Tech News | Open Source SharePoint Framework RSS Reader Webpart Now Available 

Tech News 

Our Founder’s Latest Creation | Open Source SharePoint Framework RSS Reader Webpart Now Available
Innovation is a cornerstone of PixelMill, and our founder lives this tenet daily. Here at PixelMill, we embrace open source initiatives and believe that the best works come when the community collaborates together for the common good. As an active community member and contributor, our president and co-founder, Eric Overfield, is engaged with the SharePoint Patterns & Practices (PnP) (https://aka.ms/sppnp) community and encourages our team to utilize PnP whenever possible in our projects. PixelMill proudly embraces Microsoft’s direction and recommended best practices as we believe it will save headache, time, and money, delivering a better solution with robust integration. We highly recommend you follow the same principles when working with Office 365, SharePoint, and Microsoft Teams.
What are SharePoint Patterns & Practices? 
According to Microsoft, “SharePoint PnP is a nick-name for SharePoint Dev Ecosystem activities coordinated by SharePoint engineering. SharePoint PnP is a community driven open-source initiative where Microsoft and external community members are sharing their learning’s around implementation practices for SharePoint and Office 365. Active development and contributions happen in GitHub by providing contributions to the samples, reusable components, and documentation.
PnP is owned and coordinated by SharePoint engineering, but this is work done by the community for the community. The initiative is currently facilitated by Microsoft, but they have multiple community members as part of the PnP Core team, and they are looking to extend the Core team with more community members.”
Now Available – Open Source SharePoint Framework RSS Reader Webpart
Check out our President’s latest open source SharePoint PnP initiative, a SharePoint Framework (SPFx) RSS Reader webpart for modern SharePoint and soon Microsoft Teams!
Eric recently announced the general availability of an open source SharePoint Framework RSS Reader webpart he built and made available to anyone and everyone as part of the SharePoint Patterns and Practices SPFx Webpart examples. Download the RSS Reader SPFx webpart, currently based on SPFx v1.7.0, now to get started today.
Primary Features

  • Multiple RSS Feed retrieval services: Direct, https://feed2json.org, https://rss2json.com
  • Embedded React based feed rendering with optional parameters — Feed result layout options including optional display of item
  • Publish date
  • Description
  • Demonstration of color picker property for color control of certain aspects of webpart
  • Custom feed rendering using local or remote handlebar template
  • Optional View All link in header to point to custom feed source
  • Optionally store RSS feed results to browser’s local storage for quick reload with configurable timeout window
  • Optional CORS proxy service for cross origin feeds

This new webpart provides three readily available options to retrieve a RSS feed:

  • Direct feed – Using the webpart’s context.httpClient class, the reader webpart will make a GET request to the provided feed url. There is an option to enable or disable CORS mode in the request, although the major issue with the direct feed request is the feed endpoint has to allow for CORS if it is hosted on another domain. Many feeds do not do this.
    There is also a lean XML to JSON parser included in this project to help convert common RSS Feed XML to a normalized JSON format.
  • Feed2json.org – feed2json.org is an open source project that provides a service to pull a feed for you and return json. There is a default demo service the project author offers although this service does not return proper CORS headers. Be aware the readily available service is for testing only.
    What I like about this service is the open source aspect. You can take their service source, load it up in your own Azure environment, and host your own service.
  • Rss2Json.com – rss2json.com is a paid service that serves as a production ready proxy for pulling feeds, returning json, and proper CORS headers are returned in a way that the browser may properly handle. You will need an api key if you want to make more than 10,000 requests per day (current as of 2/19). Also, be aware that their free plan only refreshed your feed every 90 minutes.

Eric presented the feature in this week’s SharePoint PnP bi-weekly community call. Check out the demo at https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/blogs/sharepoint-framework-community-call-recording-14th-of-feb-2019/ Discover more about the history and making of this webpart and learn how to install and use it today at http://ericoverfield.com/now-available-open-source-sharepoint-framework-rss-reader-webpart/.
Along with innovation, constant improvement is a core value here at PixelMill. Eric is looking for help to improve this webpart, so please let us know what you think in the comments, how this could be improved, or if you want to help!

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