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InfoQ Homepage News SharePoint Framework 1.17 Introduces Web Part Top Actions and Change to Update Cadence

SharePoint Framework 1.17 Introduces Web Part Top Actions and Change to Update Cadence

Microsoft released version 1.17 of the SharePoint Framework in April 2023, which, together with new features and bug fixes, also ushers a shorter release cycle for minor fixes. The version has already seen four minor updates in the two and half months since the launch.

On April 4th, 2023, Microsoft released version 1.17 of the SharePoint Framework, five months since the release of version 1.16. The new version has several features, including web part top actions and popup authentication flow support for Azure Active Directory. Web part top actions are custom code actions that the users can trigger while the web part is in edit mode. The purpose of this new capability is to surface the most frequent configurations from the web part property pane into the web part toolbar, which is exposed as the web part is being edited.

web part top actions screenshot

To use web part top actions, developers must implement the getTopActionsConfiguration() method from the BaseClientSideWebPart class in their web part code. This method has to return an object with two properties: the topActions array of custom actions to be added to the toolbar and the onExecute handler called when one of the custom top actions is selected.

The authentication of the custom code in SharePoint Framework is achieved via AADTokenProvider, an abstraction over the Azure Active Directory authentication flows. It implements an <iframe>-based silent single sign-on mechanism by default. If the silent SSO fails, the provider will force a full-page HTTP redirect to the login.

Version 1.17 of the SharePoint Framework allows for a popup flow instead of the full redirect if the administrators of the Microsoft 365 tenant enable the popup authentication using PowerShell. Once this setting is enabled, the developers should implement a popupEvent handler on the AadTokenProvider property in the web part code.

Other improvements in the 1.17 release of SPFx include an updated Teams manifest for apps built with SPFx. This allows solutions built with SPFx to be surfaced in several applications of Microsoft 365 (Teams, Outlook, Microsoft 365 app launcher) besides SharePoint. It also includes several minor improvements, library version updates and bug fixes.

Since the release of version 1.17, four minor versions have been released by Microsoft in response to customer and community feedback, usually fixing one or two minor issues in each release. Microsoft recommends using the latest minor version (1.17.4, released on June 21st 2023) when developing custom solutions. According to the release notes, Microsoft is looking to release more frequently, with smaller releases to address new findings and patch known issues.

SharePoint Framework (or SPFx) is the set of tools and libraries to build extensibility options in Microsoft 365. With SharePoint Framework, developers can create solutions for Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Viva products. The SPFx uses industry-standard tooling such as Yeoman, TypeScript, Lint, WebPack and other client-side libraries. The issues list is hosted on GitHub and currently has 536 open issues.

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