Recently, I built a web part for a client, which led to a discussion about why the web part background was static white, which did not reflect the branding on the page. My quick fix was to just change the color manually, but now I wanted to know more about how I could build webparts that are aware of the area that they are in. It turns out, there are several options, depending on the capabilities needed and the web part framework.
Microsoft warned us! The Document Object Model (DOM) on web pages was a common target in my pre-SPFx solutions, especially the ones that used jQuery. When SPFx came along, Microsoft was very clear that the classes and element ids on the modern page were not an API. By that, they meant that there was no contract with developers that those values would not change in the future. The future is here!
I recently ran into a situation where building and debugging a SPFx web part seemed to go off the rails. Then I figured out that my normal pattern of skipping the ‘gulp clean’ command during project deployment had cause what I thought was bizarre behavior in Site Collection Features and toolbox. I was working for a client that does not have a dedicated development or QA environment due primarily to political reasons.
As the development pendulum has swung back to the “front end,” I find a majority of my time in VS Code. Back in the early days of VS Code, I missed the rich toolset of Visual Studio, but as I became more comfortable with the combination of command line and graphical interfaces in VS Code, as well as the explosion of awesome extensions for VS Code, I found myself opening Visual Studio less and less.
For the several years now, I have concentrated on helping developers to get started coding in the SharePoint Framework (SPFx). My primary message has always been that, “despite it being a complete departure from previous coding approaches in the SharePoint, it’s not as difficult as it seems and you should just give it a try.” I am updating that presentation to include recent changes to SPFx as I prepare for upcoming engagements at North American Collaboration Summit (NACS) and ShareCloud Summit and will post it on this site when available.