State of SharePoint Client Side Development | April 2021

In this post, I'll give you an update on where we are with popular frameworks and tools developers use in the client-side SharePoint development world.

Thursday, April 29, 2021
Photo by DDP on Unsplash

It’s spring… so… April flowers… get it? Photo by DDP on Unsplash

I’m back with my monthly updates of my State of SharePoint Client-Side Development after taking a month off. Since the last update, we had a botched SPFx v1.12 release followed by Microsoft starting to publish public preview releases of future releases.

In this post, I’ll give you an update on where we are with popular frameworks and tools developers use in the client-side SharePoint development world.

Many of the things I’ll cover were recently touched on in the most recent Microsoft PnP SharePoint Framework & Client Side Development Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting, held on April 22, 2021. You can watch the recording of that meeting below:

SharePoint Framework (v1.12.1)

The current published version of the SharePoint Framework (SPFx) is v1.12.1, released in just this week. This release addressed issues that forced the rollback & deprecation of the botched SPFx v1.12.0 release. The biggest changes you’ll see in this release include the following:

  • Added support for Node.js v12 & v14
  • New API has been added to the SPFx web part class to determine the rendered width of a web part and optionally handle an event when it changes.
  • The Sync to Teams button in the Tenant App Catalog will use the Teams app manifest defined in the solution if present to create and publish a Teams app package to Microsoft Teams. If an app manifest file is not present, SharePoint will dynamically generate one.
  • Updated support for list notifications to no longer be limited to document libraries… they now include document libraries and lists!
  • Preliminary support for Microsoft Teams meeting apps with the SharePoint Framework.
Warning: Note on using Node.js v12 or v14
If you choose to use Node v12 or v14, you’ll also need to upgrade your global Gulp installation to v4 or higher. This is because Gulp v3 is only supported through Node.js v10, while Gulp v4 is supported from Node.js v12 and higher.

To get the full details on this release, see SPFx Docs: v1.12.1 Release notes. There are some additional changes detailed in the release notes that you’ll need to apply if you’re deploying to your own Azure CDNs.

PnPJS (v2.4.0)

This JavaScript library is a popular SDK abstraction layer on top of the SharePoint REST API for server-side & client-side JavaScript based solutions.

In the latest release, v2.4.0 (out on April 9, 2021), consisted a few bug fixes, including:

  • SharePoint: Fixed search query ‘hitHighlightedProperties’ property spelling
  • SharePoint: Fix client-side pages AuthorByline bug; various other testing/tooling updates
  • Microsoft Graph: Fixed addChunked file error with apostrophe
  • SharePoint: Fixed MoveTo issue

This release also included a new Microsoft Graph feature, adding the ability to get the user’s presence details.

PnP SPFx Generator (v1.16.0)

The most current version of the PnP SPFx generator, a replacement for the Microsoft provided Yeoman generator, yo @microsoft/sharepoint. No releases or updates since v1.16 on January 11, 2021 which was covered in my last update.

PnP React Controls (v3.0.0)

This is a community-based suite of reusable controls that you can use in your SPFx React-based solutions. This release represents a major version bump to support some changes applied to SharePoint Framework v1.12+. This update includes some breaking changes and should only be applied to projects using SPFx v1.12+, so be sure to test your projects before rolling them out.

This release also adds support for Fluent UI v7.

PnP Property Controls (v3.0.0)

Like it’s sibling project above, these reusable controls can be used in SPFx web part property panes. Like the PnP React Controls project, this release represents a major version bump to support some changes applied to SharePoint Framework v1.12+. This update includes some breaking changes and should only be applied to projects using SPFx v1.12+, so be sure to test your projects before rolling them out.

This project is a collection of multiple web parts that enable users to implement customizable search-based solutions.

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