Announcing the SharePoint Framework Developer Preview
At the Future of SharePoint event earlier this year, Microsoft announced a new customization model known as the SharePoint Framework. Naturally, this led to much speculation and discussion as the bits were only available to a few early beta testers and not much was provided in the way of samples or documentation. A number of us who were involved in the early discussions around this new model have been promoting it heavily but without much to show developers have taken a "wait and see" approach.
Well, I have some good news for you – the wait is finally over. The SharePoint Framework is now available as a Preview on GitHub. You can check it out at the following link:
There are some things you need to know before jumping into the code and creating the greatest new widget the SharePoint world has ever seen. First of all, this is a Preview – things can (and likely will) change before the final release is ready. More importantly, if you aren’t comfortable creating web solutions outside of Visual Studio you have a bit of a learning curve to go through before you can become productive. You’ll have to get up to speed using tools like VS Code, Node.js, Yeoman generators and Gulp (hopefully this is a short-term limitation and the engineering team will ship a version fully integrated with the full Visual Studio product soon). Finally, you’ll have to get used to testing in a the new workbench environment and deploying assets to CDN’s instead of SharePoint sites. For a full rundown on all the things you need to know to get started, read this post from Chris O’Brien.
I’ll be posting much more on the Framework over the coming months, especially regarding how it fits in with the other SharePoint development models and where it can best be used to enhance new or existing deployments. For now, head on over to GitHub, clone the repo and have a go yourself.
The future is now. Let’s do this!