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What is SharePoint Framework (SPFx)

SharePoint Framework development is the most recent way of creating awesome client side webparts. Extensions using open JavaScript framework or using normal JavaScript. This new model provides full development support for client side development, easy integration with SharePoint data and open source tools.

With the ability of SharePoint framework, you will be able to use modern web technologies. Also tools for the development of full mobile responsive apps which is able to deploy to SharePoint very easily. Currently this version is available for SharePoint online and soon it will be also available for on-premises. Let’s take look to SharePoint Framework development model

Features of SharePoint Framework

  • The webpart created by SPFx does not have any iframes in it.This will overcome the disadvantage of SharePoint apps having iframe.
  • The developer can choose his own development frameworks like React, Knockout,¬†Handlebars, Angular and more.
  • This enables the developer to access the life cycle.
  • The tools are based on common open source client development tools such as npm, TypeScript, Yeoman, webpack, and gulp.
  • The performance is better and reliable.
  • This will run in the context of the current user.
  • The administrator have the ability to deploy the SPFx apps to different site collections in a single click.
  • There is no need to trust it,even if it deployed like SharePoint app.
  • SPFx webparts are compatible in both classic and modern pages.
  • SPFX webpart have very advanced property panel customization.

SharePoint Framework allow the developer to write codes in type script. They can utilize object-oriented programming techniques in writing their codes.

Why Framework is important

SharePoint is available for end users as online and on-premises. SharePoint is being used as an intranet portal in most of the companies. Some companies still adopt it for their external websites too. In these cases users need additional webparts and customization which is not available by default in SharePoint.

Since that customization capability was lacking, users were now customizing SharePoint with the help of different programming models. Using managed codes like C# and client side scripting like JavaScript, JQuery etc. Server side programming using managed code is acceptable in on-premises.

But this is not easy to maintain in online since multiple tenants are running side by side. So Microsoft completely removed the use of managed code in SharePoint online 2016 anthey provided SharePoint app model and JavaScript injection for customizing SharePoint with both of them having their respective advantages and disadvantages.

  • Custom JavaScript code in script editor webpart is the widely used webpart in SharePoint online, because it is very easy to create.

The disadvantage of this is, there is no option for developers to create additional property for these webparts. The script editor webpart is not easy to package and reuse, it is in a different page.

A user with design permission can change the webpart code. While editing these pages, the webparts are not marked as safe for scripting. Hence, these webparts will be prevent running in the sites created from self service with no script feature enabled.

  • SharePoint app model have lots of advantages. The apps created using SharePoint app model will be fully isolated from the SharePoint web. so there is less chance of breaking the functionality due to the use of malfunctioning code and this will still be useful for creating advanced functional apps.

But the disadvantage of sharepoint apps is, they create an iframe to render the web app. This is not good for mobile compatible pages. The add-ins added in the on-premises pages with basic windows authentication will give continuous login prompts, and this can be fixed only in the same network. By using the credential management feature of internet explorer or group policy management tools,but users who access the site outside the network will get the login prompt.

Conclusion

New development model SharePoint framework can be used to overcome the disadvantages in old SharePoint development model . The development of new framework webpart can be handled by using the Yeoman generator and Visual Studio code. This will make the development a lot easier and more productive.

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