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Putting jQuery and JavaScript Development for SharePoint 2013 in Context

Veteran SharePoint developers may need to orient themselves a bit prior to commencing work with jQuery and Javascript. In a video tutorial titled jQuery Anatomy and Functionality Within SharePoint, the course instructor, Marc Anderson who is a SharePoint MVP and published author on the topic, explains: “A lot of people think we’re going to use jQuery because it’s a SharePoint technology, something that’s supported by Microsoft. Well, that’s just not the case. It’s not a SharePoint technology at all. It’s a web technology”. He goes onto define “web technology” as, primarily, hypertext markup language (HTML) . . . CSS . . . and, finally, JavaScript and jQuery, which we add to provide interaction and behavior to a [webpage]” (quoted from a transcript of the audio track for Marc Anderson’s tutorial on this topic).

Marc sums it up: “old hand SharePoint developers [have been] very much focused on what happens on the server”. In contrast, JavaScript and jQuery are very much about the browser clients website visitors will use to visit SharePoint sites. So orientation for veteran SharePoint developers is very much a matter of conceptualizing systems from a client, rather than server, perspective. The main point, of course, is to be able to predict the likely impact of processes on the performance of clients, rather than server load, etc. Finally, JavaScript and jQuery developers will also want to be involved with CSS and design, since the front end is all about user presentation.

This tutorial then presents a number of HTML elements. The rationale for this presentation, Marc notes, is based on a commitment to provide students with an understanding of the normal functionality for jQuery. In fact, the unique JavaScript functions making up the jQuery library build HTML elements, so it makes sense to become very familiar with the range of elements available, in order to make best use of jQuery for development requirements.

Ira Michael Blonder

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