This post is just one part in my 10-part email course Understanding the SharePoint Framework Development Toolchain which you can subscribe to and get delivered straight to your inbox.
First off, let me welcome you to this course! By signing up you must be interested in learning the SharePoint Framework. This is a big first step to learning the SharePoint Framework and I’m happy to help you on the road ahead.
If you have taken a look at the documentation Microsoft has provided you will know one of the first things they will have you do is get your development environment set up with the right tools. Right away you will notice something different if you’ve done any development with Microsoft based technologies in the past: the first step isn’t “Install Visual Studio”... it’s “Install Node.js”
results of creating a SharePoint Framework client-side web part in the console
Yeah, that can be a bit of a shock to the developer in you. Why are they doing this? Why do you need Node.js? What are all these tools with funny names like gulp & yeoman? Where is Visual Studio?
This email course is designed to answer all these questions, to explain what the SharePoint Framework is, what this new development toolchain is all about and most importantly, to provide clarity so you can get up and running quickly without getting distracted or overwhelmed by this radical change to what you may be used to. Each day’s installment in this course will take just 3-5 minutes to read… I know you are busy so I’ll keep it brief and to the point!
In this first installment of the course, I will set the expectations and explain what the other installments will cover so you know what to expect.
The second installment of the course will explain what the SharePoint Framework is. This is the first step to understanding what this new development model is all about as it will explain why some of these tools are needed in our development environment.
On day three you will learn how developing for the SharePoint Framework is very different from traditional SharePoint development. You know, those things like farm solutions, sandbox solutions, provider hosted add-ins and SharePoint hosted add-ins… those things we used Visual Studio for? It’s not just about development, but the deployment story that’s different. Just like day 2’s topic, this knowledge helps gain insights into the how & why for some of these tools.
Then in the fourth installment, I will explain what this development and deployment toolchain looks like. You will see everything that is required and what role it serves in the toolchain. It helps when you can compare this to something you are familiar with, such as traditional SharePoint or general .NET development, so I’ll draw parallels here.
Finally in days 5 through 10, I will look at each of the different frameworks and tools involved in the development toolchain. This includes Node.js, NPM, Yeoman, Gulp, Webpack, and editor options.
That’s it for day 1. Tomorrow’s installment will tackle the question What is the SharePoint Framework. Enjoy the rest of your day and I’ll touch base with you tomorrow!