Advanced SharePoint Web Part Development


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Web Parts are the foundation of user interfaces in SharePoint. As a developer, it's relatively easy (particularly with the Visual Web Part) to build something simple and get it deployed. But what do you do when you need to add editable properties or when you need to connect two Web Parts together? This fast-paced, demo-heavy session covers the more advanced aspects of building Web Parts for SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online. We’ll take a look at creating custom editor parts, constructing connected Web Parts, and how to render Web Parts asynchronously. We’ll also explore how to build JavaScript-only Web Parts that will work with SharePoint Online.

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  • Advanced SharePoint Web Part Development

    1. 1. Advanced SharePoint Web Part Development Rob Windsor @robwindsor
    2. 2. About Me  Senior SharePoint Consultant  Technical Contributor to the Pluralsight On-Demand Library  Microsoft MVP, MCPD, MCT  Founder and Past-President of the North Toronto .NET UG  Co-author of Prof. Visual Basic 2012 and .NET 4.5 (Wrox)
    3. 3. Session Prerequisites  Experience developing for SharePoint  Experience building Web Parts  Experience with JavaScript and jQuery
    4. 4. Agenda  Script Parts  Persistent Web Part Properties  Editor Parts  Script Part Properties  Connectable Web Parts  Asynchronous Web Parts  Web Part Gallery  Web Part Pages
    5. 5. DEMO Basic Web Parts
    6. 6. Script Parts  Web parts implemented using only JavaScript  Why?  Can’t deploy farm solutions to SharePoint Online  Sandbox solutions with managed code are deprecated  Restrictions  Can’t create custom web parts without managed code  Must use OOB web parts to implement script parts  Implementation  Use modules to provision JavaScript/HTML files  Use custom actions to load common JavaScript files  Use Content Editor Web Part to inject HTML and JavaScript into page
    7. 7. DEMO Script Part
    8. 8. Web Part Properties  Web Parts support persistent properties  Configure properties via attributes  Personalizable(param)  Directs SharePoint to persist property value  Parameter indicates if property may be personalized  WebBrowsable(true)  Directs SharePoint to generate interface to edit property  WebDisplayName, WebDescription  The prompt and tooltip that accompany the data entry element  Category  The group in which the properties will be shown [Personalizable(PersonalizationScope.Shared)] [WebBrowsable(true)] [WebDisplayName("Year")] [Category("Pluralsight")] public int Year { get; set; }
    9. 9. DEMO Web Part Properties
    10. 10. Editor Parts  Editor parts enable user customization  Editor parts contained within an editor zone  ASP.NET supplies standard editor parts  Layout, appearance, etc  Developers can create custom editor parts  Similar development experience to Web Part  Control over interface used to edit properties  Ability to validate user input  In web part  Override CreateEditorParts  In editor part  Override CreateChildControls, SyncChanges and ApplyChanges
    11. 11. DEMO Editor Parts
    12. 12. Script Part Properties  No way to implement real web part properties without managed code  We can emulate the user experience  Property values stored in element attribute  Detect when property editor is open  Add data entry controls into editor using jQuery  Capture submit event and retrieve values  Update attribute containing property values  Use native script editor web part persistence mechanism  Alternative implementation  Build Custom Web Part Properties with JSOM 
    13. 13. DEMO Script Part Properties IMPORTANT: This demo is a proof of concept only. It is nowhere near production ready!
    14. 14. Creating Connectable Web Parts  Pass data from one web part to another  Loosely-coupled connection  Communication managed by WebPartManager  Provider web part supplies data  Consumer web parts retrieve data  Interface used to define data contract  ASP.NET has standard connection contracts  Shown later in this module  Can use custom connection contracts  SharePoint provides user interface elements to establish connections  Not compatible with sandboxed solutions
    15. 15. DEMO Web Part Connections
    16. 16. Web Part Connections using Ajax  Communication between web parts requires a postback  Generally, only consumer web part needs to be updated  Can use partial page rendering (UpdatePanel) to only update consumer  Problem:  Event triggered by provider  UpdatePanel in consumer  Solution:  Pass reference to control that triggers update from provider to consumer  Consumer registers control as AsyncPostbackControl with ScriptManager
    17. 17. DEMO Web Part Connections Using Ajax
