Today's Webpart Development For Tomorrow's Intranet

Posted by Beau Cameron on 06.01.17
Beau Cameron
Find me on:

man-climbing-stairs.jpg

The SharePoint landscape is changing at a very rapid pace. 2017 is going to bring lots of new changes for Office365 and SharePoint 2016 alike. Feature Pack 2 will be releasing this fall for SharePoint 2016, which includes a whole bunch of new development goodies including the SharePoint Framework!

If you've been under a rock the last year, a new development paradigm is up and coming, utilizing a modern webstack such as node.js, npm, gulp, webpack, typescript and react. Now, many of us are still using classic pages within Office 365 and haven't fully switched over to the Modern SharePoint pages. As a developer, we must be aware of how we are developing on SharePoint today, so that it's future proof.

Development of today

  • Content Editor Webparts + Script Editor Webparts
  • SharePoint Designer Workflows
  • SharePoint Add-in Model
  • InfoPath/Custom Forms

Development of tomorrow

  • SharePoint Framework (SPFx)
  • Microsoft Flow
  • SharePoint Add-in Model
  • PowerApps

If you look at both lists, you'll see quite a difference. One thing I'd like to focus on for this post is CEWP/SEWP and how you would be using them in the future, in the new Modern SharePoint. These are arguably the most used features for a SharePoint Developer. They are quick and easy to build and can be used anywhere in your environment. The unfortunate problem is that they are not supported in the Modern SharePoint pages.

 

"Wait, really? But what if I am not using Modern SharePoint yet?"

There is good and bad news here. The bad news obviously is your SEWP and CEWP will not work on the modern pages, you must use the new SharePoint framework. The good news, is that SharePoint Framework webparts work in classic pages! Yes!

So when thinking about the future, always start with the SharePoint Framework. As a developer, try to make this conscious decision when building new webparts for SharePoint. The next thing to think about, is how do you not only build for the future, but how do you prepare? Start taking a high level view of your SharePoint environment and figure out which webparts you currently have, can be re-built using the SharePoint Framework.

It is important to note, you could technically copy all of your SEWP JavaScript code and simply import it as a module definition in your SPFx webpart. However, it might be worth taking the time to convert your SEWP/CEWP using TypeScript and the new SPFx model. If anything, it will help you get accustomed to developing in the new framework using node.js/npm/webpack/react.

Learn About Our Intranet Support Services

Topics: Development

Subscribe Here!

Recent Posts

Posts by Tag

See all