Overview of SharePoint Framework (SPFx) for Beginners

SharePoint Framework (SPFx) is a new option for developing SharePoint solutions. SharePoint uses modern open-source toolchain, Node-based development, TypeScript, and so on, that are used in SharePoint on-premise and Office 365 (SharePoint Online) development. SPFx is a page and web part model which works very well with SharePoint objects.

Why SharePoint Framework?
The question that arises here is -  Why SharePoint Framework?

We have various SharePoint Development methods. Why do you need yet another way of development for SharePoint? So, as we know that in the starting days of SharePoint development, there were features; XML files, however with time, these types of solutions didn't work well in the cloud in terms of scaling where multiple tenants run side-by-side. So, there are two main SharePoint Framework (SPFx) Development models that we generally use, that is, JavaScript injection and SharePoint Add-in model. Following are their pros and cons:

JavaScript injection: As we know, the most popular web parts in SharePoint Online are the Content Editor and Script Editor web parts. We can paste JavaScript directly in the Script Editor web part and can pass JavaScript code to the Content Editor web part by writing code in a .txt, .html, or.JS file. Hence, code runs in the same browser context as that of a page. The downside to this approach is that users can edit the page and can modify the code written in the Script Editor web part. Also, the Script Editor web part is not marked as  “Safe For Scripting”, which means the Script Editor web part will be blocked from executing on some of the sites like my-sites, team sites, and so on.

SharePoint Add-in model: Add-in model or Apps are based on iFrame. As we know, iFrames are slower than the Script Editor web part because it requires a new request to another page. So, the SharePoint page must go through authentication and authorization, load JavaScript, and many more. Hence, an iFrame based page takes more time to load and ultimately affects the performance loading time of a web page. 

Farm Solutions, Sandbox Solutions, Add-ins (App Model) and No-script capability are some of the primary development methods or techniques which we generally used for SharePoint Development. 

Now let’s look at why SharePoint Framework has become the No. 1 choice for all SharePoint developers?

Key Features of SharePoint Framework 

  • SPFx runs in the context of the current user and connection with the browser. No iFrames are used for customization purposes as JavaScript is embedded directly onto the page, which ultimately increases page performance.
  • Faster rendering on the browser as all controls are rendered in the standard page DOM.
  • Controls are responsive and accessible.
  • Provides controls to access the lifecycle methods of a SharePoint Framework web part like Init, render, load, serialize, deserialize, and so on, and also allows developers to make configuration changes.
  • SPFx is framework-agnostic, which means you can use any JavaScript framework of your choice, like React, .nockout, Angular, and so on.
  • Open source development tools are used npm, Typescript, Yeoman, Webpack and Gulp.
  • SPFx web parts can be added on both classic and modern SharePoint sites and pages.
  • You can leverage your earlier knowledge of CSOM, as the data models are not changed and are completely transferable.
  • SPFx web parts are safe and secure, as the tenant administrator access level is required to make changes in the SPFx web part.

SharePoint Framework is simple, easy and effective making it one of the preferred development option for SharePoint developers, Technical specialists & Consultants.

What’s next?
If you are looking to design, build, and deploy engaging applications using SharePoint Framework, then you can refer “Getting Started with SharePoint Framework (SPFx)”.

SharePoint Framework (SPFx) Book

You will learn about what is SharePoint Framework, how you can create modern solutions using open source and modern toolchain. You will also get an overview of SharePoint Framework (SPFx) Extensions and get familiar with different functionalities that can be implemented using SharePoint extensions. Towards the end, the book gives you information about Frequently asked questions about the SharePoint Framework.

There’s more 

You can also check our SharePoint catalog if you are interested in knowing more or looking to master the SharePoint Framework.