This is one installment in our series “In Own Words” by Voitanos asking experienced SharePoint developers to share their thoughts on the new development model for SharePoint - the SharePoint Framework. In this series, we ask each person a series of questions and let them share their thoughts.
So I started SharePoint development against SharePoint 2003 against WSS actually, using the web services because I was creating a search crawler and I knew nothing about SharePoint but I was crawling SharePoint. And after that, I’ve been doing just about any part of SharePoint development except add-in model, which I tried during one vacation but add-in model doesn’t really work but it’s all good, yeah.
So I guess I’ve probably spent more time that I wanted to on SharePoint Framework since I’ve been part of it since the beta. So most of my development these days is actually SharePoint Frameworks. We do web parts, extensions, multiple clients. So yeah, I’m getting quite well into it.
So I actually like the SharePoint Framework but I had done client-side development before so we sort of switched to doing client-side development before SharePoint Framework came out. So the switch was not hard. I don’t like Webpack and Gulp and all that but they sort of packaged that away from me, which is good. So actually, I just had a small app ship it, which just packs, and ships everything, and uploads it. So every time I build I ship it and then it hopefully it works.
Yeah, so I just took a look at the road map. It’s not too much there, I guess. So I’m hoping we’ll get some new stuff. So when I did the beta back in the Brussels, that was the dev application, so we had custom SharePoint Framework on display forms, added form, new form, and full-page apps, so I hope that gets back. So I hope PowerApps is not the solution for custom forms because if you modify something on the list, the form just breaks. So I hope we will get some more stuff going in on the list, actually.
I would like to add a better way to upgrade to newer versions or new drops for SharePoint Framework. It’s a hassle figuring out which MPM package I should update, new version number, then nuking your old modules folder. Figuring out what other conflict file you need to dif… There’s a different role, a new project with your old you have to figure out. That’s… They need to finally do something there.
So, we have a pretty good of framework drop right now. Future wise, I think Adoption will rise. I see more and more people, at least area, doing more and more SharePoint Framework. And releasing that. I think, well I hope they will have a clearer road map. And they continue doing, not just minor drops but major drops. Getting more solutions in there. I hope they will sort of make feature that we have better. Instead of just pushing new features all the time as well. For that, I think better regression would be nice. So, I hope that’s on the road map too. Increasing the regression.
So my advice for developers starting to look at the SharePoint Framework would be to go into the git SharePoint and look at all the sampler. There’s samples for extensions, web parts, solutions, using React, just different frameworks. Just take a look at the different samples and see how they’re actually made. And pull down the code and test them. And that’s a good way to get started.
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Andrew Connell is a web developer with a focus on Microsoft Azure & Microsoft 365, specifically SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Azure, Node.js, .NET Core, and React that enjoys development, writing & teaching… if it’s a cutting-edge web you will find Andrew there! He has received Microsoft’s MVP award every year since 2005 and has helped thousands of developers through the various courses he’s authored and taught both in-person & in online courses. Throughout the years Andrew has been fortunate enough to share what he has learned at conferences like Microsoft’s TechEd, Build, Ignite & the SharePoint Conference (SPC), the European SharePoint Conference, SharePoint Fest, and Angular’s ngConf & AngularU among many others all around the world in North America, Europe, Asia & Australia.
Computer literate with an interest for search, SharePoint, and coding in general :)
I spend my workday working with SharePoint and search.