SharePoint Framework - in Stefan Bauer's Own Words

This installment in our series asks experienced SharePoint developers to share their thoughts on the SharePoint Framework. In this series, we ask each person a series of questions and let them share their thoughts.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Webinar recording


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.

Stefan Bauer

What’s your background as a SharePoint developer?

Actually, my background is web development, I start with web development 20 years ago with PHP and mySQL, and then I think twelve years ago I switched over to SharePoint and try to apply the things I already knew from the web development perspective to SharePoint.

How much time have you spent with the SharePoint Framework?

Meanwhile a lot of time, because I tried it out from the first beta versions came out and played around. Was looking if I can do the that I did back in the classic experience to move to the modern experience. And now I’m currently working on how to make a story about how to make reusable components that you use throughout a project.

What is your impression of SharePoint Framework today?

Actually the SharePoint framework was a good step towards regular web development. The thing I like the most about SPFx is that you only have to worry about just JavaScript anymore, so all the web parts are just JavaScript code. So even if you do back end code, you use java script and even from front end.

Back in the old days in the classic experience, you had to have C Shop in your skill set and you also had for the front end stuff JavaScript, and this is now you have to only focus on one programming language.

What is your impression of the SharePoint Framework roadmap?

Well, back in the classic experience there were a lot of functionalities there that are currently not available in SPFx. So for example, webpart to webpart communication, which is absolutely missing but on the other hand you know, the SPFx framework is focusing on mobile. Also on tablet, how it looks there and I guess there are some challenges with webpart to webpart communication from a UX perspective because how do you know the webparts number and the page changes? And this will be pretty challenging in the future, but also the citizen developer store where can just simply add JavaScript and HML to a page without using the SPFx at all.

What is your favorite part of the SharePoint Framework?

The favorite part of the SharePoint framework is the extensibility from my perspective. Because you can use all the libraries that are out there through the nod modules that you tend to use in regular web development, and also the frameworks, it’s pretty open to use different frameworks except some limitations with, for example.

But you can use , you can use… and to think one thing does really good when it comes out, which is currently progress, is the elements because it moves toward a web standard development through the web components that implemented in element.

What is the one thing you would add to the SharePoint Framework?

Actually it’s not something that I would add to the SharePoint framework, I would remove something from the SharePoint framework because currently now it supports no framework web parts, it supports react framework web parts, and framework web parts. React is a no-brainer from this perspective because Microsoft built all the interfaces using React. That’s okay, but I think Nugget isn’t that useful to have it in SPFx. What I want to see in future is more an extensibility model that you can use different frameworks and plug it in the generator.

What is the biggest challenge with SharePoint Framework?

The biggest challenge for a regular SharePoint developer is that they have to switch from C sharp to JavaScript and use different tools, and know more that much visual studio, but more visual studio code or auto web development editors. And I think that is the biggest challenge for the casual web develop - for the SharePoint developers.

On the other hand for the web developers, there are so many specifics in there from the SharePoint framework that are specific to SharePoint that it might be hard for a regular web developer to start working with SPFx.

Predict the future - Where do you see the SharePoint Framework Going?

Yeah, from my perspective there are still some features missing that we have in the classic experience that should be implemented in SPFx. Like I told you before, the webpart to webpart communication, some more about the branding side that we used previously, I think I want to see this in the future that we have a comparable features set that we had in the classic experience and still have in the classic experience.

Do you have any Advice or Words of Wisdom?

I think one big issue more from the organizational side of the whole development because you already built your classical experience component, and how you move those over to the modern experience. I created a for that, where I can really test out all the implementations you have with the classic experience, then adapt it to the modern experience and see where some… see less changes and feature changes are required to make it running in the modern experience.