Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #1.1: Azure Web App with ASP.NET Core 2.x and cookie authentication (xhr "with credentials")

Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code series:

  1. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #1: Azure Functions with cookie authentication (xhr "with credentials")
  2. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #1.1: Azure Web App with ASP.NET Core 2.x and cookie authentication (xhr "with credentials") <—you are here
  3. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #2: Web app (or Azure Function) and SPFx with adal.js
  4. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #3: Web app (or Azure Function) and SPFx with AadHttpClient

In the previous post, I showed an example on how to call Azure Functions API protected with Azure AD (using EasyAuth setup). Described approach has a few limitations, one which is the most important is an inability to send HTTP POST or PUT requests. This issue can be fixed by using regular ASP.NET Web API application with custom authentication layer. More info about this approach you can find here - Access the API by leveraging SharePoint Online authentication cookie. This post describes required steps to make it work:

  1. Add new app registration in Azure AD
  2. Create new ASP.NET Core application and setup authentication with Azure AD.
  3. Enable CORS for your web application with credentials support (so we can send CORS AJAX and attach credentials to our request, auth cookie in our case)
  4. Create simple SPFx webpart, which gets data from our web app via authenticated HTTP request (GET and POST).

The source code for this article available on GitHub here.

Let’s get started. More...

Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #1: Azure Functions with cookie authentication (xhr "with credentials").

Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code series:

  1. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #1: Azure Functions with cookie authentication (xhr "with credentials") <—you are here
  2. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #1.1: Azure Web App with ASP.NET Core 2.x and cookie authentication (xhr "with credentials")
  3. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #2: Web app (or Azure Function) and SPFx with adal.js
  4. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #3: Web app (or Azure Function) and SPFx with AadHttpClient

Imagine a very common scenario, when you need to send HTTP request to your backend API to get or store some data from your SPFx web part. Of course, you can’t leave your API without any authentication layer. Using Azure AD authentication for that matter is a very good choice because you leverage SSO within your organization. The question is, how to properly get an access to those API in a secure and seamless manner. One option might be using cookie authentication. This approach doesn’t use well-known library adal.js, at the same time it’s simple, however, has its own cons (read at the end of the article). More info about this approach you can find here -  Access the API by leveraging SharePoint Online authentication cookie. In another post, I will show how to do the same thing using SPFx’s AadHttpClient.

We are going to perform below steps:

  1. Create a simple Azure Function in Visual Studio.
  2. Create Function App and deploy our code to the Function App in Azure Portal.
  3. Create new App Registration in Azure AD.
  4. Setup Azure AD authentication for Function App.
  5. Create simple SPFx webpart, which gets data from our Azure Function via authenticated HTTP request.

Let’s get started. More...

Read and manipulate SPFx configuration values in your code like a boss

Basics

SPFx has a built-in mechanism, which holds some configuration values for you. For example in runtime, you can read them and determine if you are running locally or not. You can verify if you are in debug mode or not. You can do some other things as well. Let’s take a closer look at some values, available out-of-the box.

Probably you know, that SPFx build pipeline is webpack based. It means, that webpack’s configuration supplies a lot of those values. The most useful are:

  • process.env.NODE_ENV - can be either ‘production’ or ‘dev’ depending on an environment where the code is running
  • DEBUG – boolean, equals to false for release builds and true for development
  • DATACENTER – boolean, equals to true if you are running in context of SharePoint Online. Might be useful if you build webparts for on-prem and Online at the same time More...

SharePoint Rest API Metadata Explorer: the present and the future

A few days ago I published SharePoint REST API Metadata Explorer. In this post I want to share a bit more information about it and share future plans as well.

The Present

SharePoint Rest API for long time was a hidden gem for me. I used CSOM or JSOM without issues and that was fine. Nowadays the power of SharePoint REST API increases. Today REST is a recommended way to interact with SharePoint. BTW for a browser there is a great library to manipulate SharePoint REST API using convenient fluent syntax – PnPjs. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s time to try Smile.

What is always difficult for me with REST API – to find good documentation for different REST API url along with good usage examples. Some information available at docs.microsoft.com, some in blogs and sharepoint.stackexchange site. However there are few issues with mentioned sources:

  • they don’t fully cover REST API, there are still a lot of methods which are not yet covered
  • in SharePoint Online every month REST API changes and new methods or method params appear

A few years ago I discovered that SharePoint REST API provides WCF $metadata endpoint. More...

PnP-JS-Core (aka sp-pnp-js) VS @pnp/* (aka PnPjs)

I bet you know fairly popular PnP-JS-Core library. It also known as sp-pnp-js, because the original file and corresponding module in npm called sp-pnp-js. Home page on github advertise it as “JavaScript Core Library” (using analogy to PnP-Sites-Core). However today there is another (very similar) library at pnp/pnp (or PnPjs) which looks very similar. What is the purpose of this new library? Should I use it or continue using old PnP-JS-Core?

Actually for now these libraries are identical and have feature parity. What is the purpose of having two identical libraries? Because PnPjs is an evolution of original PnP-JS-Core. Consider below points regarding new library:

  • new organization name (github/pnp) corresponds to npm modules names (@pnp/)
  • new library has better structure organization – there are multiple logically divided modules, thus making support and extensibility easier
  • new library has exactly the same API and features as current PnP-JS-Core
  • new library is a part of SharePoint Pattern & Practices (SharePoint PnP)
  • the same people are behind it – Microsoft and awesome community
  • development will be performed simultaneously in two libraries for about 5 months. If one feature is available in PnP-JS-Core, this feature also will be added to PnPjs (and vice versa)
  • after 5 months (approximately summer 2018) PnP-JS-Core will be deprecated, it will be available in npm and cdn, however it will never receive new features, because main development will be transitioned to PnPjs (pnp/pnp)

What does it mean for you? If you are starting a new project, use new PnPjs library. If you have a chance to perform an upgrade for your current project, upgrade it to PnPjs. If you have a project with PnP-JS-Core – its fine, because the library will be in npm and on cdn, however new feature won’t be rolled out starting from summer 2018 for PnP-JS-Core specifically.

To listen about upcoming changes checkout PnPjs community call – starting from 19:00. If you want to listen to community calls live – use this calendar invite.

Hope this helps!