A few months ago I created a tool, which speeds up a regular "gulp serve" process. In a nutshell, it uses a separate webpack based build. Please read this post to learn more. Since the initial release, I've fixed a few good things and added new features. The most awaited is library components support. Read further to find out how to use spfx-fast-serve with library components.
You can manage library components in two different ways: with a special multi-package manager (Lerna.js) or without. Lerna is not the only multi-package manager, there is also Rush.js, however I know Lerna, I wrote a blog post on how to use Lerna with library components before, Lerna is simple and has least issues when working with SharePoint Framework. More...
In August 2019 SharePoint Framework 1.9.x was released. Among different changes also support for Webpack 4 was introduced. What does it mean for us? It means slightly improved build speed, support for a wide range of plugins and better tree-shaking.
What is webpack tree-shaking exactly? In simple words, webpack is smart enough to automatically remove "dead modules" (in other words unused code/modules) from your resulting bundle. It reduces the size of the resulting bundle, thus improves load performance. More...
A very common way of styling your SharePoint Framework React components is through the css (to be precise sass, which eventually compiles to css). Actually, SharePoint Framework goes one step further and suggests something called css-modules. As you know, for a default web part we have a file called <Component Name>.module.scss. We write styles in that file and SharePoint Framework build pipeline generates corresponding TypeScript interface for us to use inside React component as
SharePoint Framework ensures that a class name will be unique, that way we isolate our styles from the "outside world" and have them scoped to this specific component:
However, it's not the only way of styling your components using isolated scopes. Nowadays the approach when you write your css styles in code (in .js or .ts files and not in .css or .scss) becomes more and more popular and has a number of benefits: More...
A few months ago I wrote an article about SharePoint Framework build performance - SPFx overclockers or how to significantly improve your SharePoint Framework build performance. I've tried to reduce the amount of time the "gulp serve" command uses to re-build your code and to finally refresh a browser. I used different optimization technics for that purpose. The idea was to tweak the default SPFx build pipeline. However, those post only partially solves the problem.
In this post, I will solve the problem from another way around (spoiler: I managed to make "serve" 10-15 times faster).
How it works
Some nerdy content goes below. If you don't want to read about internal implementation, go directly to "How can I use it?"
To make it work, we need custom webpack config and webpack dev server to serve webpack output. More...
SharePoint Framework 1.9 introduced support for React 16.8+. While only a minor part of the version was changed (16.7 -> 16.8), it means a lot. It means that you can use the full power of React hooks. But should you? Obviously, the answer is yes, because React hooks introduce a lot of useful features, including:
- reuse stateful logic across your many React components, which isn't possible with class-based components
- get rid of high-order components, you can move some logic out of your React components into custom hooks. All that makes your code cleaner
- all your React components now are in the same style (you don't mix class-based components with functional). Instead, you use only functional components, because they support state (with help of hook of course)
There are even more reasons going to hooks, instead of class-based components. Check out official documentation from React:
Should I use Hooks, classes, or a mix of both?
....we’d encourage you to start trying Hooks in new components you write. ....In the longer term, we expect Hooks to be the primary way people write React components.
Hooks are available starting from February 2019. A lot of libraries adopted their code to hooks. You are on the safe side if you're planning to use hooks in your code today. More...
Sometimes when working on SharePoint Framework projects you have a need to use third-party libraries with their own css styles. You can include css styles using different technics - via import statement right in your code or using dynamic loading with SPComponentLoader. However, some css libraries have very common selectors, which affects Html in the "outside world".
For example, a library might include a css style for an element with class "some-class". This particular class might also be in SharePoint out-of-the-box styles. As a result, it breaks the UI:
It's called css leakage. More...
At the end of September 2019, Microsoft released The Graph Toolkit library.
a collection of reusable, framework-agnostic web UI components that work automatically with Microsoft Graph
It was in preview for a while, now it's in GA, thus it's a good time to start exploring what is available in this library.
Let's explore how to use this library with a React-based single page application and with SharePoint Framework. More...
Please also check out this post - SPFx overclockers or how to significantly speed up the "gulp serve" command which uses different approach in performance tweaking and gives you extremely fast "serve" speed
Today's post will be about SharePoint Framework build performance. Especially about "serve" command, because it's the most frequently used command among developers. gulp serve is a kind of "watch" mode for your SharePoint Framework solution. As soon as you update a file, it will spin up the build process and will refresh your browser finally, so that you can see changes.
However, from here and there, I hear complaints about the poor performance of gulp serve command, especially if you have more than 10 web parts in a solution, or if your webparts are quite complicated (with lots of code and \ or additional heavy dependencies). Checkout Gulp webpack slow build and Long build times for SPFx projects with many components GitHub issues as well. I'm also not satisfied with the build performance in case of medium and of course big SharePoint Framework solutions. In a few recent weeks, I spent some time trying to go deeper and understanding all possible ways on how to improve performance for gulp serve command.
Read further and you will find a list of tricks, which reduce the amount of time to build a common SharePoint Framework solution. By build I mean serve or bundle (without --ship parameter) command, because they are very identical. The only difference is that serve is never-ending and has an additional step which refreshes your browser. In all other cases, they are the same, running tslint, typescript, sass, webpack, copy assets, etc. tasks. I will start with the easiest tricks, going to more complicated technics. I don't use any heavy hacks here.
At the end of the post, you will find a detailed report on how any particular trick reduces build time on the example of SharePoint Starter Kit:
This is a solution designed for SharePoint Online which provides numerous web parts, extensions, and other components which you can use as an example and inspiration for your own customizations.
It contains 20+ webparts and quite slow when you use gulp serve command. Which makes it a good candidate for improvements. More...
Including the latest versions of React, TypeScript, etc. ?
SharePoint Framework is supported not only by SharePoint Online but by on-premises SharePoint as well (2019 and 2016 with Feature Pack). SharePoint Framework Yeoman generator has different options for different SharePoint versions and it generates different project templates depending on the environment selection.
On-premises SharePoint is always behind SharePoint Online in terms of features and codebase. And the same issue applies to SharePoint Framework. If you generate a "Hello world" SharePoint Framework web part for SharePoint 2019, you will see that it uses React 15.6, TypeScript 2.4 and Office UI Fabric React (OUIFR) 5.21. The most recent versions (I'm updating this post on the 23rd of April 2020) are React 16.13.1, TypeScript 3.8.3 and OUIFR (now called Fluent UI React) 7.107.3.
Now you see the issue - you always have to work with an older version of packages. You miss a lot of potential features, bug fixes, and other things. Additionally, from a developer perspective, it's not exciting to work with outdated technologies or frameworks. The situation will be even worse in 2020 when we see React 17, TypeScript 4 and OUIFR 8. Will Microsoft update yeoman generator for on-premises to add support to the most recent version of packages? I don't think so. On-premises are not in the priority list today.
For those who want to jump and explore the code right away - the full source code for this post is here at GitHub. More...