SPCAF v6 BETA with full CSOM support available!

6 min read
6 min read

Announcing a major update to SPCAF

In our SharePoint Evolution Conference recap we touched upon one of our standout sessions from day one. Delivered by Ted Pattison, the talk was based around ‘CSOM Programming in Provider-hosted apps’. We found Ted’s session really relevant and insightful because of the ever growing presence of the SharePoint Add-in Model and push from Microsoft for users to utilize this new environment.

As Jeremy Thake said “The SharePoint App Model is the future of developing business solutions on top of Office 365 and SharePoint Server”. And as more and more people start to use it and see the benefits, guidance, best practices and focus will be required to support their needs. This is where our new SPCAF features will help!

Because we added so many new cool features for this next major release, we decided to provide a beta release to get some feedback from the community how you like it!

If you want cut to the chase, you can download SPCAF v6 BETA now and give it a spin.

Improved Client UI

We know that many of you love the UI of our desktop application. But we hope that you like our improvements even more.

  • A new start screen, showing now all relevant information in an overview
  • Easier configuration of an analysis on a single screen
  • More details in the analysis reports on a smaller screen size
  • Better navigation between the screens with a new back button

But see for yourself:

New comparison of analysis results

We all want to improve and get better no matter what we do. Seeing whether you’ve actually improved however can be difficult to gauge. What do you measure it against? Knowledge? Experience? Feedback? Well, our third major new update will answer that question and allow you to see just how much better you’ve become! By providing a comprehensive analysis of your results, past and present, you can see a detailed comparison over time.

Has the quality of your code improved, are you using more new artifacts than before, are there more solved issues than new issues, what are the ratios between those old and new issues. Our new comparison feature will provide you with both an overview and application specific view.

For example, as a consultant you may be working with many different apps – such as an Intranet, bespoke business app or Extranet. It will group together these different applications and provide an overview of all. You can then drill down into a specific application, using our new Quality Dashboard, and see peaks in performance, any dips, what’s changed and understand why there was a high or low point.

How are these results displayed?

When running the client application a new window will appear on the start screen. From there you simply go into it and generate or view your results. Much like Facebook, the comparison analysis will show your results in a really clear timeline. When you open a selected analysis report the Quality Dashboard will display your results.

They’ll be some great charts with key metrics showing the number of features, web parts etc which will visualize the changes in code over time.

Use straight away

There’s no installation, no server configurations, no database and no customizations required. This new feature will be available right away. SPCAF will scan your old folders, meaning you can compare your analysis results immediately and see if the quality is changing.

30 new CSOM rules

As we’ve said this is a major update to our SPCAF tool and we’ve been working on it for over a year. It’s really important to us that we continue to bring transparency to the SharePoint development process. So we’ve developed an entire new analysis engine along with a whole bunch of new SharePoint Client Side Object Model (CSOM) rules. Over 60 in fact of which we are delivering the first 30 in this BETA. Some of these new rules are:

      • UpdateAfterModfyingWebObject
        We often see examples in real projects where people are debugging frequently, only to then realize they forgot to call the Web.Update() (or list Update() etc) before ExecuteQuery(). This new rule means you need to call the Web.Update in order to persist the changes to the object.
      • CheckHasWebPermissionsBeforeUpdate
        Check permissions of the user before changing or deleting objects to save unneeded server calls.
      • AvoidBeingThrottledInCSOM
        Limit the number of user actions or concurrent calls (by script or code) to prevent overuse of resources.

You can view the full set of new rules here

By providing these new rules we’ve broadened our support in the Add-in and in general client side development which will help to ensure your code is the best it can be.

The SPCAF Benchmark Program

Imagine being rewarded for simply submitting your code analysis results? Well, that’s exactly what we’ll be giving you the chance to do.

Our Benchmark Program will let users gain an insight into their analysis results, compare them with others within their industry and produce a customized report with tailored results. The process requires three simple steps:

      1. Run your analysis
      2. Produce a report
      3. Share your results (anonymously)

The results will show you how you compare with your peers, what you’ve done well, where your errors are and highlight the industry standards. All submitted results are 100% anonymized and anonymous, we do not ask for any personal details. You results will be linked to a unique identification number.

Members of the SPCAF Benchmark Program will receive a number of rewards. From earning points towards one free SPCAF Developer License to a SharePoint customization report.

Details to the Benchmark program will follow with the final release of version 6.

Upcoming Feature: Transformation Guidance

We see a lot of customers at Rencore who want to transform their existing server side full trust code to client side code. The stumbling block is always the same, ‘How can we actually understand if our code can be trasnformed at all? What would it look like in JavaScript or the Add-in model?’. There’s no way of easily finding out. Until now.

Our new ‘Transformation Guidance’ feature will drill down into your existing code and clearly identify what needs to be done. It will:

      • Analyze your Full Trust Solutions (.wsp) and detect full trust API calls and customizations which should then be transferred to a more future proof approach.
      • Provide detailed guidance for each type of customization.
      • Detail how it can be transformed to the SharePoint App Model, CSOM, JSOM, PowerShell and more.
      • Measure an indicator ‘Transformability’ for each solution which helps identify code which can easily be transformed.

Here’s a simple example:

You have your existing code. You want to transfer it from a full trust solution to the App Model. Our ‘Transformation Guidance’ feature will map your existing code to SharePoint App Model code. It does its magic and provides the key metrics. These metrics tell you you have a web part and that web part is 90% transferrable. Only 1 line of code is preventing this from being 100% transferrable. The code is highlighted. You resolve the problem and you’re done. You end up with code that is 100% transferable.

Making code transparent

No longer will a developer say “this code can’t be transformed, it’s impossible” or “it would be way too difficult to do it manually, we’ll just stay with full trust code”. The Transformation Guidance feature will tell you exactly what code is blocking your transformation and what needs to be done.

The Transformation Guidance feature will also identify any existing code that can be transformed straight away.

Providing tools and features that help the SharePoint community is our main objective and we believe this will really help developers get the most from their code and see what it’ll look like in others solutions such as JavaScript, client side or in REST.

Version 6 coming in autumn

We are extremely excited about this major update to SPCAF and believe these new features really benefit the SharePoint community. On top of the major updates and features announced above you can expect:

      • Visual Studio 2015 support
      • A 20 – 30% reduction in report size
      • Quicker loading times with projects
      • Less memory consumption
      • Faster analysis

So what are you waiting for, get your hands on the latest BETA release now and provide us feedback!

Note: SPCAF v6 BETA can be installed side by side with any existing SPCAF version.

Note: A valid license key ( trial or full product key) is required to access the entire feature set.

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