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In the most recent SharePoint Patterns & Practices - JavaScript Special Interest Group meeting, Microsoft shared some news on the SharePoint Framework. The news fell into three buckets:

  • Recent Updates
  • Update on SPFx Modern UI Extensions
  • SPFx Engineering Backlog

Recent Updates

The big news that in the last few weeks Microsoft introduced a new, and often requested, feature for SPFx: **tenant-scoped deployment for SPFx client-side web parts and extensions. This means addins or extensions can be deployed to all sites within your tenant just a single time!

Provided your solutions do not include any asset provisioning such as lists or libraries, you can add a new a flag to your package-solution.json configuration file. This tells SharePoint there are no assets to provision and thus, can be deployed to the entire tenant.

An updated Yeoman generator will make this easy when creating a package, asking if you want to enable this as you see here:

You can update your generator running npm install @microsoft/generator-sharepoint -g... the current version as of the day I'm publishing this post is v1.1.3.

This will create the package-solution.json with the skipFeatureDeployment added like this:

Then, when you upload the solution package to the App Catalog, you will see a new checkbox option to Make this solution available to all sites in the organization:

One neat thing we learned about this in the recent update was that this feature is going to be included in the upcoming SharePoint 2016 Feature Pack 2!

You can read about on the announcement in the following blog post and a short video:

Update on SPFx Modern UI Extensions

Microsoft also updated developers on the status of Modern UI Extensions, currently available as a developer preview. While no dates were specified, apparently we should see an updated generator very soon as a Release Candidate (RC). The RC is still not supported in production but will be available in Office 365 Developer Tenants.

This RC update will include some breaking API changes related to extensions so some code changes will be required.

The goal for this release is to get feedback before a GA release so if this is something you're interested in, make sure you make your voice heard

No update on the GA release date, but if I were a betting man, I'd look to more news at Microsoft Ignite at the end of September in Orlando as a possible GA landing date.

I'm eager to see two features I requested for extensions show up in the RC... crossing my fingers... help me vote these up! - UserVoice: Extensions: Application Customizer - Additional Placeholders Requested - UserVoice: Extensions: Support Development in Local Workbench

SPFx Engineering Backlog

The last update Microsoft provided is what the engineering team is working on at the moment. They have recently shipped the following features in developer preview:

  • GraphHttpClient
  • Modern UI Extensions
  • Dialog control

Other things on the near-term roadmap include:

  • Site collection app catalog: The ability to deploy a solution package to a specific site collection rather than the tenant making it available across all site collections.
  • On-premises SPFx support for SharePoint 2016: This is coming in Feature Pack 2, which I expect to either get released or have a release date announced at the Ignite conference at the end of September.
  • Connected Web Parts: Technically this is already available as an undocumented feature in developer preview within developer tenants, but after being announced at the Build conference this past May, Microsoft pulled back on their work to focus on other areas. While they do plan to roll this out, there will be some API changes... hopefully, we can expect to see more on this at Ignite next month.

Wrapup

That's everything that was covered in the most recent SIG meeting. You can find the meeting in the SharePoint Developer Tech Community, SharePoint Patterns & Practices - JavaScript Special Interest Group Recording, 17th of August 2017, or you can watch a recording of the meeting on YouTube... I've set the player below to jump to the SPFx section in the meeting for you:

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