by Friski Yudhi Pratama, Analyst Programmer at Mitrais

Sharepoint Framework image

Early in 2017, Microsoft announced a new concept for SharePoint development to align and evolve with global trends. They call it SharePoint Framework (SPFx), which supports developers in building projects using JavaScript frameworks like Angular and React. Microsoft is trying to offer a development model on the JavaScript platform for SharePoint site customization. This feature will give the developer more options to extend SharePoint capabilities.

The SharePoint framework supports the client-side development model and provides easy integration with other Microsoft technologies such as Microsoft Graph, Microsoft Flow, etc. Now Microsoft developers can  keep up with the latest trends in JavaScript framework development using React, Angular, HandlerBar which have proven to have better performance, be mobile ready, and broaden the technology options so developers are not 100% dependent on .NET.

Should you move to SharePoint Framework?
This technology does not replace other development models. Developers still can choose which development method is best for their requirement. A few things to know about SPFx are:

Performance

The SharePoint framework is JavaScript. Microsoft encourages developers to use Typescript (a strict syntactical superset of JavaScript) for development. It has many advantages besides type checking and validation but it’s not mandatory. In the end, the output code will be plain JavaScript that will be executed in the browser. This mechanism provides better performance reducing communication with the back end server.

Security

The code will run based on current user privileges. If a user has permission to edit a list, then SPFx code can execute that list too. Therefore, there is no elevating privilege feature as we found in full trust farm solution. This promises better security and maintains the integrity of the server.

Hosting Plan

Microsoft announced that SPFx can be used in SharePoint Online immediately, will announce support for on-premise servers shortly, so that all server types will be supported.

Mobile First

SharePoint Framework is targeting for a more modern SharePoint UX. It is improving the site so users can access it from any device type.

Development

SPFx supports open source tooling such as project scaffolding Yeoman, build-test script with Gulp, import other js libraries with npm, and many more. Using this framework, we can separate development front-end and back-end. Designers can focus on creating UI components and back-end developers can create APIs as Add-On solutions to be consumed by the SharePoint framework model. This approach improves working speed and avoids dependent development.

In the end, it is your call which development model to use. But, as a developer you need to be aware that this framework could be the future of SharePoint development. Knowing how to use it, and its pros and cons can support developer decisions how to plan their SharePoint development projects.