When it comes to adapting to the latest technologies, it is important to have a fundamental understanding of the application stack. The SharePoint Framework is loaded with a mix of robust features that can create a lot of value when developed with your business process and user experience needs in mind. To help you get familiar with SPFx and better understand what is required to build, upgrade, or migrate to new SPFx applications, we have outlined the 8 most frequently asked questions.

1.What are the recommended development languages for building SPFx web parts?

Typescript should be used as the language of choice for building SPFx web parts. As far as development frameworks are concerned, React.js is best suited for the development of SPFx web parts as there are pre-build templates available as well as various controls like the Office Fabric UI React components for developers to start using.

2. How do I communicate with the SharePoint in SPFx web parts?

If you use the Yeoman templates, there is a context object already set up for you which allows you to start using it right away and make the REST calls to SharePoint to perform basic SharePoint operations. The limitations of these calls are the same as that provided by SharePoint hosted add-ins. Any operation that needs to be executed beyond these can be done using Provider Hosted Add-in based web services.

3. What is the use of Office Fabric UI?

The Office Fabrice UI library provides a rich set of components that can be used in SPFx web parts. A complete list can be found here. Some of the important ones are People Picker and Dialogs.

4. Can I use Angular with SPFx?

Angular can be utilized through SPFx web parts although angular templates are not yet available for SPFx and thus setting up angular for use using SPFx takes are little bit more effort.

5. How can two web parts communicate with each other in SPFx?

SPFx is eventually supposed to introduce the concept of part-to-part communication which is not yet available. For now, you can use other JavaScript component communication techniques like callback functions, event bubbling or the ones used with React such as the Flux architecture.

6. How do I handle long running operations in SPFx?

One way long running operations could be handled is using SharePoint web hooks on a list which stored the requests. SPFx web parts can simply update this list to initiate a long running operation with the web hook endpoint updating the list once the operation is done.

7. How do I complete tasks that require elevated permissions using SPFx web parts?

All code that requires elevated permissions should be developed in provider hosted add-ins exposed as REST services which can be called from SPFx web parts.

8. What should I do to prepare for SPFx web part development?

Here are some of the things that you can start doing in anticipation of SPFx web parts:

  • Move all code to client side JavaScript as much as possible and using JSOM for all SharePoint transactions
  • Change all server side code to make CSOM calls instead of in-process SharePoint API
  • Start using Typescript wherever possible
  • Convert full trust solutions to provider hosted add-ins wherever possible especially as web services which can be called from client side code

Interested in learning more?

On September 21st, our technology team will hold a free webinar – Building Next Generation Sites Using the SharePoint Framework – where we will discuss the different building blocks of the new SharePoint Framework and how you can make the best use of them.  If you are a SharePoint Administrator, a SharePoint Developer or Manager, this webinar will help you understand the evolving SPFx ecosystem and develop the best strategies and tactics that you will be able to apply for your next project. We are looking forward to seeing you in the webinar.