With every new version, Microsoft makes sure that it offers an array of new features and varying methods to accomplish the customized needs of the end-user. Talking about customization, the SharePoint Development Platform is one of the efficient visions of this tech giant. When it comes to customized needs in the modernized user interface of Microsoft’s Office 365, SharePoint Framework (SPFx) turns out to be a significantly helpful introduction.
Being a web and page part model, SPFx provides complete support to SharePoint consultants for seamless integration, assistance for open-source tools and development services.
Moreover, with Microsoft SharePoint Framework, it is also easier to use modern web technologies in the developmental environment. Having said that, let’s dive into the detailed prospect of SharePoint Framework and understand it better.
[Related Article: SharePoint Online]
Primary Features of SharePoint Framework
- Jotted down below is a list of features that SharePoint Framework shares:
- The framework operates in the present user context as well as connection in any of the browsers.
- The controls of this framework are rendered in the DOM’s normal page and are accessible as well as responsive.
- The Lifecycle of SharePoint Framework can be accessed easily with deserialize, serialize, load, render, and more.
- The SharePoint framework comes with a reliable performance
- The tools for client development are open-source, such as Yeoman, TypeScript, npm, and more. They can also be used for the purposes of development.
- The web-parts can be consumed on both the modern and classic pages.
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Reasons to Use SharePoint Framework
While Microsoft has introduced plenty of positively working approaches for single enterprises; however, when it comes to running multiple tenants simultaneously, there were limited options. To overcome this issue, SharePoint consultants brought two different methodologies, such as:
- In SharePoint Online, the most prevalent part is the Script Editor, which is comprehensive and powerful.
- It is also capable of interacting with other page’s controls as it runs in a similar browser and in a similar DOM.
However, it comes with drawbacks as well. The options for configuration are not easily available. In case somebody amends the script through page editing, it may result in breaking the functionality of the web part.
On most of the collections of the site, the NoScript feature is enabled. This leads to self-service, like My-Sites, Group Sites and Team Sites. This also indicates that the web-part of Script Editor is blocked from any type of execution on the sites.
- To execute solutions in the NoScript sites, an add-in model is available.
- This option helps to render the iFrame wherein the real functionalities are available and executed.
- It is completely external to the system, and it doesn’t come with any accessibility to the connection or DOM. Hence, it can be deployed with ease and can be consumed in the NoScript sites.
However, because they run in an iFrame, they have their own repercussions. Considering that iFrame needs to send a request for a new page, which navigates through the processes of authentication and authorization, the process is quite slow in comparison to the web part of Script Editor.
The iFrame carries a significant security system as it regulates loaded inside. Thus, the others on the same page cannot access it. This way, the loaded controls will not have any access to the Office 365 connection.
Moreover, the responsiveness, theming, and CSS inheritance ways create hurdles. To conquer these issues, Microsoft came up with a SharePoint Framework Development model for the purpose of client-side development.
Tools & Libraries of SharePoint
- The interfaces, modules, and classes of TypeScript are used in the client-side development tools of this framework. These tools can be used to develop substantial web-parts in the client-side
- Some of the common but popular frameworks listed in it are Vue.js, Angular 2 for TypeScript 2.x, AngularJS 1.x, Knockout, Handlebars, and React
3.Node Package Manager (NPM)
- Same as NuGet in .NET, this one is used to handle the dependencies.
- Predominantly, npm is inbuilt in the setup of Node.js
- It comprises such tools that streamline the development of client-side
5. Gulp Task Runner
- In the client-side development of SharePoint, Gulp Task Runner is employed in the form of the build process task runner that carries out a variety of processes, such as:
- Compiling Sass or LESS files to CSS
- Minification and bundling tasks
- The bundling is executed to outline the modules and their location of use. The development toolchain uses CommonJS for this process
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Benefits and Drawbacks of SharePoint Framework
Just like every other piece of technology, even SharePoint framework has its advantages and disadvantages as listed below:
- It is responsive, fast, and light-weight as the framework is completely client-side and makes use of NodeJS. It is also compatible with other components of the Office Fabric UI.
- The provisions of the framework’s deployment mechanism include the bundling of the app, the packaging of the app, the shipping of the app to store, and the deployment of them in the tenant with adequate permission. This entire process is regulated efficiently for web parts of the client-side.
- For the developers of classic SharePoint, this one is a new development environment’s sack. Thus, developers would have to begin from NodeJS, then move to TypeScript, and then to Web packs, and lastly to Gulp.