In big news on the SharePoint development front, the SharePoint Framework reached release candidate 0 yesterday. What does this mean? Release candidate means that what we are seeing now in the SharePoint Framework is pretty close to what it’s going to look when it reaches general availability(GA). In looking through the release notes associated with this release, https://github.com/SharePoint/sp-dev-docs/wiki/Release-Notes-RC0, there are quite a few changes. Some of the changes are pretty major and will break any existing web parts that you may have created. So why would Microsoft do this? The reason is to perform some final cleanup of things that did not exist as they should in a polished project. They had to rename and move quite a few things. If Microsoft did not do this now it would probably not happen and there would be areas of conflict and confusion. You can tell the scope of how many different areas have changed by the update steps that are included in the release. Previous releases had a couple things that needed to be updated, while this release has 12 different steps of things that need to be updated. If you are doing SharePoint Framework development I highly suggest that you look through the release notes. The release notes will guide you through all the changes and Microsoft’s direction and thinking about the changes. Some of the most notable changes are:
- Package file extension changed from .spapp to .sppkg
- Changes to httpclient, moved to new sp-http package
- Changes to page context, spPageContextInfo will be going away
- BaseClientSideWebPart has been removed and replaced by sp-webpart-base
Utilities added to the framework through sp-core-library for common support scenarios
- QueryString Utilities
Most of the rest of the changes are just cleanup in regards to accessibility and some other minor additions.
Release candidate is an exciting step, we are now closer to general release at which point we can use our creations in a full production environment. According to the release notes the changes started rolling to dev tenants yesterday and should be done by the end of this week. I’ll be doing a SharePoint Framework Jump Start at SharePoint Fest DC on April 18th if you want to come get started or discuss any questions you may have, http://www.sharepointfest.com/DC/index.php/agenda/pre-conference-workshops/tuesday-workshops.