SharePoint Framework - Introduction

Sathish Nadarajan
SharePoint MVP
Published On :   10 May 2017
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The development pattern for the SharePoint is been changing continuously. This is reminding me “Change is the only permanent thing in the world”.

Earlier, we used to develop the WebParts, WSPs using C# etc., But at some point, of time, Microsoft introduced the Client Side Object Model. CSOM. With that, the normal Farm Solutions were eliminated. Then, we started using the Sand Box Solutions for few projects. Even, after that, the concept of WSP itself was moved out of scope.

The Era of Apps/Add-Ins came into picture. With that, we were developing PHAs, SharePoint Hosted Applications for few years. Now, it is the time to switch from that as well.

Yes, Microsoft introduced a new Framework / Foundation, in which there is no more APPs/Add-ins, WSPs, C#, Visual Studio etc., Initially, I was also a bit panic about this. But later, at the ground level, SharePoint is still SharePoint. Only as a developer, how we are going to customize SharePoint for the Client’s requirement. The development pattern is changed. Nothing much. Hence, with this introduction, let us see What is SharePoint Framework.

SharePoint Framework

Ø It is a Foundation, on which, we can develop the interactive / responsive webparts, with a new experience to the client side.

Ø As of now, the WebParts, which we are using will not work as it is on the Modern View. But, in SharePoint Framework, if we create a webpart, that will work both on the Modern and the Classic View.

Ø The WebParts, Controls are loaded on the normal DOM. Hence, it will be easy for us to get the controls from the JavaScript.

o This is the Major drawback on the App Development Model. AS the APPs/Add-ins were loaded inside an iFrame, the iFrame is not controlled from the DOM. And the iFrames, were not responsive as well.

Ø Performance is reliable

Ø SPFx Client Solutions can be used across Site Collections with the approval from the Tenant Administrator.

o This includes the Self Service Site Collections as well.

§ Team Site, My Sites, Group Sites etc.,

Ø Solutions can be deployed in both Classic as well as Modern WebPart pages.

Ø This can be used in OnPrem as well as Office 365

From now onwards, we will be hearing the below technologies frequently.

· Browser Frameworks – React, Handlebars, KnockOut, Angular etc.,

· Development Tools – npm (Node Package Manager), TypeScript, Yeoman, webpack, gulp etc.,

In the next article, let us see how to Set up the Development Environment for the new SharePoint Framework.

Happy Coding,

Sathish Nadarajan.

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