Recently in the SharePoint world, a new topic has become the focus of discussion — SharePoint Framework or in short SPFx. Everyone is saying this SPFx is going to change the SharePoint development roadmap and will bring significant changes in many ways. So, as a player in the SharePoint world, I became interested about this.
What is SharePoint Framework?
We can say that Microsoft SharePoint Framework is a new development model. It is built with a set of tools to build on top of Microsoft SharePoint. It provides full support for client-side SharePoint development, easy integration with SharePoint data, and support for open source tooling. It works for both SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online.
SharePoint Framework is mobile-first and cloud-enabled, so it works as well with SharePoint Online, Office Graph and other parts of the Office 365 business productivity suite.
In this new development model, we can build the client side web part which will run in the normal page DOM and in the same context as the current user. It allows the controls to be responsive and accessible. And SPFx sorted the custom code safely in the background so that the end user can’t alter it when modifying the page.
SharePoint Framework Topology
Node Package Manager (npm)
- SharePoint Workbench
Yeoman: Yeoman is a client-side development stack and consisting of tools which help to combine several functions in one place and it runs as a command-line interface. In SPFx, a generator is being used which is created using yeoman. It generates some starter templates with prescribing best practices and tools, manage dependencies and optimizing production code for deployment. To sum up, it provides with the common build tools, boilerplate code (standard default code), and test web site (SharePoint Workbench) to host the web parts for testing.
SharePoint Workbench: SharePoint Workbench is a developer design surface that enables quick preview and tests web parts without deploying them in SharePoint. Basically, there are two forms of the workbench. One is available locally with SPFx developer tool-chain and another one used in a SharePoint site in developer’s tenancy. The key difference between the two is that, the latter loads SPFx version from Office 365 and the former loads SPFx version from the local tool chain. So, it is tremendously useful to test and validate web parts against the service.