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SharePoint Framework Out for General Release

Microsoft has pushed SharePoint into general release. As some of you may be aware, this is a big release for SharePoint developers everywhere.

What is SharePoint Framework?

The SharePoint Framework (or SPFx) is a new development model for SharePoint user interface extensibility. It is used by 1st and 3rd parties, complementing already existing user interface models such as the SharePoint Add-in model. The SharePoint Framework allows for a structured and supported approach to enrich and extend the user interface of SharePoint, using client side frameworks with initial support for client side Web Parts. Based on modern web technology standards, it offers a unique set of features to make SharePoint customizations more broader available for developers and enterprises, but at the same time aligns with previous models and patterns in SharePoint.

SharePoint Framework allows developers and administrators to build and deploy parts that are used by Office 365 users in their production environments. In practical terms, this means using web technologies to build apps on SharePoint that are agile, responsive and, more to the point, mobile friendly.

SharePoint Framework was built to improve the SharePoint developer experience. It gives developers access to tools and libraries designed to enable the development of web parts for mobile, at a fast pace that allows them to keep up with the changing needs and demands.

Framework enables fully supported client-side development, easy integration with the Microsoft Graph and support for open source tooling.

A quote from Bill Baer, senior product manager for the SharePoint team explains the direction Microsoft is aiming for with SharePoint Framework. “With the evolution of Office 365 and cloud (Software-as-a-Service) SaaS solutions and the increasingly web-based world, existing development models for SharePoint encounter constraints of the Iframe, a reduced set of APIs and inability to integrate across Office 365 workloads.”

The new release will be rolled out to Office 365 tenancies in the coming weeks.

By Brett Grego

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