SharePoint Framework development tips: create shortcut(s) for your common SharePoint Framework generator commands

This is a small tip for anybody who hates typing yo @microsoft/sharepoint because it's too long and error-prone (or you're lazy like me :)). Check out below animation: 

What if we can simply type sp in order to scaffold the project? Well, we are in 2019 and of course, it's possible :) 

NOTE: Solution windows users only. Sorry MacOs :(. I'm pretty sure there is an alternative for Mac as well, but I'm not a Mac user.

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SharePoint Framework development tips: even more easily debug production version of your SharePoint Framework solution

Almost a year ago Waldek Mastykarz posted a great article on how to debug your SharePoint Framework solution in production, where all the code is minified and source maps are not available. While it works, there is a manual step of uploading source maps in google chrome's dev tools, which isn't very convenient. I extended Waldek's solution with fully automated implementation without any complexities. 

The problem

When you package your SharePoint Framework solution, spfx build pipeline minimizes and optimizes all your TypeScript code. It's not a problem for development, because in "serve" mode spfx build pipeline generates source maps for you. Source maps allow you to open original TypeScript source files in browser developer tools with full debugging experience. 

This is something not possible for "ship" or "production" mode of SharePoint Framework solution. When you run bundle and package-solution with "--ship" flag, spfx pipeline doesn't generate any source maps for you. Instead, you have minified and performance optimized javascript code without any notion of source maps. 

Here is your approximate production code revealed in Chrome dev tools (prettified): More...

SharePoint Framework development tips: prettify your imports

The source code with samples from this post is here at GitHub.

Have you ever found yourself writing something like this in your SharePoint Framework web parts: 

import { Customer } from '../../../../../../models/Customer';
import { Utils } from '../../../../../../common/Utils';
import { Api } from '../../../../../../services/Api';

import User from '../../../user/User';
import GreenButton from '../../../ui/green-button/GreenButton';
import Grid from '../../../../../../shared/components/grid/Grid';

Above code has a few issues: 

  • Readability of such code is not at the best level. A lot of parent relative paths like "../../../" don't look good
  • It looks ridiculous to import "Grid" from "...components/grid/Grid". It's pretty obvious that we want to import Grid from components/grid. No need of one extra word "Grid". The same also applies to other imports
  • When you add a new import or refactor your code by moving into different folders, you will have troubles figuring out how many "../../" you need :)

What if I tell you that with some webpack and typescript magic we can make it look like this: 

import { Customer } from '@src/models';
import { Utils } from '@src/common';
import { Api } from '@src/services';

import User from '@hello-world-components/user';
import GreenButton from '@hello-world-components/ui/green-button';
import Grid from '@components/grid';

This code is a lot cleaner and doesn't have all mentioned issues. 

Let's figure out how to do it! More...

TypeScript Tips: How to reduce the size of a bundle

While developing with TypeScript, you might notice that your bundle size becomes bigger despite all minification techniques. Of course, as your code grows, your bundle will also grow. However there is one hint, which might help you and reduce the size of a resulting bundle. The hint works really good for web projects, which use TypeScript together with webpack. It also means, that this hint is applicable to SPFx solutions as well.

The new size of a bundle heavily depends on your TypeScript code, TypeScript features you use and the amount of TypeScript files you have in your solution. For small solutions it might not work, for mid and big ones it definitely works. Anyway you can verify it on your own solution to see the difference. Let’s get started! More...