Författararkiv: Anatoly Mironov

Minimal Display Template

We want to use our own Display Templates on Non-publishing sites – our team sites. Without the Publishing Feature activated you have to create an own javascript file. Here is short and concise instructions how to install it: Display Templates on Non-publishing Sites.

As described on that blog, you can make copy of an existing Item_Default.js and adjust to your needs.

I also asked Elio Struyf and I got the same tip. I did create my starter template. Here I want to share this very minimal javascript based Display Template:

Benefits of js approach

If you choose to directly upload and mantain a javascript file you’ll get following benefits:

  • You can use the same display templates on Non-publishing sites and they work directly in SharePoint Foundation
  • You’ll get intellisense
  • You can run static code analysis agains your javascript code and you can create unit tests
  • It is more readable understandable from developer to developer
  • It is easier to follow best practices for javascript
  • It encourages reusing javascript components for Display Templates, CSR (JSLink) Templates.
  • You like TypeScript? Well, then it is best to skip the “grey” code in html comments.

Findings

  • You cannot use ‘use strict’ in your js file.

How to create a Display Template

Rename the Item_Minimal.js file to your name, update some properties.

Upload it to _catalogs/masterpage/Display Templates/Search/<your-folder>

Use ContentType: Display Template Code

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Template Level: Item and Managed Property Mappingsdisplaytemplate-003

Create a new Result Type. Every time you update the Display Template (item properties) you have to update the Result Type.

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Moving from Minimal to Better

Of course the minimal display template is not enough. There is a whole lot of things we can do, I prepared some tips (my own “best practices”):

  1. Learn the Search Display Template Syntax: Corey Roth – Useful js for Display Templates
  2. Follow Elio Struyf’s 10 tips for working with Display Templates (except the first one – javascript is better:) )
  3. Prefer JavaScript Display Templates if you are a developer and you want to  have a better control
  4. Never update the built-in Display Templates.
  5. Centralize reused parts of Display Templates – utilities, common parts, css. Use a CDN site for that.
  6. Check out the SPCSR github repo, there are many Display Templates that you can use or be inspired from.
  7. Create your own folder in _catalogs/masterpage/Display Template/Search to have all your Display Templates within a site collection.

 

SharePoint Utilities – a promising JavaScript Framework

My colleagues at Bool have developed a new JavaScript framework for SharePoint – sharepoint utilities. It started on our DevDay last year – a whole free day when we could learn new things, try out new techniques or build something that was not even requested from a customer. I was not working on sharepoint utilities, so I almost forgot it until…

I recently  re-discovered sharepoint utilities. It is on Github, it is MIT licensed and contributions are welcome. The core of sharepoint utilities (sputils) is a set of wrappers for Search, TermStore, REST that allow you be more productive as a developer.

What I find especially compelling with that it contains some other fundamental stuff that every SharePoint developer needs:

  • XHR, you only need to use sputils.rest.get or sputils.rest.post to make Ajax requests to SharePoint, no need for jQuery or sprequestexecutor.js
  • Promise, it contains a minimalist Promise framework – no need for jQuery.Deferred. All calls to SharePoint _api are wrapped in promises. So there is a better way of making calls to SharePoint.
  • DateTime, it contains some useful functions for working with dates and time.
  • Functional JavaScript. No need for underscore.js or lodash.js.

To me, XHR and Promises are two important parts that I need in every solution. So instead of linking jQuery and preparing reusable XHR functions for SharePoint, I’d recommend using sharepoint-utilities.

A tiny tool for User Custom Actions

hehyuaf

Everybody loves User Custom Actions in SharePoint. That’s the only recommended way of customizing SharePoint. You have heard about it. Unfortunately there is no convinient way of administering them. People have their console applications or powershell scripts to add, update and delete user custom actions. It works but it is hard to open up Visual Studio or PowerShell every time you will try out an idea on a test site.

To overcome this, I have created a tiny little tool, packaged as a bookmarklet for your browser. When you click on it, it will show your existing user custom actions and you can add new user custom actions.

It is an ongoing little project, available on github, contributions are welcome. What’s left is:

  • Implement Delete operation
  • Implement Update operation
  • Improve the UI.

Here is how it looks today:

usercustomaction-001

To use this tool, add a new bookmark in your browser and copy the content of bookmarklet.html as the url.

Resources on that topic:

Creating a bookmarklet for Exporting Web Parts

REST API for User Custom Actions (MSDN)

What it can be used for

It can be used on test sites to try out ideas. But do not use it in Production. On ther other hand, parts of this script can be used in other scenarios, like adding new functionality by site owners directly from the browser, where data is predefined.

Provisioning Google Maps JSLink with SPMeta2

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Among PnP Samples there is a solution for using Google Maps. Great solution where where you can pick a point on a map and define a spacial area on the map. Unfortunately it is a sandbox solution. I rewrote it to a code based template with SPMeta2 Framework. Now it can be installed on any site very easily, without needing UserCode Service and a cumbersome process of uploading a wsp package and activating it. The code is very simple, you can see it on github.

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Let’s take a look at it. It does not contain a single line of SharePoint Legacy XML. There are following SharePoint artefacts that are getting provisioned:

  1. Two site columns (Location Point and Location Area)
  2. A SharePoint List (Locations) with two additional fields mentioned above
  3. Google Maps code in and CSR in a jslink file
  4. Auxiliary pages for selecting points and areas on the map.

Field Definitions

In SPMeta2 everything is separated in meaningful definitions. First we define our fields. The preferred place in the VS solution is Definitions – IA – Fields.

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List Definitions

Then we define our List – Locations. That is also a SPMeta2 Definition. List Definitions reside in Definitions – IA – Lists. We do not add fields in our list definition. The fields are added while “assembling” the model.

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ListView Definitions

ListView Definitions are also in the Definitions – IA folder. We inherit from the OOB AllItems view:

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Modules (a.k.a. Files)

Resource files like javascript, css, aspx, html and so on are Modules. They are in the “Modules – Implicit” folder. The internal structure is copied to the web folder. The upload of files is easy and is defined in the web model, see next section.

Web Model

Now it is time to pick the definitions and create a model. The most common model is a Web Model. The model is created programmatically and relies on “Add” methods: AddField, AddList and so on:

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Provisioning

The actual provisioning is the most fun, it is easy and straight forward, it takes models and deploys it to a SharePoint site. You can easily switch between SSOM and CSOM.

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Distribution

Another bonus of SPMeta2 Provisioning Framework is the ability to serialize and deserialize models to XML or JSON. In our project we define SharePoint Applications as SPMeta2 models serialized in XML and make them available for installation on any SharePoint Site.  A SharePoint Application is a meaningful collection of SharePoint artefacts that becomes an entity and solves a business need.

Summary

This Maps solution is a simple solution, but it is a very powerful one, originally created by the PnP team. If we just redesign the Provisioning Part, it becomes awesome. SPMeta2 provides a solid, well defined, easy-to-understand framework for define code-first models for SharePoint Applications.