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SharePoint Framework 1.8 Now Generally Available

Microsoft this week announced that SharePoint Framework 1.8 had reached "general availability" status, although some features are still at the preview stage.

General availability means it's deemed ready for use in production environments. The 2-year-old framework supports a bunch of open source tooling for client-side development of apps and extensions.

Framework Additions
This release of SharePoint Framework 1.8 adds more options for developers, namely:

  • App Pages (generally available)
  • Share SharePoint Framework experiences in Teams (generally available)
  • Teams Tabs in SharePoint (preview)
  • Library Components (preview)
  • Isolated Web Parts (generally available)

The App Pages feature is a "modern pages" addition lets developers add an application to a SharePoint page that has a "full-page experience." App Pages were described as being generally available in the announcement. There apparently also are "Single Part App Pages," per Microsoft's documentation, but they may not be available yet. Only the Microsoft Teams application is currently supported for Single Part App Pages, the documentation indicated.

The new Teams Tabs preview in SharePoint was described as a way to surface various vendor-built apps in SharePoint. Examples included the Wrike online project management solution and Lucidchart visuals for real-time collaboration, among others. Teams Tabs apps were described as being the "first wave that shows how software vendors, consultants, and integrators can deliver a wide range of solutions, simply, across Microsoft Teams and SharePoint." Microsoft defined Teams Tabs as "web pages with additional capabilities added through a JavaScript API."

The Library Components preview addition lets developers "create libraries of functions that can be reused across multiple solutions."

The Isolated Web Parts addition lets developers specify that their app will run in isolation, which happens using an iframe Web element. SharePoint site administrators also get some control with this feature. They can specify whether a Web Part can use "all of the context and permissions granted to the page, or whether a web part should be isolated."

Microsoft seems to prefer the latter approach, stating that "web parts should generally not take advantage of ambient page variables and DOM structure outside of the structure of their own web part," according to the announcement.

SharePoint Provisioning Service Preview
In related SharePoint developer news, Microsoft announced a preview this week of the SharePoint Provisioning Service. It's a site with free templates that can be used to create SharePoint sites. The materials housed on the SharePoint Provisioning Service site are built by the SharePoint community, but the site is hosted by Microsoft.

Microsoft doesn't recommend using the SharePoint Provisioning Service preview templates yet in production environments.

"As some templates contain cross-tenant capabilities like hub sites or SPFx solutions, you should carefully evaluate the template content in the template description before applying it to your environment," the announcement warned.

There's a demo showing how to use the templates. Microsoft also earlier showed how to create a "modern" Team Site, based on an existing "classic" page.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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