More than 250,000 organizations use SharePoint, including over 85% of Fortune 500 companies who use SharePoint Online as part of Microsoft (Office) 365.
Since its inception in 2001, SharePoint has been the most widely adopted and popular information management and Intranet platform. For the past two decades, SharePoint has maintained its supremacy by enabling organizations to keep their business-critical information safe and well organized while catalyzing collaboration across departments. However, a lot has changed in the technology sphere over time and today’s users expect more from SharePoint. They expect to have robust SharePoint applications that offer the simplest and smoothest user experience (UX) while streamlining their daily tasks.
Traditional SharePoint app development involving add-ins, cannot completely meet such expectations. The Redmond-based giants identified this gap in SharePoint and swiftly came up with the SPFx model as a solution. Now, the immediate question on your mind is:
What is SPFx?
SharePoint framework (aka SPFx) is a model for building user-friendly and powerful customizations on the SharePoint platform. This framework helps SharePoint developers to create awesome client-side web parts and extensions. SPFx provides complete development support for client-side development, easy integration with data residing in SharePoint, and access to various open-source tools. This development model works in SharePoint Online, as well as SharePoint 2016 and 2019 on-premises versions. It can work for both modern as well as classic pages. With the utilization of SPFx web parts and extensions, the SharePoint developers and business users can create powerful applications that can deliver a great UX!
Couple SPFx with No-Code Application Development
As you can see, SPFx has simplified and enhanced SharePoint application development significantly. However, it has still not addressed one major concern. Traditionally, SharePoint application development or customization has been a siloed process handled by the SharePoint developers or IT professionals. Such dependencies have created various bottlenecks for business users and resulted in low user adoptions. The solution to this problem lies in: democratizing SharePoint development and allowing business (power) users to not only participate but build the apps themselves. A capable No-code application development platform facilitates such a development approach. It allows business users to build apps they need without any coding.
An SPFx enabled No-code platform allows users to build powerful SharePoint business applications that not only meet UX and UI expectations of users but can be built within a rapid time and without any IT dependencies. Let us explore how the combination of SPFx and No-code application development can help organizations build, customize, and automate their SharePoint at scale.
Benefits of using SPFx enabled No-Code application development Platform
#1: Build Mobile Friendly SharePoint Applications
One of the common complaints for most SharePoint users over the years has been the platform’s lack of mobile-friendliness. While most Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint can be easily installed and used on mobile devices. For many years, users could only access SharePoint using their desktops and laptops, while other applications would open seamlessly on tablets and smartphones. SPFx has changed this aspect of SharePoint. The applications that are built with an SPFx enabled No-code solution can not only be built 80% faster but they can be accessed from any device. Just like the Office apps, users can access and customize their SharePoint sites on the go and from any device. It helps users stay better connected to the data, content, and apps that they use every day.
#2: Easy integration with other Microsoft (Office) 365 workloads
In recent years, there has been an exodus from SharePoint on-premises to Microsoft 365 (SharePoint Online). One of the primary reasons for this shift has been the powerful stack of apps available as a part of Microsoft (Office) 365 suite of solutions. While users still love SharePoint for its collaboration and information management features, but they desire more. Modern users want to integrate tools such as Power BI, Microsoft Teams, OneDrive for Business, etc. to enhance SharePoint’s out-of-the-box capabilities. SPFx allows easy integration with other Microsoft (Office) 365 workloads and brings all the capabilities together. An SPFx enabled No-code platform allows business users to bring together data and conversations from other Microsoft (Office) 365 applications and build an end-to-end application themselves.
#3: Delivers flexibility to host applications wherever needed
Since SPFx can be hosted wherever you wish, it presents organizations with several hosting options. The SPFx solution can be hosted on your server, SharePoint, or in the cloud. SPFx solution features a URL reference feature that points to the code location. Such functionality allows easy loading of the script in the browser whenever customization starts. A No-code platform, with SPFx support, enables business users to develop applications that are not just robust but also easy to use and fast loading too.
#5: Supports lightweight development tools
Undeniably, SPFx has revolutionized the development of SharePoint and other Microsoft (Office) 365 applications. However, there is still a significant learning curve and expertise involved in SPFx based development. Both these limiting factors can be addressed by selecting an SPFx enabled No-code application development platform.