Office Dev PnP – SPFx/JavaScript Special Interest Group 4/27/17

A friend of mine mentioned an idea to me that I really liked and I could definitely see the need for. He suggested that, at the moment, there is no good synopsis of what happens in the Office Dev Patterns and Practices calls that happen on a regular basis. He said he didn’t have the time to take this on but I was free to if I wanted, thank you Eric. I’ll do my best to get a synopsis published the same day as the calls. I’ll run a synopsis of all the calls for PnP.

What is Office Dev PnP?

The Office Dev PnP is an open source, community driven initiative that is backed by Microsoft and Microsoft resources. The goals are to provide tools, samples, and guidance on developing for SharePoint and Office365. There are a lot of samples in the PnP GitHub Repository. There are other repositories in this area as well if you want to contribute to the PnP.


Special Interest Group Calls

There are a few Special Interest Group calls relating to different areas of the Office Dev PnP. Eric Overfield does a pretty good job of explaining what these calls are and how to join them so check out his article, Participating in the SharePoint / Office 365 Dev Patterns and Practices (PnP) Community Initiative.


April 27, 2017 SPFx/JavaScript SIG Call

4:17 – Opportunities to Participate

  • Demo an SPFx Webpart
  • Demo sp-pnp-js in a Project
  • Contribute on GitHub
  • Provide Feedback

5:14 – PNP-Core Updates

  • 2.0.4 Released – Fixes SPFx blocking bug
  • Doing beta releases now – sp-pnp-js@beta
  • Checkout wiki and developer guide
  • Search Improvements
  • Updated React SPFx samples to work with sp-pnp-js
  • Report issues in the GitHub issues list with enough details
  • Graph support in process though early stages, discussion in issues list

11:58 – SharePoint Framework Updates

17:30 – What engineering is working on

  • New capabilities
    • Web part to web part connections – sending events
    • Modern UI extensions
      • Modern JSLink and UserCustomAction
      • Additional Yeoman templates
    • Workbench improvements
    • SPFx improvements
    • Numerous topics for both online and on-premise.
    • Working on on-premise for 2016, not 2013 at first depending on demand
  • Other
    • SharePoint document consolidation to single location eventually to
      • MSDN docs will go away because the platform is super old
      • All MSDN SharePoint docs will be moved to then to final location

20:34 – Demo Vesa SPFx VS Extension

  • Still using Yeoman for templating
  • Early alpha release available
  • Other releases coming soon
  • Template shows under the Office/SharePoint section for new project
    • Launches wizard
    • Can click generate or go to Advanced to see/modify the full yeoman command
      • -skip-install switch to skip the npm install
  • Can add more web parts
    • Add new item to project
    • Select Office/SharePoint – SharePoint Framework
    • SPFx Web Part
    • Prompted with smaller wizard
  • F5 launches gulp serve
  • Does not introduce any new templates, just uses the yeoman templating
  • Missing Features
    • Native debugging
  • This is for those that want to do SPFx in Full Visual Studio instead of VS Code

30:09 – Demo Sebastien RiotJS

  • List Viewer Web Part

Available in Github

  • Need riot and riot-typescript added to package.json
  • tsconfig.json add experimental decorators to true
  • Extend RiotClientSideWebPart
    • Handles the mounting to the DOM
  • Riot allows separation of view and component like Angular
  • Using await/async from TypeScript
  • Using PnP getAs ODataEntity
  • Must call update to update the ui after asynchronous calls
  • Riot also includes a router

46:08 – Open Discussion

  • Any headway with gov farm support for SPFx?
    • No dates
    • Wrong people to ask
    • Right way to find right people to ask would be to have the gov client to contact the gov farm people.

Guidance on calling external APIs, WebApi/Azure Functions early next week

Next Meeting May 11th.

Goodbye Lenovo

I just got back from an interesting week at SharePoint Fest DC. The event and the city were great. The interesting part came from some issues that I experienced with the tablet that I use as my main presentation machine. About a year ago I purchased a Lenovo X1 Tablet after having used my Surface Pro 2 for over 2 years. I loved my Surface but it was getting old, so I needed a new machine. In the research I did, I came across the X1 Tablet. Comparing with the price and features of the new Surface Pro tablets, including the Surface Book, the X1 Tablet was cheaper while providing similar specs. The X1 Tablet was also in Lenovo’s Thinkpad line, their line of products sold to companies. So, I decided to purchase the X1 Tablet. For the most part, the tablet has worked really until last week.

I was using this tablet Saturday evening and everything was working just fine. I packed everything up to head out for the trip the next morning. After an uneventful plane flight, other than a few bumps, I arrived in DC.

Sunday evening before my first workshop the next morning I figured I would double check my slides and demos to make sure everything was ready. I pulled my X1 Tablet out of the bag and the neoprene sleeve that I keep it in. I pushed the power button and nothing happened. It was acting like the battery was completely drained, which was odd since I charged it the night before, so I plugged it in and still nothing. Normally this would work to power on the tablet. I then tried to track down a paper clip to use the reset button on the tablet. I finally found one and tried the reset button. Still no change. At that point, I decided it was time to call support. After working with support, they said I would have to send it in to Lenovo to get fixed. This didn’t help me for the workshops and sessions I was doing that week. So I ended up using my PC on a stick that I carry for emergencies. I once had Office switch to unlicensed mode during a conference, so since then I don’t travel without the backup machine. This worked for Monday’s workshop but the rest of the time I needed a screen in front of me. Monday evening I walked to the closest electronics store, 2 miles, to buy a computer since I had to have one. My old tablet was still under warranty when this all happened, I had 19 days left. Which is what makes all that follows extra suspicious. After a snafu with the return box I finally was able to send the tablet to Lenovo. They received the tablet the next morning and they started working on repairing the tablet. The status then shows that the repair was canceled. No message in the system about what was going on. When I finally received the tablet back a couple days later, included was the following letter.


The part I find interesting is that somehow overnight my tablet developed several failures in key components overnight. In Lenovo’s exact words, “4 major parts and other plastics damaged.” They then go on to list out the problem components. System board W/Integrated CPU, HDD, LCD, Finger print reader, LCD touch cable, Camera cable, Camera board, Audio cable, back cover. With all these problems, you would think the tablet would have had to have sustained some major trauma. If you look at the included pictures of the tablet there is not a scratch on any off it let alone stress points where there was a large enough impact to cause the problems that Lenovo is “claiming.”

I find it suspicious that within the last few weeks Lenovo has completely removed all references to the X1 Tablet from their web site and store. If you happen to find a cached link somewhere you will be taken to the home page of their store. Apparently, Lenovo has had enough problems with this tablet that they decided to stop selling it. But not only that they expunged it from their web site. So, the problems people were having were severe enough that fixing the issue(s) was not possible.

In order for all these systems to fail would require that the tablet has literally no reinforcement or protection for key components.

The removal from their site and my tablets sudden onset of complete failure leads me to believe that Lenovo doesn’t want to fix this tablet and leave me with an expensive paper weight. All because they couldn’t test their product before releasing it.

Needless to say, I am not happy with Lenovo at the moment. If this is how Lenovo treats their business tier products, I hate to see how they treat normal customers. At the current point in time I cannot suggest any Lenovo product to anybody. Which is sad because my first laptop many years ago was a ThinkPad and that thing was a tank.

Tablet Pictures