• AndyH

In at the deep end

Updated: Mar 13, 2019

Hello, I'm Andy and I'm a SharePoint developer. Perhaps I should clarify that statement and say that I am a SharePoint developer who has been creating mostly .NET based solutions for an on-prem SharePoint environment since the year and version 2007. I can say I feel comfortable and at home in my SharePoint world.

Along comes Office 365 and now everything has changed. Goodbye C#, farewell .NET, adios object model, au revoir application pages. You served me well but it's time to move on. OK, well maybe not forever, but certainly on this journey.

So hello SharePoint Framework, I'm Andy and I'm a traditional SharePoint developer.

Where to start?

So where does a traditional SharePoint developer start in this new world?

The first thing to strike me is that there is a lot, and I mean bucket loads, of information out there. That's good right? Yes it is, but part of the reason is there are so many different moving parts that can make up a development toolbox and many appear to be down to personal preference. So which way is the best way for me?

The second thing to strike me is how much assumed knowledge there is while consuming this plethora of information. I can imagine it is just like water off a duck's back for a JavaScript application developer moving to the SharePoint Framework but I often needed to hit the pause button to look for further explanations.

So this is the inspiration for this blog, feeling very much in at the deep end right now!

The plan

I'm going to focus on web part development with the SharePoint Framework (SPFx) and some of the obvious dependencies that come with it. I will post what I learn here in this blog and to make it easier, I've created categories for the general areas I've decided to cover:

  • SPFx - the tools and the framework

  • TypeScript - almost mandatory for the framework

  • React - I hear it is a hit with Microsoft on O365

  • Office UI Fabric - to create a consistent O365 look and feel

  • PnPJS - for talking to SharePoint almost like the server object model

I'm learning as I go along so perhaps I will make some mistakes. I will be documenting what I get working whether good or bad. There could be better ways to tackle the problems I encounter and I will post follow ups when I find one. I genuinely welcome feedback as I hope you can steer me in the right direction, but remember be nice!

Hopefully this blog will be of some use to others starting out on this same journey.

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