SharePoint Framework is a new development model that provides full support for client-side SharePoint development by using open source client developments tools. The SharePoint Framework is the next evolution in SharePoint development.
SharePoint Framework development toolchain is based on common open source development tools npm, TypeScript, Yeoman, webpack & gulp.
You can use Windows, Mac, or Linux machine for doing SharePoint Framework development. You should Install developer tools:
Client-side web parts can run on SharePoint Online and on-premise environment (SharePoint 2016 Feature Pack 2). Once you have configured SharePoint Framework dev environment, a client-side web part can be created in few steps.
SharePoint Framework extensions are client-side components that run inside the context of a SharePoint page. Extensions can be used to extend the SharePoint user experience. Extensions can be used to customize user experience within modern pages and document libraries. SharePoint Framework includes three new extensions types:
One new part of the build toolset for SharePoint Framework is called Workbench. Workbench is a tool that can de used by developers to build and test their SPFx solutions. There are two versions of the workbench 1. Local workbench 2. SharePoint Hosted workbench.
Local workbench runs locally on the development machine and do not have connection with SharePoint. This workbench can be used to test functionality of web part with mock/dummy data. Local workbench URL is https://localhost:4321/temp/workbench.html
SharePoint Hosted Workbench:
SharePoint Hosted workbench is hosted inside SharePoint and is used to build & test the web part by using SharePoint data and context. you can access SharePoint hosted workbench by opening this application page _layouts/15/workbench.aspx, complete URL will look like https://[tenantname].sharepoint.com/sites/appdev/_layouts/15/workbench.aspx