Customizing Lists and Libraries with Custom Actions and Field Extensions Using SPFx 

March 7, 2024

SharePoint Framework (SPFx) is relatively new, but we can’t stop talking about the benefits it has to offer. SPFx allows you to use modern web technologies and tools in your preferred development environment to build productive experiences and apps that are responsive and mobile-ready. In this blog, we are going to discuss how SPFx is fully customizable by using real-time examples as well as the benefits of using SPFx.   

Custom Actions 

Using SPFx

A document library is a great place to store documents. However, managing documents as a part of a process sometimes requires additional manual steps. This can be setting metadata, applying labels, or starting an approval process. While all available are hidden in menus or options, it can be error-prone and difficult for new users to get up to speed with existing processes. Using custom actions, we can deploy a solution that targets tenant-wide content types and allows for faster, more efficient, and more reliable processes. 

For example, a project site template that has a document library and content types tied to a document approval process. At any point in time, there could be multiple documents in different statuses. Whether in draft, waiting for approval, or approved. Each document has a different next step and required information.

A project kick-off document in draft state is now ready for approval. Starting an approval in SharePoint can start a simple approval process workflow. However, in this case, there are required metadata that must be present on the file before it can be submitted. Finding which data is required isn’t necessarily easy. A custom action can not only validate the data is present but also prompt the user to complete any missing or incorrect values. 

Once it’s time for approval, custom actions can allow for bulk approval or other custom approval steps. Capturing sign-off using integrations with other lines of business applications. As with submitting, required information and processes can be enforced. 

Since custom document library actions can be applied globally, it can provide a way to unify processes and experiences across an organization. 

A custom approval process is just one example. Custom actions can do so much more and handle any number of different scenarios. For example: 

  • Copying/moving files to a common archive site and ensuring data integrity of metadata 
  • Generating a printable page, PDF, or Word document using list data 
  • Schedule a meeting and automatically include links to selected documents. 

Custom Field Extensions 

Field Customizations are a lot easier than they used to be. The good old days of CSR & JSLink (did I just age myself?) and other fully custom solutions are gone. Replaced by easy-built designs for common scenarios, such as color coding. The JSON editor provides much more freedom for how you can customize the display values of a column or field. Conditional display values with custom links and others are all possible now. It may seem daunting at first, but the ability for customization is well worth a little complexity. 

But what if your business needs require something more customized? Access to other lines of business applications and security requirements need more specific solutions. First, data security requirements can be tough to handle with out-of-the-box SharePoint permissions. Column-level security isn’t currently an option for SharePoint lists. Field customizers can be used to not only fetch external data but also ensure current users are allowed to see it. Or build completely custom interactions. For example, adding custom item previews. Integrations with business processes for quick access to common repeated actions. 

The key benefits are: 

  • Easier access to quick custom actions 
  • External data visibility and security 
  • Common interface across the entire tenant. No more fragmentation across sites.       

SharePoint Framework has much to offer. We have only touched on what it is capable of in this blog post. Make sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out on any other updates in the Microsoft space.  

If you are looking to make the most out of your SharePoint – fill out the form below and someone will be in touch! Our SharePoint experts are here to help you harness your SharePoint’s potential.

Using SPFx

Discover More

QR Code Phishing Attacks

QR Code Phishing Attacks: Are You Protected?

Carlos TansecoApr 9, 20244 min read

QR Code Phishing Attacks: Are You Protected?  April 09, 2024 QR code phishing attacks or “Quishing” are on the rise, and it’s crucial to raise awareness about this evolving threat.…

Virtual Workspaces Are Here! How Will You Use Them? 

Virtual Workspaces Are Here! How Will You Use Them? 

Chris PowellApr 4, 20248 min read

Virtual Workspaces Are Here! How Will You Use Them?   April 4, 2024 My YouTube feed has been full of reviews of the Apple Vision Pro since it became available in…

SharePoint Embedded

SharePoint Embedded: Full Featured SharePoint Inside a Custom Application 

Kyle ThorburnMar 28, 20243 min read

SharePoint Embedded: Full Featured SharePoint Inside a Custom Application  March 28, 2024 Custom applications that require a lot of document management have always been a challenge to build. Historically, we…

Let’s build something amazing together

From concept to handoff, we’d love to learn more about what you are working on.
Send us a message below or call us at 1-800-989-6022.