SharePoint Framework development: some gotchas and how to solve them

This post is mostly for Googlers, who experience unexpected issues with SharePoint Framework (like I did). 

Whether you like it or not, sometimes shit happens.

Issue

Usually, I don't use spaces in paths to my projects, however, one day for some reason I decided it was a great idea (probably I was trying to be more creative). And I paid for it.

If you have created a SharePoint Framework project, and the path to that project contains spaces, you are in trouble. gulp serve will work, gulp bundle gulp package-solution will work. However as soon as you upload your app to App Catalog, you will see an app package error: 

Invalid SharePoint App package. Error: Part URI is not valid per rules defined in the Open Packaging Conventions specification. More...

SPFx webpart with MS Graph and PnPjs: step by step guide

So you want to build an SPFx webpart which uses MS Graph API through PnPjs. Here is step by step guide on how to do that.

A few months ago I wrote a similar post, however, things were changed, some things were simplified a lot, that’s why this is a revisited guide. Also, I’ve addressed some additional steps here. The source code is available on the official SharePoint/sp-dev-fx-webparts GitHub repository.

Prerequisites

  • SPFx >= 1.6
  • PnPjs >= 1.2.4

1. Scaffold SPFx webpart solution with React

This step is pretty self-explanatory, simply run yo @microsoft/sharepoint, select React, give your webpart a name, do not change other defaults asked by yeoman.

More...

You might experience errors when first trying new SPFx 1.6 features

SPFx 1.6 was released recently with new features which support secure connection to Azure AD protected APIs. During upgrade some things in your tenant and Azure AD were changed. For some users migration didn’t go smoothly and they saw strange errors in different places. I’m in the group of users who experienced errors and had to fight with them. Fortunately really smart guys from Microsoft and community resolved everything. There are a few issues on GitHub related to SPFx 1.6 errors. It might be difficult to go through all comments and find an answer on your concrete problem. I see that more and more people struggle with the same types of errors, I sum up potential errors and their resolutions in a separate post.

Basically there are two types of errors you might see when trying SPFx 1.6 features. They are described at GitHub SPFx The user or administrator has not consented to use the application with ID and SPFx suddenly stopped working; experimental feature error. More...

Calling MS Graph API from classic SharePoint pages

- Classic pages you said?

- Yes! You read it right. MS Graph API from classic SharePoint page. However please read it first:

That’s not an official or recommended way. That’s just a proof of concept, which uses some tenant features introduced with SPFx 1.6. That’s something I decided to try out when SPFx 1.6 was out. Use it on your own risk.

When to use it? On classic pages if you don’t have an option to execute SPFx code.

So what if you want to call some MS Graph APIs from your classic SharePoint page? No problem then.

Before doing actual coding, we should check that we meet all prerequisites:

  • You have SPFx 1.6 features, which work without issues in your tenant. You can test it by creating a simple SPFx web part, which uses MS Graph. Upload it to the app catalog, approve the request to MS Graph and see it actually returns MS Graph data

If above works, you have everything needed for our experiments. More...

Using PnPjs to send requests to MS Graph with SharePoint Framework 1.6

SPFx 1.6 was released recently and a lot of new and interesting features were introduced. AadTokenProvider, AadHttpClient, MSGraphClient  went to GA, which are my favorite features. One of the common thing in SPFx development is accessing other resources, protected with Azure AD. For example you might have your LOB API with Azure AD protection and you want to consume that API from SPFx web part (extension). Before SPFx 1.6 it was a bit challenging, because you have to deal with cookies attached to your asynchronous http request or with custom “patched” adal.js implementation. SPFx 1.6 features mentioned earlier drastically simplify the task to access Azure AD protected resources. Now you can access Azure AD APIs (including Microsoft APIs like MS Graph) from SPFx with ease!

I’m pretty sure you know about PnPjs library. It has a lot of cool features, among them a fluent interface to SharePoint and Graph API. WIth SPFx 1.6 release you can use PnPjs as your Graph client without hassle. Read further to find out how. More...