JQuery – A Fresh Look at What YOU Can Do On SharePoint Without Server Code

Client side coding has taken a leap in the right direction, and SharePoint people need to take note.  Occasionally I get to actually attend a session, and one that I’m so glad I caught was at the SharePoint Practices Conference.  This session I see as a game changing session…  on JQuery by Peter Serzo.  First Peter’s wittiness totally captured the audience, and after he had us in his hands he showed us some real best practices and real world “development” using JQuery.

Think about this for a second.  What if you could change your navigation without having to deploy assemblies.  AND you could version it and manage the source all without having to deploy server assemblies…

The power of JQuery is unravelling… (Don’t underestimate the power of Javascript!)

You have to rethink Development

What has happened and why I call it game changing for SharePoint is the power of javascript, essentially client side script on SharePoint.  Back in the day, I was a big fan of what you could do with SharePoint for form validation, for focus and hover and all sorts of interesting things.  It changed the way we HTML coders could interact with our users.  Now you’ve got JQuery which is Javascript on Steroids.  It’s still client side, which means it doesn’t require any server side DLLs (Assemblies) or features, or any of that stuff.  It can be a javascript include which is referred to with a single line and the javascript code could be sitting in a document library that has versions turned on.  Very very slick.

When you look at what can be done with the “plugins” you’ll be amazed.  First the plugins are a bunch of code where someone smart has done all the heavy lifting, don’t be intimidated, it’s not too hard to use these and there is a lot of help.  Now you can leverage this client file (not something that requires activeX or requires any kind of install.  ZERO FOOTPRINT.  That’s the beauty.  People can do this cool stuff without ever bugging the server admin.

Browse some of these solutions which have nothing to do with SharePoint, but can be done on top of SharePoint… Blows me away how dynamic they are…

Here are a couple of examples:

  • End User SharePoint: EXAMPLE: Keyword Search on Sharepoint page
  • Quickly and unobtrusively add a search box to you page, allowing users to through large sets of data with no page reload or AJAX calls.
  • Autocomplete script that will suggest what the user is trying to type. It also has a caching function to limit server requests.
  • A rating system for rating content
  • Update List Items using Jquery and Web services

Jan Tielens has written on SharePoint and JQuery and has a new release of SmartTools for a SharePoint Project (good stuff!)

Also look at jQuery Codeplex Project: integrates the jQuery JavaScript library with SharePoint 2007

50 Amazing JQuery Examples

37 more shocking JQuery Plugins

 

I’m sure this isn’t absolutely new for developers, but considering a zero footprint solution without involving the admins might be an interesting proposition and impact the design of the new navigation, search UI, or news web part.

 

So I asked Peter Serzo if he would do a guest blog on his Best Practices topic JQuery and the Content Editor Web Part

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