps deployment model in SharePoint 2013, SharePoint developers will face a new challenge of choosing the new Apps deployment model over proven approaches such as farm solutions introduced in SharePoint 2007 and sandbox solutions introduced in SharePoint 2010.
Recently I have presented Multi-faceted in-depth comparison of Apps vs. Solutions Model at the SharePoint Fest Chicago and highlighted that all three models – farm, sandbox, and Apps are still valid options depending upon specific situations and there is no clear winner. With the addition of 3 more Apps deployment models, SharePoint architects and developers job would become even more challenging and hopefully this blog article will provide basic understanding of what each model offers and how they differ from each other.
I have compared 3 Apps models (SharePoint hosted, Provider hosted, and Azure Auto-hosted) with 2 existing solutions model (Farm and Sandbox Solutions) from 6 different perspective – Architectural level, Custom Development level, Deployment, Packaging, and Maintenance level, Infrastructure level, Business Strategy and Direction level, and Usability Perspective level. You can download Apps vs. Solutions comparison in PDF format from my SkyDrive account.