Microsoft recently released the new Communication Site template. It is a great first look into a new way to publish web content in SharePoint only.
Sadly some important features are missing yet in the first version of this new site template. One of such things is the creation of new content pages based on templates.
When you like to create two pages that should look identical, but with different content, all web parts need to be placed in the same order as you have added them previously.
Luckily there is a workaround to the missing page layouts.

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In Office 365 there is a great mechanism that allows you to implement a corporate wide branding on the suite bar. The customer can apply their logo and their corporate colors there.
On Monday I thought to myself what if I can make the suite bar less distracting than it is. The solid black and blue combination draw a lot of attention on every load while browsing the various portals and applications.
I customized my suite bar in the admin center to have a white background with the logo in the center of the page. All content pages in Office 365 so the white background, I thought, will seamlessly integrate the ribbon on the page instead of standing out.

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The new SharePoint Framework has a smart way to avoid conflicting CSS definitions. Therefore all style sheet classes will be post-fixed with a unique random string and converted to a JSON object. In your web part code, you can use the same class name as you used in your style sheets and the variable will be automatically replaced with the random class name string. So far the good parts of the SharePoint Framework.

In practice, this has some limitations and challenges.

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When you create a new project without any framework, the default web part content in the code will be added through innerHTML.
Technically there is nothing wrong with this approach, but you might run into a problem when you add more content to the web part afterward using the same method. In this case, the previously added content will be overwritten.


To avoid this behavior, you can use jQuery and the ‘append‘ or ‘prepend‘ methods to add your content. It works well but requires an external library.
Instead of using jQuery, there is a native method in the document object model of HTML available.

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I planned to write a blog post how to run the SharePoint Framework Workbench in a Docker container on Azure. After I found out this is currently not possible I switched the scope of my trial. Instead, I tried to create Docker container dynamically for projects based on SPFx.


There are two key takeaways explained in this post. You will learn how to build your Docker file specific for your upcoming projects, and you get to know how you can demo and try out all SPFx Pattern and Practices samples regardless the version currently needed by those projects.

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I believe one on the most used front end tools in the web development world is out there is Moustache or Handlebars. It is easy to use; you can write native HTML and compelling too.
In the SharePoint world, many web parts directly show data on the page, and therefore this is the right weapon of choice to get fast going.
Right after the first version of SPFx become public available, I created a ticket in GitHub on how to use this front end tool. With the RC0 drop of the framework, a new functionality has become available that allows you to embed Handlebars through a so-called webpack loader. I was pretty excited when Pat Miller tweeted me about this.

Let me show and explain what steps are required to make use of it in your next project.

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