How I develop in SharePoint and Office 365 now

In my session at the SPS Antwerp I showed the attendees how my personal branding workflow evolved over the past two years. For the demos all I needed was my web browser and Yeoman.IO.
I presented all of my stuff on the ancient looking MacOS armed with SharePoint virtual machines and in Office 365.

The reason why I switch my development workflow to yeoman was because I can do many things faster. I currently use it for all my SharePoint related branding and JavaScript development.
It works great for my for Office 365 development as for SharePoint On-premises. No more deployments during development just use it.
I use the resources out of Yeoman such as JavavScript and CSS files directly out of it. Just as we use things from a CDN such as jQuery. Before I can dig deeper on how to use it the first thing to do is to get your development environment ready.

## Setup Yeoman
The first thing we need to do is to setup yeoman in five simple steps

1. Download nodejs

Node.js is an open source, cross-platform runtime environment for server-side and networking applications. It is also the core to get yeoman running. First all you need to do is to download
The setup is easy and the click-click-next approach is enough. There are no special additional settings required for this to get it running.

2. Download Ruby Installer – Install SASS

Ruby installation is not needed anymore this step can be skipped
To get SASS running you first need to install Ruby. While it is pre-installed on MacOS you need to add it first to your machine.
To get ruby running on windows you first need to download the Ruby Installer for Windows.
Again, there are no special settings needed to install. The only thing you need to make sure that Ruby will be added to your path settings.

Ruby Installation - Make sure you add ruby to your PATH variables of Windows

Ruby Installation – Make sure you add ruby to your PATH variables of Windows

The rest is Click-click-next and you are ready to go.
Once the installation has completed, you can open the command line and type:

gem install sass

This will add SASS to the Ruby installation. The gem command is responsible for adding new libraries your your Ruby Installation. It is some sort of package installer. If you like to find more out about gem I can recommend the Guide “Ruby Gem Basics

3. Download Git

In case you have GIT already installed, you can simply skip this step. Git support is already included in Visual Studion but there are no command line options included. These are required to download code repositories via Bower which is part of Yeoman.
You can download GIT from
During the installation, you will be asked to use GIT via Bash or windows shell aka command line or powershell. For convenience reasons select windows shell.

4. Install Yeoman

After the previous steps all is set up to install Yeoman. All that needs to be done now is to open the command line and type the following commands.

// 1. Install core of yeoman
npm install -g yo
// Wait until yeoman installation is completed
// 2. Install bower
npm install -g bower
// Wait until bower installation is completed
// 3. Install Grunt Client
npm install -g grunt-cli
// Wait until grunt client installation is completed
// 4. Install the first generator
npm install -g generator-webapp

The generator-webapp is one of my favorite and most used generators. This one I use for all my brandings in SharePoint. There is also generator available for Angular.js available. Currently there are more than 1600 generators available for download. To download go to

5. Getting started with your first project

To create your first project open the command line in case it isn’t already open. Navigate to any folder in your file system and create a new folder.

// 1. Create a new directory
mkdir demo01
// 2. Change to directory
cd demo01
// 3. Provision project
yo webapp

Start your first project.


Create your first yeoman project

During the provisioning you will be asked if you like to use Bootstrap, SASS and modernizer. Once every file has been downloaded from the web you are able to start your local project by the following command.

grunt serve

After that your default web bowser launches automatically and shows the following web site.

Yeoman up and running

Yeoman up and running


Finally, you have set up, a complete new project and you are ready to develop locally in SharePoint on-premises or Office 365. In the next blog posts I will show you how to integrate the local developed css file directly into Office 365. There are some small issues and settings required in Internet Explorer or Google Chrome. I haven’t used it for years now, but I will definitely take a look how you use it in FireFox too.

Continue Reading

How to use CSS and JavaScript files from Yeoman directly in SharePoint

Recommended links

Yeoman Posts by Thorsten Hans

Speed up your CSS framework install with Yeoman

Yoooman! Getting Started with Yeoman – MSDN Blog