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The future of deeply customized SharePoint

3 min read

Illustration Blog Rencore

At the recent Build 2017 conference, Microsoft announced new customizations capabilities for SharePoint. With these new abilities, organizations will be able to better tailor SharePoint to their needs. But there are also risks involved with customizing SharePoint. Here is how we can help.

Deeply customize SharePoint

One of the most powerful features of SharePoint is its capability to be extended and customized as desired – and beyond. Many organizations choose SharePoint only because of its ability to tailor it exactly to their needs and processes.

This, however, comes with a price of being at risk of incorrectly implemented customizations. In the past, developers used a variety of approaches to customize SharePoint, spanning from structured and repeatable deployments using farm solutions to ad-hoc customizations relying on specific UI elements of SharePoint.

With every new version of SharePoint, chances are that one or more of these customizations could break because of deprecated features or changes to the very development model used in SharePoint.

New means of customizing

Enter the recently released SharePoint Framework. Its main intention is to standardize and modernize the way organizations customize SharePoint. Initially only addressing building web parts, the latest announcements around the SharePoint Framework (SPFx) refer to new ways of customizing, allowing SharePoint developers to build solutions that add even more value to organizations and its users.

Yet, various reports show that many developers still need to adopt the new development model. In our very own industry report on the state of SharePoint and Office 365 development, we found that one of the main reasons for this is the fact that the SharePoint Framework is significantly different to any other development model available to date: it uses open source toolchain and is based on client-side development.

New means of governing customizations

The new ways of customizing SharePoint require a broadened approach to assuring the quality, security, and adherence to organization’s policies. With the latest release of SPCAF, Version 7 of our SharePoint Customization Analysis Framework, organizations can benefit of SharePoint Framework customizations and ensure that these customizations add the most value for their users at the same time!

Developers using SPCAF are able to build SPFx solutions more efficiently since our tool provides them with a dedicated set of rules and best practices. Development teams are able to enforce customization quality and compliance to policies throughout the organization by integrating SPCAF Quality Gate into their continuous integration build system.

What is more, organizations using SPCAF Farm Protection can verify that web parts not only are performant but also secure before they get deployed, by integrating into an organization’s deployment processes and tools.

Try out SPCAF v7 now!

Conclusion

SharePoint is cool again. At Build 2017, Microsoft underpinned its newborn trust in SharePoint as a platform by encouraging developers to customize SharePoint like never before. And with the SharePoint Framework, organizations now have a development model on their hands that will not go away anytime soon for a change. Microsoft SharePoint is cool and will stay cool for a long time to come! You can read the full Microsoft announcement here.

Is an old SharePoint version keeping your organization from benefitting from all this? Then you might take a look at SPTransformator, our unique tool to significantly ease the move to SharePoint 2016 or SharePoint Online by allowing you to keep old customizations and save prior investments.

Waldek Mastykarz

Waldek is a Microsoft Office Development MVP and Head of Product at Rencore. He reinforces our product development adding loads of business experience from working as a SharePoint consultant for more than 10 years. Waldek is passionate about what he does and shares his enthusiasm through his blog and as a regular speaker at conferences and community events all over Europe. Recently, Waldek joined the SharePoint Patterns and Practices (PnP) Core Team to help developers make better use of the SharePoint and Office 365 platforms.