Using SharePoint Remote Event Receivers with Azure Functions and TypeScript

Why can’t we use regular http web api instead of WCF web service for our SharePoint RERs? Actually we can! SharePoint makes HTTP POST to any http endpoint, the only task for us is to parse body correctly and send a response back.

In this tutorial I’m going to show how to set up Azure Function, which acts as http endpoint for SharePoint Remote Event Receiver, everything running on Node.js and written in TypeScript! We’ll also use pnp-js-core to interact with SharePoint REST API from event receiver. The source code available at github repo.  Let’s get started. More...

SPFx build pipeline is webpack 2 based now

A few weeks ago I’ve created an issue around Webpack 2 support for SPFx build pipeline. And there are some good reasons why it’s a good idea to use webpack 2 in SPFx:

  • webpack 1 is deprecated
  • documentation for webpack 2 is better
  • webpack 2 schema more understandable
  • sometimes webpack 2 faster (it depends, but still)
  • all core webpack loaders supports version 2 and might have issues with previous version down the road
  • SPFx introduced as a framework which supports modern web technologies and tools. Someone use Angular, React, someone Vue.js. Vue.js uses webpack 2 and it’s more natural to use webpack 2 with Vue when building SPFx web parts

Finally a few days ago SPFx team released a new version which built with webpack 2! And that’s a good news.

I had to fix all samples around Vue.js and SPFx, because webpack schema is changed. But now I personally feels more comfortable about extending SPFx with Vue.js, because at least they are using the same version of bundler.

Please checkout updated samples with Vue.js in official repository here - https://github.com/SharePoint/sp-dev-fx-webparts/tree/master/samples/vuejs-todo-single-file-component and experimental sample where everything in .vue file (including TypeScript code) - https://github.com/s-KaiNet/spfx-vue-sfc-one-file

Using PnP-JS-Core (sp-pnp-js) in Node.js environment

PnP-JS-Core ❤ Node.js

Do you know what is PnP-JS-Core? I hope so. If don’t know about PnP-JS-Core, here is a quick overview:

The Patterns and Practices JavaScript Core Library was created to help developers by simplifying common operations within SharePoint and the SharePoint Framework. Currently it contains a fluent API for working with the full SharePoint REST API as well as utility and helper functions. This takes the guess work out of creating REST requests, letting developers focus on the what and less on the how.

In other words that’s an wrapper over SharePoint REST API as well as other helper functions. PnP-JS-Core can speedup your development by providing a lot of useful functions, utilities, operators and objects to work with SharePoint. For example consider how it’s easy to do some routine operations:

pnp-js-core experience

I really recommend you to take a look at the official github repository here - https://github.com/SharePoint/PnP-JS-Core as well as wiki

The main purpose for PnP-JS-Core is using inside browser. You include sp-pnp-js into your html and you are ready to go. But the library is designed with extensibility and supportability in mind. That means you can run PnP-JS-Core not only in browser, but in Node.js environment too. Hmmm…. why do you need this, you might ask. Nowadays Node.js integrates in your development pipeline more and more. Do you know gulp, webpack, browserify, etc.? All this tools run on Node.js. With Node.js you can build any type of application – web applications, desktop (cross platform!) apps, micro services, Azure functions and many many other things. Sometimes you need to interact with SharePoint from you Node.js application. Ideally you would like to utilize PnP-JS-Core for that task as well. Meet node-pnp-js which will help you.

As you might guess the main issue when working with SharePoint from Node.js is authentication. When using inside browser, current user is already authenticated and you can use the library as is. For Node.js situation is different. There is no authenticated user and you have to implement authentication by your own. node-pnp-js uses my other library node-sp-auth as authentication provider. In the past I’ve created a sample of integration PnP-JS-Core and Node.js and node-pnp-js is just a logical continuation designed as a separate reusable package.

So let’s get started! More...

Building SharePoint client web part with Vue.js and single-file components

Vue.js becomes more and more popular and it’s time to build real life sample using Vue’s single-file components. Single-files components are the building blocks for Vue application. It’s not required to use single files components for Vue application, but they give you some advantages:

  • recommended style for Vue applications
  • modern components-based approach
  • good separation of concern between markup, css and code
  • we don’t need to use standalone version of Vue and can use runtime version, which is smaller
  • since we are using runtime version of Vue, our app works a bit faster, because not need to compile templates (already compiled by vue-loader)

Original sample can be founded under SharePoint Framework client-side web part samples – that’s a basic todo web part built with Vue. This a companion post describing some concepts.

The most difficult part is to setup our SPFx build pipeline to support Vue. Here are the steps required in order to make SPFx vue-compatible: More...

SharePoint Framework–extending build pipeline with custom configurations

Sometimes you need to adjust SPFx build pipeline a bit, in order to add your own webpack loaders or modify configuration for some tasks. This can be done in different ways depending on your needs. Let’s try to take a closer look at the options available.   Below is a diagram showing common config flow with extensibility points:

gulp-spfx-pipeline

There are two places where you can put your customizations – under custom task’s config adjustments or using configuration file under config/[task name].json during loadCustomConfigs() method. More...