Kirk Liemohn is a Principal Software Engineer in the Transformation Practice at ThreeWill. He has spent nearly a decade helping clients transform and migrate their content from one platform to another (typically to Microsoft 365) with a focus on the more complex scenarios. Prior to his transformation focus, Kirk led several key SharePoint integrations at ThreeWill including Jive, Polycom, and Confluence.
SharePoint has a lot of great out-of-the-box capabilities, but sometimes you need to take it a step further. For example, you need a custom user interface to improve productivity.
The SharePoint Framework (aka SPFx) is a great way to customize SharePoint and Teams. There have been various ways to customize SharePoint in the past, but SPFx is the recommended option. This is especially true for SharePoint Online, but also for more recent versions of SharePoint on-prem. What I like about SPFx – beyond the fact that it lets you customize SharePoint – is that there are several web controls that are ready to use and require very little effort to incorporate into your customizations. Not only do these components function well, they also fit the look and feel of SharePoint today.
SPFx is supported with SharePoint 2019 and SharePoint 2016 (with feature pack 2), but there are limitations to both. Recently I wrote a Microsoft 365 PnP Blog post that focuses on the limitations of SPFx with SharePoint 2016. If you are embarking on an SPFx SharePoint 2016 project, it may save you a lot of time.
Many companies are still on older versions of SharePoint and the effort to upgrade is sometimes daunting (but ThreeWill can help!) If you are working with SharePoint 2016 and want to build custom web parts with SPFx I hope the steps in the PnP blog post (and the pain I went through) saves you some time.