It’s any consultant’s job to build or recommend solutions that are extensible and compatible with future releases and evolving technology. While it’s not always black and white, some of the publicized information regarding SharePoint 2016 has me more confident than ever that the intranet of the future is already here. If you Google SharePoint 2016 you’ll find at least one article with the word ‘Hybrid’ in the title. Microsoft appears (rightfully so) to be pushing to make hybrid deployments easier and 2016 will provide an improved experience. I won’t go into the details since there are a million articles available already, but this does help shed some light on the intranet of the future.
Recently I had been working on a new mechanism to deploy pre-built Content Search WebParts into new Office 365 tenant environments. The process included pre-creating a handful of display templates and then creating a Provider-hosed app to provision all the new display templates into the Master Gallery. Once I did this and used the Client Object model to create these files in the new environment, I started plugging away at building my pages and I noticed something strange. All of my deployed display templates were showing up twice in the available templates list!
If you've read any of my blogs you know I've been focusing a lot of attention on search-based intranets, content search web parts, and display templates. You can read Dan Sonneborn's blog, Why SharePoint 2013 Search Based Intranets Aren't What you Think, for more information about search-based intranets or my blog, Content Search Web Part: Custom Display Templates, for more information on CSWPs. Today I want to focus on MetroJs and how you can integrate it into CSWPs to make your links much more attractive and fun.
Planning content type relationships is an essential part of improving search functionality. Layering content types by building parent/child relationships will make life much easier when building search queries to render your content.
Why Am I Doing This?
A few months ago we had Mark Rackley, commonly known as the SharePoint Hillbilly, to our office for a visit and presentation. During the presentation he walked through his usage of FullCalendar.js which prompted me to think (aloud), couldn’t we use that js file to build a display template that searches for content and renders the results in a calendar format? His response was something along the lines of “good idea, I’ll race you!”