Are you a traditional SharePoint developer used to working in Visual Studio on Windows building solutions or add-ins? In 2016 Microsoft announced a new direction for SharePoint customizations: the SharePoint Framework. This development model is the recommended approach to customizing & extending SharePoint. That’s a big change from the old ways that primarily favored the server side approach!
But that’s not the only big change!
Microsoft also elected to make a big change in the development toolchain. Visual Studio is no longer the first, or only, choice if you follow Microsoft’s guidance. For the SharePoint Framework, Microsoft elected to go with the popular modern web development toolchain.
While this toolchain is quite popular with many web developers, it isn’t nearly as well known within traditional Microsoft camps… including traditional SharePoint developers. It is not surprising to see so many traditional SharePoint developers have challenges and express frustrations in adopting this new development toolchain.
I’m one of those traditional SharePoint developers who goes back to the days before we ever had solutions… back when we were XCOPY’ing files to the server in SharePoint Portal Server 2003. But over the last few years, I’ve spent the majority my development life in this toolchain working with Node.js, NPM, Webpack, TypeScript… all the same tools we use for SharePoint Framework development.
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