Andrew Connell

Mastering the SharePoint Framework - August 2022 Refresh

In this post, learn about some recent updates on my flagship course, Mastering the SharePoint Framework including a completely re-recorded chapter on web parts!

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Vacationing at a lake in northern Georgia

Even though I was out of the office last week on a family vacation at the lake, that doesn’t mean things are happening in the Voitanos factory!

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to share a bunch of improvements & changes to our existing courses, upcoming courses, and much more!

In this post, I want to share some news about recent updates on my flagship course, Mastering the SharePoint Framework .

Completing the move to Discord - deprecating Facebook groups

Before I jump into the course changes, let’s quickly touch on the final transition to Discord. A few months ago , we launched the Voitanos Community on Discord , and we’ve seen hundreds of people join! While primarily intended for students of our courses, web developers been engaging with their peers helping & sharing solutions with each other.

The plan was to have the Discord community ultimately replace our existing Facebook groups/communities that we used as masterminds for students to discuss their challenges.

As previously shared, earlier this week we officially made the switch by retiring the Facebook mastermind groups for students of the the Mastering the SPFx - Ultimate bundle & the MS-600 exam prep courses.

If you haven’t joined the Voitanos community on Discord & you’re interested in web developer topics on Microsoft 365 & Microsoft Azure, join today! It’s entirely free!

And if you’re a student of our courses, make sure you link your Voitanos login to Discord account for access to student-only channels!

Mastering the SPFx: Refreshed chapters on web parts & property panes

OK, now let’s talk about some recent changes to my course, Mastering the SharePoint Framework (SPFx).

We republished two chapters in the course on web parts & property panes this week!

Both chapters have all the new improvements & features that refreshed chapters are getting, including for the following:

  • improved the resolution from 720 to 1080
  • clickable resource links in the lesson videos
  • clickable cross-chapter references in the lesson videos
  • additional in-chapter jump points in the lesson video timeline
  • upgraded lesson notes, including listing all in-chapter jump points & clickable resource links

Chapter: Client-side web parts

One of the most important chapters in the course, chapter 7 in the Fundamentals bundle on client-side we parts, was republished. This chapter was completely re-recorded.

While the topics covered in the course are identical to the original chapter recorded in 2017, I decided it was time to completely re-record all the demos and add some additional bits now that we’re in 2022.

The biggest change you’ll notice is that the demos use the current version of the SPFx, including the project structure changes. Web parts are one of the core building blocks in the SPFx, and this chapter needed to be modernized.

While the chapter is primarily focused on the SharePoint Online experience and web developers using the latest version of SPFx, all topics also apply to developers working in SharePoint on-premises deployments including SharePoint Server 2016, 2019, & the Subscription Edition (SE).

If you aren’t a student of the Fundamentals bundle, you can review the first lesson in the chapter that I’ve published to our YouTube channel below:

Info: View all chapter previews for the course!

The first lesson in every chapter is published to our YouTube channel so you can see what each chapter covers. As chapters are refreshed, I’m updating these previous. To make things easy, we have playlists for all the chapter previews setup for each course bundle:

Chapter: Property Panes for Client-Side Web Parts

Not all chapters mandate a complete re-recording… the chapter on property panes, chapter 10 in the Fundamentals bundle, is one such chapter. This is sort of a double-edged sword.

On one hand, a bummer that nothing much as changed with property panes since I originally recorded it back in 2017. But on the other hand, that’s nice to know it’s so stable. Over the years, I’ve made a few small updates, but nothing that warranted a complete re-record.

So the refresh this time was mostly just improving the features & viewing experience as I explained above. Other chapters in the course will get this same treatment as I’m only re-recording chapters when necessary.

Just like the web part chapter above, if you aren’t a student of the Fundamentals bundle, you can review the first lesson in the chapter that I’ve published to our YouTube channel below:

Both of these chapters are live and available for existing students to watch today.

What’s next for Mastering the SPFx: Extensions & more chapter refreshes

You’re probably wondering what’s up next for the course.

The next thing I’m working on is a big overhaul to the chapter on SPFx extensions, chapter 13 in the Fundamentals bundle. This includes updates to field customizers, app customizers, and command sets including the API changes introduced in SPFx v1.14.

… but there are two big additions to the chapter coming!

First, I’m adding a lesson on the new list form customizers! The demo uses React to implement a common pattern developers have wanted to implement: a hierarchical list where the selection in one field drives the options available for other fields. Here’s an early raw preview of the demo:

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Preview of the list form customizer lesson in the Mastering SPFx chapter on Extensions

The other thing I’m adding is a demonstration of an alternative way to install field customizers and list form customizers. By default, SPFx pushes you in the direction of XML based provisioning of field customizers with the Feature schema. While that mostly works, it doesn’t address a common scenario where you might want to attach a field customizer to an existing column.

So, I’ve created a web part demonstrating how to connect a field customizer to an existing column as well as list forms to an existing list using the SharePoint REST API.

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Utility web part used to deploy field customizer to existing site column

After I’ve explained this process so many times to developers, I finally took the time to create a good reference implementation to demonstrate how this works. The point isn’t for you to deploy this web part to your production environments. While you could do that, you can also run it locally and use it from the hosted workbench to attach already deployed field customizer & list form customizers to existing columns and lists.

When this chapter ships, I’ll also refresh other chapters at the same time that didn’t require a complete re-record.

One more thing - updates to the MS-600 exam prep

This post only covers updates to my Mastering the SharePoint Framework course, but that’s not the only thing in the works!

This week, Microsoft is updating the MS-600 exam that developers must pass in order to become a Microsoft 365 Certified Developer Associate. I previewed some of these changes earlier this year when they were anticipated to hit in April, but Microsoft delayed these changes until August 2022.

I’m updating the course with the new changes in this update and updating the assessment questions. In addition, we’re going to make some changes to how the course is priced (all existing students will get grandfathered in).

Stay tuned for more news on the changes to the MS-600 exam and my exam prep course. Don’t miss this news & changes by subscribing to our newsletter to get the delivered straight to your inbox!

Andrew Connell
Founder & Chief Course Artisan, Voitanos LLC. | Microsoft MVP
Written by Andrew Connell

Andrew Connell is a web developer with a focus on Microsoft Azure & Microsoft 365. He’s received Microsoft’s MVP award every year since 2005 and has helped thousands of developers through the various courses he’s authored & taught. Andrew’s the founder of Voitanos and is dedicated to delivering industry-leading on-demand video training to professional developers. He lives with his wife & two kids in Florida.