nick van hooydonk

office 365 insights

New blog site!

2017-08-08 nick van hooijdonkGatsbyJs

Why are you making a blog site?

Hey you all! Not long ago a colleague of me asked if I could write a customer blog for the company I work for. After writing a few blogs in Dutch I was beginning to get the hang of it and that made me question myself: I get so much info on SharePoint and O365 from other people’s blogs that I use in my daily job, so why shouldn’t I send some info that other people could use in return once in a while? To make a long story short: From that point on I decided to make a blog.

WordPress seems the way to go… not?

While many colleagues use WordPress as the base of their blog site, I wanted to try something different this time. I decided I wanted to develop my own site. I was familiar with React by building SPFx webparts for SharePoint and wanted to create a React webapp as a website. My first idea was to create a react app served on ExpressJs, but do to the lack of time I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel. After searching a while I came across the perfect match: GatsbyJs! Gatsby is a static progressive web app build on React that is running on NodeJs. So that’s nice Nick, but what does a static PWA mean? With Gatsby I can create my content in my preferred code editer (VSCode) and Gatsby compiles al code to static files. To speed up the development (build this in 2 evenings) I could use many React and Gatsby plugins. So goodbye old CMS’s without automatic updates, goodbye large vulnerable database and goodbye long server-side loading.

Azure web apps to the resque! Or again… not?

So I mentioned Gatsby is running on NodeJs. For that we needed a webhost that could serve a NodeJs application. While most webhosts do not support NodeJs my first idea was to look at Azure.

So.. I needed the following requirements:

  • A fast host!
  • A host that could server NodeJs
  • A host where I could attach multiple domains to (Future-readyness..)
  • A host where I could attach a SSL certificate to.
  • Free SSL Certificate included by LetsEncrypt.
  • Not TO expensive!

After a while I found out that I needed an Azure Web Apps subscription of approximately 60 euro’s a month in order to have the ability to attach custom SSL certificates to this host. This was way to much for just one blog site!

So what are you going to post?

My blog posts will be mainly technical I guess. I will post some solutions in PowerShell, SPFx, Javascript, C#, etc… Furthermore I will post some challenges I had on customer cases and sometimes I will share my blogs that I have made for my company here in English. My topics will be related to Office 365, SharePoint and Azure.

Is your site finished?

Not Yet! In this version I altered an existing Gatsby starter template and not al (third party) parts are working at the moment for different reasons. In the end I would like to build a Gatsby site from scratch in TypeScript (this one is plain React) while using the Office UI Fabric components from Microsoft (So it will realy look like a Microsoft site! ).