Fixing SPFx node-sass binding error on ADO release pipeline

When trying to run the gulp upload-to-sharepoint  encountered the following issue when creating a release pipeline for an SPFx web-part. There was a problem with no binding available for node-sass

[command]C:\NPM\Modules\gulp.cmd upload-to-sharepoint –gulpfile D:\a\r1\a\build\release\gulpfile.js –ship –username *** –password *** –tenant mckinseyandcompany –cdnsite sites/apps/ –cdnlib ClientSideAssets
2019-06-12T14:51:53.5954467Z [14:51:53] Working directory changed to D:\a\r1\a\build\release
2019-06-12T14:51:54.5490645Z D:\a\r1\a\build\release\node_modules\node-sass\lib\binding.js:15
2019-06-12T14:51:54.5497252Z throw new Error(errors.missingBinary());
2019-06-12T14:51:54.5498022Z ^
2019-06-12T14:51:54.5499258Z Error: Missing binding D:\a\r1\a\build\release\node_modules\node-sass\vendor\win32-x64-48\binding.node
2019-06-12T14:51:54.5499538Z Node Sass could not find a binding for your current environment: Windows 64-bit with Node.js 6.x
2019-06-12T14:51:54.5499883Z Found bindings for the following environments:
2019-06-12T14:51:54.5500034Z – Windows 64-bit with Node.js 8.x

and the error was actually staring us in the face – “binding available for Node 8″……..

The solution, just like for the build process, you have to add an agent task to ensure the correct version of node is used for the release process.


Using npm ci as part of the SPFx CI CD process through Azure Dev Ops

During the Automated Build and Deploy process for a SharePoint Framework Web Part (as documented here) one of the steps you go through to install the application on the build server is a familiar step ‘npm install’.

This works just fine when working locally and should be, but it is inefficient as part of an automated build process.

For a good explaination of why, check out this stackoverflow answer

npm install reads package.json to create a list of dependencies and uses package-lock.json to inform which versions of these dependencies to install. If a dependency is not in package-lock.json it will be added by npm install.

npm ci (named after Continuous Integration) installs dependencies directly from package-lock.json and uses package.json only to validate that there are no mismatched versions. If any dependencies are missing or have incompatible versions, it will throw an error.

In my experience this can speed up the build process by more than 50% and as the npm install is the rate determining step for the overall buil, this is very helpful.

The step in the process for the build should look like this:

I have submitted a pull request to update the documentation and we will see if it is worthy 🙂



Correcting SPFx gulp –ship Uglify Errors: Unexpected token: punc (()

We came across the following problem when trying to execute a gulp --ship on out SPFx development

[15:03:34] Starting subtask 'webpack'...
[15:03:49] Error - [webpack] 'dist':
list-view-demo-webpart-web-part.js from UglifyJs
Unexpected token: punc (() [list-view-demo-webpart-web-part.js:962,7]

In researching this issue it turns out that this issue stems from a problem with the webpack uglify plugin (uglify-webpack-plugin) which historically does not work with ES6 code.

From what I read, it seems like the current SPFx 1.8 does use the correct version of webpack and the uglify plugin to avoid this issue but it was still coming up.

We solved the issue by implementing a suggestion to a related issue on github

The key was presented in one of the responses to the issue

By replacing the uglify plugin with the terser plugin for webpack, the issue was resolved and we were able to Build and deploy.

Speaking at SharePointFest Chicago 2018

I am very lucky enough to have been accepted to speak at SharePointFest Chicago for the third year running now. The subject is Automated Build and deploy of SharePoint Framework webparts.

One of the really fascinating things about working in a modern large development team is the outstanding benefits for automated testing, automated build, and automated deployment. Even for something which might not on the surface seem to be a “big deal” such as SPFx webpart development, has many advantages to be gained by using a professional automated development environment.

Since I submitted and was accepted to speak, VSTS has been renamed to Azure DevOps, so this might be difficult to pull off as a topic – but i think we will be ok 😉

SharePointFest is always  alot of fun with a good crowd of speakers and attendees. I am excited to attend and excited to speak 🙂


DEV304 – Using VSTS to automate build and deployment tasks for SharePoint Framework webparts

Working on your own and building SharePoint Framework webparts is one thing, but when you have to work in a team on a larger project, the team approach to development has to be more structured and automated.

Modern team web development practices demand the use of unit tests, load testing and automated build and deploy methodologies. Why should developing for the Sharepoint framework be any different?

In this presentation Mark will highlight the advantages to using VSTS to create and manage and continuous build and deploy process for working with the Sharepoint Framework. Come and see how modern team development techniques can be applied to SPFx.

S106A Fri 2:20 PM – 3:30 pm

SharePoint now accessible via the Microsoft Graph beta

Last week at Ignite it was announced that finally Microsoft was bringing O365 SharePoint access to the Microsoft graph as an API. This is a huge deal for those of us who want to use O365 as a platform and develop engaging applications for customers. In my case for Office Add-ins this is great because it reduced the number of OAuth hoops I have to jump through and manage to get the data I want.

Here is a link to the documentation: Working with SharePoint sites in Microsoft Graph and a quick example.

NOTE: this is beta and will change – this is purely a demonstration of what is possible today (Oct 2016) and not to be used as future reference.


Using the graph explorer demo I am able to bring up content from my default SharePoint site very easily

Here is my copper site within my SharePoint tenant


and here it is referenced from the graph API


here is the API response of the lists


and here is a reference to the documents in the Shared Documents folder


How cool is that !!!!!