    18. 18. Asynchronous Loading of Web Parts  Long running tasks are blocking calls  One web part can bring a page to a crawl  When on the same page, multiple instances can kill the user experience  Make long running tasks asynchronous  Don’t hold up page processing
    19. 19. Asynchronous Loading of Web Parts protected void Page_PreRender(object sender, EventArgs e) { _func = new Func<XDocument>(GetFeed); Page.RegisterAsyncTask( new PageAsyncTask( new BeginEventHandler(BeginFeed), new EndEventHandler(EndFeed), new EndEventHandler(TimoutFeed), null, true)); } public IAsyncResult BeginFeed(object sender, EventArgs e, AsyncCallback cb, object state) { return _func.BeginInvoke(cb, state); } public void EndFeed(IAsyncResult ar) { var feed = _func.EndInvoke(ar); var posts = from item in feed.Descendants("item") select new { Title = item.Element("title").Value, Description = item.Element("description").Value, Published = DateTime.Parse(item.Element("pubDate").Value) }; posts = posts.Skip(_pageNum * PageSize).Take(PageSize); FeedListView.DataSource = posts.ToList(); FeedListView.DataBind(); }
    20. 20. DEMO Async Loading of Web Parts
    21. 21. Minimal Download Strategy  All controls on a page must be marked as MdsCompliant for page to use Minimal Download Strategy  MdsCompliant Restrictions:  HTML style and script tags are not supported  Use CssRegistration and ScriptLink instead  Using Response object to write to page is not supported  Use SPHttpUtility.Write* instead  Inline code must be wrapped in SharePoint:ScriptBlock element  For more information see Modify SharePoint components for MDS 
    22. 22. DEMO MdsCompliant
    23. 23. Cleaning the Web Part Gallery  Files provisioned into Content DB do not get removed on Feature deactivation  This includes webpart / dwp files added to Web Part Gallery  Deletion of files can be done in Feature receiver  Examine element manifests to find web parts  Remove from web part gallery
    24. 24. Cleaning the Web Part Gallery public override void FeatureDeactivating(SPFeatureReceiverProperties properties) { var site = properties.Feature.Parent as SPSite; if (site == null) return; var parts = new List<string>(); var elements = properties.Definition.GetElementDefinitions(CultureInfo.CurrentCulture); foreach (SPElementDefinition element in elements) { if (element.ElementType != "Module") continue; var node = element.XmlDefinition; if (node.Attributes["Url"].Value != "_catalogs/wp") continue; foreach (XmlElement childNode in node.ChildNodes) { if (childNode.Name == "File") { parts.Add(childNode.GetAttribute("Url")); } } } var web = site.RootWeb; var gallery = web.Lists["Web Part Gallery"]; var items = gallery.Items; for (int i = items.Count - 1; i >= 0; i--) { var item = items[i]; if (parts.Contains(item.File.Name)) { item.Delete(); } } }
    25. 25. DEMO Cleaning the Web Part Gallery
    26. 26. Creating Web Part Page Templates  Create a site page  Set base type to Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.WebPartPage  Add one or more web part zones to page  Provision page instances using Module <%@ Assembly Name="$SharePoint.Project.AssemblyFullName$" %> <!-- Other register directives --> <%@ Register Tagprefix="WebPartPages" Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages" Assembly="Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, …" %> <%@ Page Language="C#" Inherits="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.WebPartPage" MasterPageFile="~masterurl/default.master" %> <asp:Content ID="Main" ContentPlaceHolderID="PlaceHolderMain" runat="server"> <WebPartPages:WebPartZone ID="MainZone" runat="server" FrameType="TitleBarOnly" Title="Main Web Part Zone" /> </asp:Content>
    27. 27. Adding Web Parts to Web Part Pages  Use SPLimitedWebPartManager  Get reference from property of Page object  Use SPLimitedWebPartManager.AddWebPart to add var page = web.GetFile("SiteAssets/Test02.aspx"); using (var manager = page.GetLimitedWebPartManager( PersonalizationScope.Shared)) { if (!manager.WebParts.Contains(webPartTitle)) { var part = new MostPopularProducts2.MostPopularProducts2(); part.Title = "Most Popular Products"; part.Category = "Condiments"; part.Year = 1997; manager.AddWebPart(part, "Left", 0); } } Note: Contains method shown in code sample is a custom extension
    28. 28. DEMO Creating Web Part Pages and Adding Web Parts
    29. 29. Additional Stuff  Closing versus deleting web parts  Closing a web part does not remove it from page  Having many closed web parts on a page can degrade performance  Set AllowClose to false to remove option to close from web part verbs  Versioning  DO NOT change the assembly version of your assemblies  SharePoint stores the full name with version of all web parts in galleries and on pages  Use the AssemblyFileVersion instead
    30. 30. Thank You  Big thanks to the organizers, sponsors and you for making this event possible  Please fill out your evaluation  Please keep in touch @robwindsor