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...

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...