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You want to build an app using SharePoint Framework and wonder which framework you should use? Here’s my personal advice.
Extend conversations and portals on Microsoft 365
Using SharePoint Framework you can extend conversations and portals on Microsoft 365. With SharePoint Framework, you can build widgets, called web parts, which users can put on pages or open as tabs in Teams. You can also use SharePoint Framework to add code to existing pages or change how data in lists is displayed.
Can I use [your-framework-here] with SharePoint Framework?
Integrated dev experience
From the development experience point of view, React is integrated with SharePoint Framework. Using the SharePoint Framework Yeoman generator you can create a project that uses React. The necessary configuration, and build and packaging tasks are already configured and ready for you to use. In comparison, if you choose to use another framework, you will need to find a way to integrate its tooling, like the ng CLI, into SharePoint Framework so that you can work efficiently.
Seamless UX integration
Next to the SharePoint Framework, Microsoft offers Fluent UI React: a set of ready-to-use components that help you make your app look like Microsoft 365. Rather than spending time on building CSS and ensuring that your app looks as intended in the different browsers, you can save a ton of time and use Fluent UI components instead. But only if you use React. If you use a different framework, you will need to take care of presenting the data yourself.
Finally, from the performance point of view, React is already loaded on SharePoint pages. If you build your app on React, your app will load faster. That said, the difference of using React instead of any other framework will be visible only on the initial load. Because once users download your app, it will load from their cache the next time they use it, making the difference imperceptible.
If you’re just starting with web development, I’d recommend you to learn React. It will give you the smoothest experience when building apps for Microsoft 365. There are many tools and samples built for React both by Microsoft and the community which you can use to learn and speed up building your apps.
Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.