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...

SharePoint development state in 2017: story based on sharepoint.stackexchange analysis with Power BI

Last year I was learning Power BI via sharepoint.stackexchange analysis, the year is over, it’s time to perform similar analysis on 2017 year! Just a reminder, that everything in this post built with great tool Power BI Desktop and Stack Exchange API as data source. Some advanced data was collected with help of Google Maps Geocode API and nodejs webpages scrapper – osmosis. Source code is available on my github repository.

NOTA: all thoughts here are just my thoughts and may be incorrect or not aligned with yours. Please, share your opinion in comments.

This year I concentrated on verification of some trends from 2016 and mostly on data comparison between 2016 and 2017. So lets get started!

The first difference in report from 2016 year, that this time you can try it! You can play with data, change filters, dates and see actual result. I’ve published all reports to Power BI account (hopefully now I have one as part of my MVP benefit).

Please use this link to see the actual report and play with it.

Or download report with data from here (zip, 46.45 mb) and play locally.

At the beginning lets take a look at some changes in tags: More...

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...