Webinar Recap | Latest & Greatest in SharePoint Development

We hope you enjoyed “Uncovering the Latest in SharePoint Development”, the new universal record holder for “Most Questions in a PixelMill Webinar” (totally legit record obviously). This session was so packed we barely had time to review the demos Eric had planned. For those of you interested in seeing that, a little birdie told us it just might reappear in our next webinar…
What’s the buzz? Tell me what’s happenin’!
This session had Eric really excited to unload his mind grapes onto your plate. We started with a little journey back through the traditional development models (Full Trust farm-based solutions, Sandbox solutions, etc…) and then transitioned into what development models are currently available to us, including more modern approaches. Eric emphasized that many of the traditional approaches are still very relevant to us today. Just because some might like to build the latest typescript code on SharePoint Online doesn’t mean others couldn’t be building on SharePoint 2010 or On-Prem. You can still use some of the more modern methodologies that are also coming down the road (Microsoft Graph, SharePoint Rest, Office UI, etc…). Eric then guides us through the roadmap for development strategies defining best practices and where should you look to go in the future.
Eric’s advice: Stay current, learn the Open Source toolchain, and look at SharePoint 2016 and On-Line environments.
For those interested in more personal thoughts, Eric answers some of the great questions that rolled in during our session:
Q: Do you have any info for creating Javascript coded proxy for cross domain calls without using App Management Service, I was trying to use SP.RequestExecutor.js without setting up a separate add-in site requiring the purchase of another domain name.
A: I do not have a good answer here as this is a common, yet also designed issue with cross-domain calls. I have found the best solution is to use Azure, even a more simple Azure function, to act as the proxy.
Q: Why did they eliminate Auto Hosted Apps?
A: There’s a good blog post about that.
Q: Is office fabric UI only available for cloud offerings?
A: Yes, absolutely. Office UI Fabric may be used on any web project, not just those on SharePoint.
Q: What forms tool are you using now that infopath is going away?
A: InfoPath still has many years left until – I think 2024, right? So in the mean time, there are many 3rd party vendors that offer cloud or On-Prem versions. You could also code up good simple forms using SPFx or Vanilla JS / React / Angular / SharePoint Rest API. Microsoft Forms looks promising as does PowerApps, but I can’t say they are 100% ready for prime time.
Q: Can an Azure function be passed parameters via URL?
A: Yes. Your code will be executed, in a sense, as a simple web service, so it will also have access to the original request and query string.
Q: Can Azure function connect to On Prem SQL Server Database? I know API Apps can, thru Hybrid Connection manager.
A: This article should give you a pretty good idea.
Q: Will power apps be available for .gov domains?
A: I do not have specific guidance regarding the Power Apps roadmap as it concerns to the government cloud, that said, I would expect to see that soon.
Q: What is the difference between WebHooks and Flow?
A: Flow is a new workflow engine, similar to traditional SharePoint workflows, but much more generic. You use the browser to configure what events you want to monitor, what should happen when an event occurs, and then what should occur after that, etc.
WebHooks on the otherhand allow you to register your custom code to be securily notified when an event happens, i.e. a list item for a specific list is created. With WebHooks, Office 365 will now get or post a request to your webhook endpoint. That’s it. Your custom endpoint can then validate the notification is legitimate, but otherwise there is no other notification or specific workflow that will occur. It is now up to your custom code to do what you want.
Q: What percentage of full trust solutions will SPFX allow us to build, now and in the future? Will we still need the add-in model?
A: There are specific processes or data security that will not work as a 100% SPFx webpart, but using a custom backend service, say one that is hosted on Azure, could allow for near 100% replacement of full trust to SPFx / Azure. The Add-in model is still important when full front-end isolation is required. iFrames, although painful, do provide isolation of code that is important in client side rendering.

For those wanting to view Eric’s slide deck, it is available to view here.
Interested in Learning More? Join Us for July’s Webinar!
Don’t forget to join us for our May webinar, “Supercharge Your SharePoint Framework Webpart with React” on Thursday, July 27th at 11 AM PST.
The SharePoint Framework (#SPFx) provides an open framework in which to create new future-friendly, cloud-ready webparts for SharePoint Online. React, one of the most popular JavaScript Libraries is key to building a feature-rich web interface. During this session, Eric will you how to create well-designed and intuitive webparts by combining the SPFx with React in your next project.
This session will include:
– An overview of React
– Many techniques and endpoints to connect React with the SPFx
– The necessary code to build webpart samples
While this session is geared towards those with a basic understanding of the SPFx and its toolchain, we encourage newcomers to dive right into React, become familiar with its paradigms and find the right tools, hooks, and methods available in the SPFx. Join me to create a powerful toolset for your next SharePoint project.
Save your spot today and register here.

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