SharePoint Starter Kit
Recently I had the great privilege of unveiling a new major release of the PnP community’s SharePoint Starter Kit, version 2 (V2).
It takes a village.
The Starter Kit has been and continues to be a true community effort and it wouldn’t be possible without the ongoing support and contributions of the SharePoint community. Thank you to all the community members who helped make this possible with special thanks to Beau, Elio, Paolo, Erwin, Vesa, and all of the others that helped refresh the SPFx webparts, and provide feedback and testing.
A little backstory
The SharePoint community was building a lot of really amazing open-source webparts and extensions, but most were siloed and independent. The community saw the need to provide a way to bring many of the disparate tools and successful patterns together—after all, the sum is great than its parts.
The SharePoint Starter Kit looked to provide a comprehensive end-to-end solution for SharePoint Online that essentially packaged up common SharePoint Framework web parts and extensions utilizing PnP Provisioning and PnP PowerShell to provide a provisioned solution on top of SharePoint. The key to all of this was that the kit could then be extended by anyone to match their specific needs. The kit was, and remains, one of the best starting places for creating a custom provisioning solution for SharePoint—all for free.
If you asked me who this tool is for I would adamantly say, it’s truly is a developer’s tool. It’s designed to provision a new set of sites, with new features including a hub-enabled communication site, additional hub-joined team sites, pre-provisioned webparts, extensions, and web pages.
The SharePoint Starter kit provides a comprehensive story so that you can see many of the amazing pieces Microsoft and the community has been building over the years in one place.
Since its inception in 2018, the Starter Kit has definitely evolved. At the end of 2019, the community decided it was time for a version 2. At the end of last year, I was entrusted to take the reins and spearhead this initiative.
PnP Starter Kit Version 2
Version 2 looked to expand and extend the starter kit by adding current common layouts, and additional new SharePoint features such as SPFx libraries. One of—if not—the biggest change was that we took all the web parts and extensions that had been built into one package and split them out.
Why split up the webparts?
Developers made it clear they wanted the choice to select, package, and reuse certain webparts from the included package. Many saw the value of provided webparts, while organizations didn’t necessarily want to install and internally maintain unnecessary components.
Further, it’s becoming more apparent that SPFx components should be available on their own. Evolving ALM strategies continue to prove why there is less desire to put them into one package or bundle. Every time you make an update to one, you are technically then having to update them all, which means you’d have to test everything all over again.
More to write home about
We also wanted to add in additional samples (new components) such as a MicroSoft Graph Toolkit, the use of the new layout that includes the right rail (the ‘me’ personal data feeds), provisioning of a mega menu, and ways to set settings such as the shy header.
The future looks bright
While we’re very proud of version 2, we’re already discussing how we can continue to improve. We want to provide a more clear roadmap and we’re working with the MVP community to convey a clear path for people to contribute more easily. After all, this is for the community, by the community and we want to make it as easy to contribute as possible.
Here at PixelMill, we believe that sharing is caring, and you get back what you give. We actively contribute to the open-source community initiatives like this one because we want everyone to experience the power of SharePoint. It‘s exciting to see the adoption and utilization of the starter kit.
Extend it and Make it Your Own
The true value of this is that it is a developer’s tool. It’s a kit that I hope to see developers open up, extend, and make it their own. We like to think of it as an accelerator. It’s thousands of lines of code that help speed up your next big breakthrough!
Show & Tell!
We really want to see what you’re doing with the starter kit! Share your latest Starter Kit extensions with #m365starterkit