Development

Rapid Circle makes "Cloud builders" dev team available to customers

The same cloud experts who build our award-winning solutions are now available to our customers as remote team members.

Rapid Circle Cloud Builders provides world-class cloud and mobile developers who work remotely within your team to help you meet your project goals. Want to know what they can do for you? Check out the Cloud Builders page here. Learn more about our solutions and the Cloud Builders team, and get your dev project started at no costs.

What will the future of development in SharePoint look like? Pretty much like it does now!

Managing the lifecycle of the components you build, deploy, operate and support on Office 365 is difficult. The platform is new, the cloud is new, and much of your classic DTAP model is simply no longer appropriate. We at Rapid Circle are committed, for some time now, as being a Microsoft Cloud company rather than just a SharePoint company and the recent developments around SharePoint announced at the Future of SharePoint event on May 4th continue to vindicate our stance.

Specifically, the announcement of an upcoming SharePoint Framework (SPFx) makes it clear that client-side development and the use of JavaScript are encouraged and promoted for custom solutions on Office 365!

Some key aspects relevant for developers and administrators that we found very interesting were

  • The framework is fully JavaScript based model.
  • There is no single JavaScript framework mandated. We can still use popular frameworks such as Angular, Knockout and Handlebars.
  • Node.js & Gulp tasks are used for packaging deploying components.
  • The Local development model is going to be very different. A SharePoint workbench is introduced where Gulp and node.js will used to host files locally, so you don’t need to use IIS on your local machine.
  • Visual Studio Code, an open source code editor is being promoted as the preferred tool. Also clearly indicating that Visual Studio is not a must-have requirement for developers.

It's important to note that SPFx not a radically new model. The framework might be new, but we've been doing client-side development for some years now using similar frameworks. Finally though, Microsoft is creating this framework which leverages techniques we already use such as CSOM, REST API's. Taking it a step further Microsoft is openly embracing open source technologies such as node.js, Gulp, Yeoman and more.

Our Rapid ALM tooling is very much aligned to what Microsoft has described in the event. It’s a development & delivery model that’s entirely JavaScript based and enables us to streamline everything from the core development of our Instant Intranet components, integrated with our test teams, and deploying to our client tenants. Furthermore, it’s built on and resides in the SharPoint online platform.

Using Rapid ALM to evolve our Instant Intranet solution we are also “early adopters" for Visual Studio Code as the default editor for our apps development where we use Angular 1.4, Require JS. Moreover, we utilize NPM and Gulp for building, packaging and deploying our Instant intranet apps. Finally we use Git for source code control & versioning.

Future of SharePoint Development model
Future of SharePoint Development model

With this development model, we have successfully created and setup intranet for customers in the first quarter of 2016.  This new development model in SharePoint is giving us the platform for Rapid and Instant service to our customers.

And we're looking forward to the upcoming SharePoint Framework and will continue to evolve & enhance our own to software development lifecycle!

This blog post is part of the series Future of SharePoint. More on this topic can be found at http://rapidcircle.com.au/tag/FutureOfSharePoint/

SharePoint 2013 Hosted App

This will be my first post on SharePoint 2013. The buzz around the App Model is huge and so I dove in on a very basic level. Just to show how easy an App can be hosted in SharePoint and can consume Data or connect to popular websites. Like Facebook. No worries, no Authentication is being used. This Post it’s just to show how easy it is to create a SharePoint App and consume “free” data.

First things first

The very first thing we should do is follow the steps described by MS to setup your development machine for App Development. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/apps/fp179923%28v=office.15%29

Andrew Connell created a PS Script for this: http://www.andrewconnell.com/blog/archive/2012/08/07/registering-sharepoint-2013-high-trust-apps-using-s2s-the-easy.aspx

Create a new App

First start Visual Studio 2012 RC. Create a new Project and choose App for SharePoint 2013

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Next give your App a name and fill in the Developer Site (created while setting up your app domain). I chose my default webapplication to be a Developer Site.

For this App we choose SharePoint-hosted.

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Now we can see the App Template contains some modules for Scripts, Images, Pages and CSS files. Also notice the AppManifest.xml file which holds important info about your App.

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Facebook Data

For this app I use the standard Facebook Graph API. We can use jQuery to get JSON data from the url we like. In this example I chose Microsofts Facebook page.

http://graph.facebook.com/microsoft

To simply bind the data on my Default.aspx page I use KnockOut JS. This is a very easy and fast way of binding data.

Result

The project that you can download, results in an App that is displaying Page data from Facebook. It looks like this:

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DOWNLOAD MyFBPage.proj