Newsletter – 11/22/2017

Hello from Sympraxis Consulting! When you’re a company of two – and busy to boot – sometimes your best intentions go by the wayside. Our best intention is to create a newsletter every few months, but invariably something comes between us and that lofty goal. It’s been a lot of months since we last got a newsletter out, but since we’re zooming toward the holidays, we wanted to reach out to all our friends to wish you a wonderful holiday season and a very happy and prosperous new year.

Symp-le News

We wanted to share that we are going to be doing an all day workshop at SPFest Chicagoentitled “Getting Started with JavaScript Development in SharePoint”.  Since that can cover a lot of territory, we wanted to share our agenda and thinking not only to the audience that may attend the workshop but also as food for thought about future proofing your own SharePoint development process.

For those of you who are still on older SharePoint versions and may be delayed and/or prevented from moving to SharePoint Online or to a future version of SharePoint on premises that might have the “modern” UI, there’s still plenty you can do to move your skills into the “modern” era.Let’s start by outlining our agenda, which has changed somewhat since we shared our video overview.

  • What is client-side development?
  • Browser tools
  • How to write a basic JavaScript ‘widget’ for SharePoint
  • How to communicate with SharePoint using web services
  • “Better” JavaScript coding practices
  • A bit about CSS
  • Some 3rd party JavaScript libraries to help you get there faster and more easily
  • Development Frameworks
  • Future proofing your client-side solutions
  • What is the SharePoint Framework?

What’s really different here is the change in the second to the last bullet: Future proofing your client-side solutions.  While we both are very excited about the new development methods in “modern” SharePoint, we also want to help people get there at their own pace. We can’t all make a giant leap. Instead, we’re going to focus on potential paths for developers who may already be working with client-side solutions in older SharePoint versions and talk through how you can get to the SharePoint Framework (SPFx) over time. SPFx is one of the defacto methods to customize the “modern” SharePoint UI going forward.

That “modern” UI is becoming more robust in SharePoint Online, and some aspects of it will be coming to future versions of the on premises product, either via Feature Packs for SharePoint 2016 or via the next version of SharePoint, SharePoint 2019. Why should you care? The shift to client-side development is difficult enough for those who have been creating managed code – aka C# farm or sandbox solutions – for SharePoint.  The Add-In model created a more formalized path for client-side development but many SharePoint developers who went that route took a very straightforward JavaScript approach for their solutions. By this we mean just creating one or more JavaScript files and deploying them with the package.

Is there anything wrong with that? Absolutely not! But with the release of the more formalized SharePoint Framework pattern a lot of people are getting caught up in trying to tool up their development environment vs. being productive and building solutions.  We’re proposing a mindset shift, in that you can start using these modern Web development tools to formalize your existing client-side development process now, before you actually move to the SharePoint Framework.  Further, we’re suggesting that you can do this at whatever pace you like, using techniques like:

  • Using the NPM package manager to download your third-party libraries and slowly adding bits of functionality as you get comfortable
  • Using Webpack to deploy your solutions in bundles rather than as a set of individual files
  • Formalizing your entire development process in one fell swoop to take advantage of the many of the tools that are available in the open source ecosystem

We hope you can join us for our workshop in Chicago, but in case you can’t, hopefully we’ve given you food for thought regarding how you might change how you implement your SharePoint solutions going forward. If you’re interested in attending our workshop, you can use the discount code ‘Turner100’ or ‘Anderson100’ to get $100 off the registration fee. As always, keep and eye on Marc and Julie’s blogs for more insight. Happy Holidays! -Julie & Marc

Community Highlights

Recent Blog Posts

Hopefully you’ll find something here that is useful, especially if you missed any posts as they first came out.

Julie’s Posts

Marc’s Posts

SharePoint Saturday New England

We were both on the team for SharePoint Saturday New England in Burlington, MA on October 28. We think it went pretty well, and we want to thank everyone who lent a hand, sponsored, spoke, or attended. We’re planning next year’s event already, based on the feedback we’ve received, so mark your calendar for October 20, 2018!


Do you have any ideas for things you’d like to see us cover? Please reach out to and let us know! We’re always interested in hearing your stories; help us to shape ours.

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Sympraxis Consulting, LLC | 831 Beacon Street, Suite 118 | Newton Center, MA 02459 | Phone: 617.633.2051