SharePoint Customization And Its Best Practices

In today’s time, SharePoint has become a popular platform for enterprise collaboration and communication inside businesses. Businesses want to have modified dashboards and menus that can be easily integrated with any SharePoint version. And for this, SharePoint’s customization capabilities are used with the help of a SharePoint development company. It enables businesses to have platforms that are simple, robust, and risk-free. To know more about this, let us go through this blog and see what SharePoint customization is all about, what it can offer, and how using the concepts of customization can eliminate rigidness from any business solution and make it user-friendly.

1. What is SharePoint Customization?

SharePoint customization means making changes in SharePoint without deploying any type of personalized code. For instance –

  • Due to SharePoint customization, branding has become very easy for any type of SharePoint site. And this is possible with the use of custom page layouts, master pages, and style sheets.
  • Customization also includes creating workflows with the use of SharePoint designer 2013.
  • With the help of themes, SharePoint sites can also be customized.
  • The look and feel of the SharePoint list forms can also be customized using InfoPath.

2. Reasons to Customize SharePoint

SharePoint is one of the best platforms available in Office 365 for not just managing or collaborating documents, but also for modifying information on sites and making them user-friendly. Nowadays, companies don’t only want to have a simple website, but also want out-of-the-box functionality to grab users’ attention. They prefer SharePoint sites with proper display options, logos, reports, navigation, and dashboards.

3. What to Customize in SharePoint?

What to Customize in SharePoint?

3.1 Branding

When it comes to customization in SharePoint, modern sites enable companies to brand their SharePoint sites. And this is possible with the help of the functionalities that SharePoint offers to match organizations’ branding. Now, the users of the website can easily change the look and feel of the site with the help of modifying options like colors or logo changes. In addition to this, SharePoint also offers themes as default or you can create custom themes as per your requirement. Developers can also specify unique theme colors with the help of a custom configuration file in SharePoint.

When the environment is collaborative, having proper navigation can make everything simple. SharePoint site users must be able to access all types of information easily without any hassle and they should be able to find the piece of information they are looking for within no time. And this is why navigation is very important in SharePoint customized applications. And for proper navigation, a perfect plan must be curated. A plan that can make the modern SharePoint sites easy and user-friendly. 

3.3 Design

SharePoint provides features like modification of design to all the sites. These design modification features include logos, styles, page layouts, colors, and many more things. In addition to this, designing also includes other aspects that help in creating a unique look and feel for the website. This concept promotes company culture.

3.4 Page Content

For any SharePoint user, having information displayed perfectly is very important and for that developers can create different types of pages like site pages, wiki pages, web part pages, and more. When it comes to the web part page in the SharePoint site, the developers can add different web parts, and for that Microsoft offers various web parts to display data. But they don’t perfectly work on a modern SharePoint site page. And if someone is using a modern SharePoint site page, then adding various modern web parts can be easy to display information. 

3.5 Workflows

In SharePoint, automation and workflows are one-step solutions. The developer can easily create amazing business workflows for the SharePoint environment. And this is all possible because of  Power Automate. The workflows in the system can be easily triggered by the actions of SharePoint. And in this, if SharePoint Designer workflows created earlier are discontinued, the existing workflows will continue to work. Use Power Automate to create new workflows.

3.6 Forms

Microsoft forms or Power Automate can be utilized to create custom forms for polls, surveys, and quizzes. Users can easily embed these forms in SharePoint Pages.  Microsoft forms provide features in forms like real-time results, and built-in analytics for evaluating responses, and users can also easily export these responses for further analysis. These forms can be easily embedded in a page with the help of Microsoft forms web part. 

4. How to Customize SharePoint?

How to Customize SharePoint?

There are different ways to customize SharePoint and they are – 

4.1 Farm Solutions

Farm solution is a SharePoint customization option that can be used in the SharePoint on-premises versions like SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016, and SharePoint 2019. This customization option isn’t available in SharePoint Online and in this case, the developers can utilize the SharePoint server-side code from Microsoft.SharePoint.dll.

