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


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, 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!

VSTS stories. Upload file to SharePoint from Gulp as part of your build definition.

Last time I blogged about a way to run PnP-PowerShell from VSTS build. This time I’m going to demo on how to run various gulp tasks interacting with SharePoint (upload file for example). Of course, you can easily do that with PnP-PowerShell, however what if you utilize gulp heavily and want to keep everything in one place. Or file upload is a part of your other gulp-based process. Anyway, there might be cases when you want to do that, and here is how.

Start with a new build definition “empty process”. Refer to previous blog to find out how. For our process we need only two simple steps: More...

VSTS stories. Running PnP-PowerShell scripts as part of your build definition

Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) is a great way to build and manage the process of building software. If you don’t know what is VSTS, here is a quote from the official docs site:

VSTS is a cloud service for collaborating on code development. It provides an integrated set of features that you access through your web browser or IDE client, including:

  • Git repositories for source control of your code
  • Build and release management to support continuous integration and delivery of your apps
  • Agile tools to support planning and tracking your work, code defects, and issues using Kanban and Scrum methods
  • A variety of tools to test your apps, including manual/exploratory testing, load testing, and continuous testing
  • Highly customizable dashboards for sharing progress and trends
  • Built-in wiki for sharing information with your team

VSTS has a great support for setting up and running CI\CD processes. As part of your CI build definition it’s possible to run PowerShell script as well. And it’s also possible to run PnP-PowerShell scripts, however a few adjustments required.

In today’s post I’m going to describe how you can configure your CI build process to run PnP-PowerShell script. More...