Over the last 12 months, the AMT Evolve development team has shifted it’s focus to the SharePoint Framework (SPFx) development model for AMT Products and client work development. This was a significant change from the classic development model we had previously followed. Some of the highlights of the process have been:
- Deep dive into ReactJS and the rest of the SPFx tech stack. Following Microsoft’s lead in using this as the primary Clientside technology for SharePoint.
- Created over 20 SPFx Web Parts and extensions.
- Moved away From TFS onto Git for source control.
- New and Improved internal ways of working and processes, which resulted in a better roadmap for our modules.
- Mentoring clients to help them begin on their SPFx journey.
In making future development focused on “Modern Experience”, our initial objective was to ensure that our migrated product suite not only maintained feature parity but also enhanced it to take it to the next level. Great examples of this are our PhoneBook and Tiles solutions.
SPFx has required our development team to skill up in a few interesting and exciting ways, such as the use of ReactJS, SASS in place of CSS, leveraging Gulp for the SPFx build process and using NPM to manage our dependencies on a per solution basis. These new learnings, coupled with the existing skills and knowledge already in the team, has put us in good position to go forward and create great software now, and in the future.
We have built several modules, such as our organisation chart, that have leveraged the Microsoft Graph API. We have found Microsoft Graph to be a powerful and easy to consume API that opens up new and exciting avenues we can investigate to help create engaging user experiences in SharePoint.
Moving forward the team will continue to work with the Microsoft Graph API to surface and expand on the rich data provided for our customer’s users and organisations. We are also excited to start working with Microsoft Cognitive services to infuse future modules with AI-powered capabilities. Specific things we are interested in are looking at are Virtual Assistant Bots leveraging LUIS (Language Understanding Intelligent Service, AI scheduling assistants and looking into image recognition capabilities. With the vision and hope to create trusted and engaging software that not helps our customers but also delights them.