SharePoint Framework Extensions Developer Preview now available

SharePoint Framework Extensions Preview

Today the Office Team announced the availability of the SharePoint Framework Extensions Developer Preview. With this you can build site, list and command extensions.

To start building your own Extension Preview projects you can go and start looking at the Preview documentation. If you don’t already have an Office 365 Developer Tenant you can get one if you go to the Office Developer Program so there is no argument not to start using that.

The preview is obviously meant to serve as a way to collect feedback from the community and while the preview is running you can expect new SharePoint Framework Extension capabilities and changes based on your feedback.

If you want to provide your feedback you can do this by adding issues to the GitHub issues list but on the SharePoint tech community, the SharePoint Developer section on the Microsoft Tech Community site.

To give you an impression of what the SharePoint Framework Extensions Developer Preview brings, here are three:

1. Build your own Custom Banner using the ApplicationCustomizer.

Adding a Custom Banner is now one of your options to build your own banner with exactly the information you want to share on your list page.

1. Custom Banner SP

2. Create your own Custom Field Rendering using the FieldCustomizer.

In this example you see that the fields of the list are blurred to hide sensitive list information.

2. Custom Field Rendering SP

3. Adding Command Extensions with CommandSet

With this option you can add your own custom menu actions to be able to trigger your own custom actions.

3. Custom Extensions

If you are looking for more examples (extensions examples will be added soon) for what you can do with SharePoint there is a special SharePoint Showcase site for you to look at and to enjoy all the great options and examples.

Now go ahead, and build your own Extensions using the SharePoint Framework Extensions Developer Preview!

Office Development at //Build/ 2016 – 2 – Graph Changes

snip_20160419224647

Microsoft Graph is a gateway to data and insights in Office365 allowing you to easily traverse over objects and relationships to access the information that is sitting in the Office365 services using web standards. Microsoft Graph is an open platform accessible through a secure data access mechanism.

Microsoft Graph API developer stack.

At Build, with regards to Microsoft Graph the following changes have been announced for General Availability:

  • Webhooks on Outlook Entities
  • Access to consumer services OneDrive and Outlook.com
  • OneDrive large file upload/download

The following, but not only this – there is more, went in preview:

  • Excel REST API
  • Administrative Units
  • Find Meeting Time API
  • Get/set out of office
  • Online meeting links
  • Updates to People API
  • Updates to trending APIs

Documentation on Microsoft Graph can be found at:

Microsoft Graph: The easiest way to call

Office Development at //Build/ 2016 – 1 – The numbers

As you may know I have been visiting Build 2016 the last couple of days, and I plan to get into some more detail of the announcements made at Build this year. A lot of the ‘smaller’ announcements did not make it into the keynotes so hopefully I can share some information with you that you didn’t already hear before. Even if you did it is nice to have a little recap of what goes on right now.

The numbers:

SNAGHTML3b5aa4

  • 1.2B Office Users
  • 85% of Fortune 500 have at least one Microsoft Cloud Offering
  • 4T+ emails sent with O365 to-date
  • 50K+ new O365 small businesses per month
  • 340M downloads of Office mobile
  • 3B minutes of Skype calls daily
  • 1B+ meetings created per month
  • Microsoft Graph API calls 420% monthly growth

The numbers are impressive, but what is it to you? You are probably only one of these users and who cares? Well, the point is, as an Office Developer there is just a huge big open market to target. Build your tools properly and you have 1.2B potential customers of your tooling. The other thing is that more or less Office is the -standard- for most people or at least provides you with the output that everyone is able to read/use, even the ones using tools from competitors.

Happy wishes and some Office predictions for 2016

MVP_Horizontal_FullColor

Another year has gone, a new year started … this is 2016. Welcome!

My year, for the eleventh time already, started with receiving the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award again.

After nine years of receiving the award for Visual Studio Tools for the Office System (VSTO), one year of Office365 I now, after the award update, received the award in the award category “Office Servers and Services”. This is where all former Office365, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business and Yammer are grouped today. As of October 2015 the MVP Award categories have changed, there are now less categories and in theory you can get the MVP Award in multiple categories.

So what will bring 2016 to you and me? Well nobody knows… so I don’t know either, but let’s see if we can make some educated guesses here.

2015 was the year Office Microsoft released some early updates on the Office 365 APIs. Starting with the outer ring of Office365 we got access to files, contacts and much more. Access to the documents itself (the structure of the document, in VBA the Object Model) was fairly limited.

In 2016 I expect to see much more APIs providing access to the Office document model. This will give you the functionality, but now cross-platform, like you used to see with VBA, COM-Addins and in VSTA/VSTO solutions.

Let’s see how the Office365 APIs progresses in the year of 2016. Join me in the process of learning the ‘modern’ ways of developing Office solutions on x-plat. Keep an eye on my blog …

InfoPath, the official message about its future

It has been in the dark for years, InfoPath didn’t get many updates when the latest Office version (Office 2013) arrived and on customer questions there was always the “we haven’t announced any plans or decided change of policy” kind of answer about the future of InfoPath.

InfoPath, if I am honest, never really got off and the adoption rate was low. It was however the foreseen application to build and deploy your forms (often to SharePoint, but could also be used locally). One of the main issues might have been that there wasn’t a free InfoPath forms client to get the adoption rate up.

To me the lack of information about the future of InfoPath always was an indicator that the product was close to end of life. This on the other hand really took a while to be confirmed.

That said, yesterday – out of the blue, there was this Official Office Blog Post to be found on the Office site:
Update on InfoPath and SharePoint Forms

In this blog Microsoft announced that, quote: “InfoPath 2013 is the last release of the desktop client, and InfoPath Forms Services in SharePoint Server 2013 is the last release of InfoPath Forms Services”

Existing customers will be supported through 2023 so no worries if you are using this technology. The blog post does not provide any other information on what will be offered as a follow up on InfoPath other than that it will be presented somewhere in Q4 of CY 2014 (this I think actually is Q2 2014 in real life as Microsoft has a broken book year).

My guess is that the announcement of InfoPath vNext will be at SharePoint 2014 Conference (with Bill Clinton as Keynote Speaker!). The SharePoint conference, with the Office Developer Conference disappeared for years now, will be the place to be if you want to know what happens to InfoPath or the other Office products. So… follow the news around the SharePoint 2014 Conference… attend the conference.

Showtime: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

JackRyan


The “Showtime” section on my blog is a reminder, mostly for my own reference but maybe helpful for other film enthusiasts as well, to remember what movies I’ve seen lately, what it was about and how I rated it in general.


Jack Ryan (Chris Pine, took me some time to realize that he also did a couple of the Star Trek features) is sure about it after 9/11, he wants to serve his country by joining the marines and meets Cathy Muller (Keira Knightley) when recovering in  the hospital after a dreadful accident with the militaries. It was somewhat funny to hear Keira talk. Her usual British accent was suppressed and she tried to make it sound a bit more American accented. Not sure if that was intended or maybe she took lessons in talking without dialect Glimlach.

After his recovery he gets the offer and joins the CIA. By doing so he gets involved in James Bond alike scenarios and one of those is that he discovered a terrorist group planning to disrupt the US economy by messing up the trade markets on Wall Street. Jack goes to Russia to sort this out and from there blocking the terrorists from executing their plans.

The movie is a nice “sit, relax and watch” movie. Nothing spectacular to remember though but it was sure fun to watch. Seven out of Ten should do it.

%d bloggers like this: