The higher spatial resolution and sensitivity of ISO allowed several extragalactic surveys to be extended to greater depth than obtained with IRAS. With the extended wavelength range deep surveys were performed for the first time at wavelengths up to ~ 200 μm. They favour galaxy models with strong evolution. With ISO's new capabilities the spectral energy distributions of larger samples of ULIRGs in the local universe and those of quasars and radio galaxies were determined. These data are applicable as templates to the more distant universe. Foreground components from zodiacal light and cirrus to the intracluster dust emission were studied in connection with their separation from the extragalactic background radiation.