Have you ever wanted to run an older version of the SPFx generator? Maybe on an existing project to add some new assets? It is possible without any installation of the generator at all. Recently a tool was released inside your NPM installation that is named ‘NPX‘.
In short, NPX is a tool that allows you to run npm binaries and packages without having them installed locally. This tool got first released in NPM 5.2.0.
I firmly believe that the Yeoman generator provided by Microsoft is a great tool. It serves all the capabilities to create new web parts, extensions and customisations in the future. With the current support of ReactJS, Knockout and bare-bone HTML version, you have three great possibilities.
This PnP/SPFx generator project goes beyond these possibilities and supports enhanced functionalities. A way to add additional capabilities in the future not even for new frameworks and libraries on the market. It also helps organisations to defined their development standards.
I am pretty excited that finally the first version of the open source community driven SPFx generator has been released last Thursday and publicly announced and is part of the SharePoint / Office 365 Pattern and Practices Personally, for me, it was a great journey to bring this to life in collaboration with Microsoft engineering.
It was a longer journey than expected but there were some considerations and decisions to make to have a solid fundament for future improvements and to allow fast and easy integrations.
The most straightforward example to make you familiar with how to create a custom SPFx Yeoman generator is to use Yarn instead of NPM as your default package manager. The approach to change the default package manager is simple, and many people already use it as there default package managing solution.
So, instead of adding the ‘–skip-install’ option whenever you start a new project just add this option to a generator.
The first step is, as always, to create a new NPM package.
Whenever you start a new SharePoint project, you might depend on external libraries. These libraries are maybe small helper tools such as jQuery or maybe like to go beyond KnockOut or React. Let’s say you want to use Handlebars, VueJS or perhaps Angular 1.x. Everything you perform the same setup steps in the same order. In my case, I start most new projects using Handlebars. Luckily I wrote my documentation to make the configurations pretty smoothly. To be honest, it is proper training but on the other hand a complete waste of time. Why not automate my personal preferences and start a new project from scratch with my settings already applied. This article takes a look at why you might consider writing your own SharePoint generator in future. [Read more]
It’s been a while since the first release of the SimpleStyle yeoman generator. In the mean time some smaller releases happened and things have been patched up.
Recently I made some additional enhancements that now lead to the release of version 0.3 available now to install.
The following improvements have been made.
Today I had the great pleasure to record a webinar for SharePoint Europe. Actually, it was not a new session, it more hat the purpose to show people how I develop now in SharePoint. Especially how my branding workflow nowadays looks like. I use now SASS for all my branding in SharePoint, because it has a lot of benefits in manner of consistency, reusability and fundability of CSS changes and adoption.[Read more]
Recently I had and issue with browser-sync on Windows. The problem came from node-gyp, a cross platform compiler that is integrated in Node.js. Exactly this module of Node.js was throwing an error that stated ‘Python is missing’ on Windows.
Actually the thing is a little bit more tricky and over the last couple of days I read many problems with node-gyp and Windows. Some mentioned to install Visual Studio Community Edition as well as other components found on the Microsoft Web Site.
The only thing Windows needs is just some Vitamin C in the form of a Visual C++.
The good news. The web app generator has recently integrated a tool named Browser Sync.io. This allows you to switch easily from HTTP to HTTPS by simply set one additional property. All that needs to be done is add https and set the value to true or false if you like to disable https support.
The next time your start with grunt serve your browse will open your web application using https instead of http.
What else to know? Well, you might get an exception by your browser that the certificate is not secure. This is because the certificate is self-signed. To avoid this notification add this certificate to your trusted one and you won’t see the message again.
Beside the easy SSL/HTTPS configuration this tool has some other nice features. It allows you to sync different browser windows for testing. So when you scroll your internet explorer it automatically scrolls your Chrome, Firefox. This makes it pretty easy to cross browser test your applications. Needless to say that in can be integrated with grunt as well as gulp. Check out this short introduction on their web site.
I also check the angular yeoman generator but this one still use the old web server component.