4.2 SharePoint Add-ins

. SharePoint Online and SharePoint server both support the SharePoint Add-ins. Add-ins utilize client-side APIs like REST API or CSOM, to make communication with SharePoint.SharePoint add-ins run on SharePoint Online and are deployed on the Microsoft Office store.  There are two main types of Add-ins and Apps that the developers can create in SharePoint.

  • Provider Hosted Add-ins: The SharePoint developers use CSOM code to create applications when it comes to Provider hosted apps.
  • SharePoint Hosted Add-ins: In this type of SharePoint add-in, the developers can use Rest API or JSOM code to create the apps.

4.3 SharePoint Framework

When it comes to using the modern SharePoint experience, the experts only have to use one development model. It is known as the SharePoint framework development model. It enables the developers to create different types of client-side web parts, command sets, extensions, and development as per the business needs. Besides, this model doesn’t only allow one to add any classic web parts but also create SPFx web parts for SharePoint 2016, SharePoint 2019, and SharePoint Online. 

4.4 Power Platform

It enables customizing SharePoint Online sites. Power platforms like PowerApps, Power BI, and Power Automate are widely used in the market these days.

  • PowerApps help the developers to customize list forms.
  • Power BI can be used to analyze the organization’s data.
  • Power Automate will help in creating flows that can automate any business process.

5. SharePoint Customization Best Practices

Some of the top practices for SharePoint customization that every developer must be aware of.

5.1 Be Careful When Customizing SharePoint On-premise

Many companies think of hosting a SharePoint platform at their firm or facility and the main reason behind it is that this option comes with various possibilities and chances of flexibility. And for this using the SharePoint framework and creating custom workflows can be the best choice. One can easily integrate SharePoint with different apps and develop a perfect database. But there are chances that the SharePoint customization plan might crash if the developer uses the wrong list or if the SharePoint platform is due for security changes. This means that even a small change in the personalized SharePoint environment can be the reason behind its downtime and can create some performance problems. And this is why the SharePoint developers must be very careful while making the SharePoint server platform customized.

5.2 Integrate with PowerApps and Flow

The integration of PowerApps and SharePoint can definitely enable the developers to create applications even if they aren’t experts in coding. This integration comes with a feature that can push the data into the database without coding. Besides, SharePoint offers various other customization templates that allow all the users of Office 365 to add n-number of elements in it. The amazing part of these customization templates is that their implementation can be done without any formal testing. In addition to this, the integration of PowerApps and flow has no effect on Microsoft’s regular updates.

5.3 Introduce Bot

When it comes to introducing bots, there are many options available in the market. Bots enable customization as per the user’s requirement and they offer customization with the help of Microsoft Flow connectors. And one of the most advantageous things in bringing bots to personalize SharePoint is that it makes the system easy to use. Besides, the increasing adoption of AI has made the integration of Office 365 apps with various different software very successful in terms of customization.

5.4 Governance Policies

As you know that the customized SharePoint platform will create a significant part of the client’s business, and controlling the employee’s accessibility is very important for business owners. And for this, any business owner must set the governance rules in a way that system access is given to employees as per their job profiles. This can help in diverting any risk. Besides this, you can also create a process that automatically notifies you if any employee tries to change any part of the SharePoint environment.

6. Conclusion

As seen in this blog, SharePoint is one of the best custom solutions providers available in the market when it comes to offering features like collaboration and creating a perfect customized business solution. SharePoint customization services resolve minor but persistent difficulties that hinder productivity and waste time and money for businesses. There are many organizations that are already using SharePoint and are achieving greater heights. And because of this, companies from different fields want to start using SharePoint and customize their enterprise solutions as per their client’s requirements.

Itesh Sharma

Itesh Sharma is core member of Sales Department at TatvaSoft. He has got more than 6 years of experience in handling the task related to Customer Management and Project Management. Apart from his profession he also has keen interest in sharing the insight on different methodologies of software development.


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