I recently was asked to customize a SharePoint Online “modern” communication site. I’ve been working with SharePoint steadily for the last 7 years, so I’ve become quite comfortable with it over time. I’m a developer who really doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty and love learning new technologies. I went into this project with a level of enthusiasm that I haven’t had since I first started customizing SharePoint, as I was very interested in learning more about the SharePoint Framework. Interestingly, what I found was, developing modern web parts felt like a trip back in time, but in a good way! Open source tools, command line interfaces, cross-platform development. It’s like taking a trip back 20 years – everything old is new again.
I’m going to share what I’ve learned about creating SharePoint modern web parts using the SharePoint Framework. There are a lot of different pieces that you need to put together:
- CSS (SASS)
- And more!
What I found was, I could successfully build a simple web part by following instructions I found online, but I really didn’t understand all the moving parts – I just sort of copied working examples and modified them for my use. This technique certainly works, but it may (and probably will) lead to less efficient / harder to maintain web parts. I also found that all the different technologies started to blend together, and I didn’t have a good understanding of what each technology was responsible for. And that’s where this blog fits in.
The first step is configuring the development environment, which I’ll be covering in the first part of this blog series… stay tuned!