Microsoft unveils the new SharePoint Framework

For a long time now, there hasn’t been much new about SharePoint pages and publishing. The SharePoint user experience has become more and more old fashioned and outdated. The UI wasn’t originally designed for a connected, responsive and mobile world. And the possibilities for developers to integrate and enhance this UI has even become more limited with the introduction of SharePoint Add-ins and App Parts.

New User Experience

In the Future of SharePoint webcast Microsoft has now committed to reinvent the Intranet and evolve SharePoint to let us build a new modern intranet experiences. The SharePoint Framework – a brand new UI layer - is going to deliver capabilities that will help Microsoft, the community, partners and customers to build powerful rich SharePoint applications in Office 365 and on-premises. The new framework provides components and access to the full SharePoint stack from client-side development.

The new SharePoint user experience will be inspired by Sway and the Office 365 Delve Blog.

Sketch of the new SharePoint UX (This is only a sketch how the new UX could look like)

Modern Tools

The framework is a page and part model that enables full support for modern JavaScript development, easy integration with the Microsoft Graph API and open source tooling like:
Tools

It is designed to build apps with popular frameworks like Angular and React.

Watch this webcast from Daniel Kogan to learn more about the details:

Open Source

The product team is also going to share the components with the community on GitHub, giving us almost the same possibilities like they guys have – maybe in a similar way they did already with the Office PnP Project on GitHub.

Availability

The new framework should be rolled-out to Office 365 first release customers in the 3th quarter this year, should be backward compatible and should also become available for SharePoint On-Premise later on.

Summary

The SharePoint Framework is a new, client-side development platform for extending the SharePoint UI, leveraging modern, open source tools.
A good knowledge of JavaScript, HTML and CSS is getting more and more important. This is great for all web developers worldwide, but could be challenging for many of the traditional Microsoft partners.