Introducing Office Dev Patterns and Practices Office Hours and Interest Groups

We are excited to release additional options on getting more closely involved on the Office Dev Patterns and Practices (PnP) initiate. We have been approached numerous times during past months by offering assistance on the PnP initiate by internal and external community. Purpose of this blog post is to clarify the options for getting more closely involved in the initiate and how you can take advantage of the Office Dev PnP guidance in general.

What does Office Dev PnP initiate provide for me?

Office Dev Patterns and Practices (PnP) provide guidance, assets and samples for you to use anyway you want. All material what we have shared using different channels in the dev.office.com, GitHub, Channel 9, docs.com or in other locations; can be used anyway you want in your own work. PnP is community driven initiate for community to share their patterns and practices around Office 365, SharePoint Online and SharePoint on-premises.

All the work done in the PnP are done by the community members (internal or external) for the benefit of others. Key objective of the PnP is to provide standardized and proven patterns, which are also reviewed by Office engineering, so that we can provide consistency around the patterns used in cloud or in the on-premises. Having consistent and proven development practices for the Office 365, SharePoint Online and SharePoint on-premises development has numerous obvious benefits for the community and no doubt also for the Microsoft.

Why would I get involved on the PnP initiative?

Consuming and using the PnP guidance is absolutely valid approach as well, but we are also looking for more people to get more closely involved in the PnP initiate, so that we can provide more efficiently real-world and proven guidance together with the community. PnP initiate is open source program based on the work we do together with the community members.

Here are some benefits on getting more closely involved in the PnP initiate:

  • Get visibility in the internal and external community
  • Get acknowledge by your contributions for the benefit of others
  • Help others on their journey to recommended patterns
  • Find peers who work on similar topics and engage with customers and partners also using this channel
  • Get additional insights directly from the product engineering on the released capabilities, when they are announced

If you are interested on contributing back for the community, please see the different options later in this post.

How to get involved in the PnP initiative?

There are few different options on getting involved on the PnP initiate, depending on your availability and interest. Main purpose of the PnP is to ensure that community does not have to “reinvent the wheel” and that we have easy communication channel for the general guidance. If you only are planning to align with the recommendations and use the community to solve your specific challenges, monthly community calls and PnP Yammer group is the most useful for you. If you are however looking into giving back for the community by getting more closely involved, you have few different options:

  • Assist on the Yammer group with the community questions
  • Submit pull requests with samples or solutions in the GitHub
    • Microsoft Graph, Office 365 and Office Client solutions are highly welcome. On the SharePoint development side we have pretty good coverage already with the existing solutions, so please ping the Core team on possible contributions. We rather would like to evolve existing samples, than have too many similar ones in the PnP sample gallery.
  • Help to address and test reported issues in the GitHub repositories
  • Participate on bi-weekly PnP Office Hours for additional details on specific available tasks around different topics (see below)
  • Participate on the SharePoint Client Side Development Special Interest Group (PnP SIG) around the JavaScript based development with SharePoint (see below) 
    • We are looking to launch additional special interest groups based on the demand

Hopefully you can find suitable engagement model for you, based on your availability. We are absolutely interested on your feedback or ideas around these options as well, so feel free to suggest alternatives.

PnP Office Hours

PnP Office Hours is new bi-weekly recurrent meeting where we will talk about the on-going efforts in the PnP Core team and also around the areas where the community can assist. PnP Office hours will occur bi-weekly on Wednesday at 4 PM CET / 7 AM PST. This was the best compromise from timing perspective from world wide perspective. If there’s enough interests and demand for these, we will start doing multiple calls to better address the different time zones. Recording of the Office Hours will be released for viewing the meeting later if needed.

Key purpose of the Office hours is to address the common questions from the community to have availability for asking assistance and also on getting more insights on the topics what the Core team is working or where the community can help. Office hours will be open for anyone and you are free to have open discussion around the PnP topics during these calls. These are meant to be interactive and open discussions around the PnP initiate.

Typical agenda for the PnP Office Hours is as follows

  • What’s the PnP Core team doing current – what’s coming up with next release?
  • General roadmap items
  • Where community members can help
  • Ideas and open discussion on issues

You can download bi-weekly recurrent invite to PnP Office Hours from below link. Feel free to share the invite forward as needed.

PnP Office Hours will also be the location to talk about the specific PnP areas with the Core team. If there’s high demand for specific discussions, we can spin-up additional PnP Special Interest Groups for the specific topics. 

PnP Special Interest Groups (PnP SIGs)

Due the growing interest on getting more closely involved around specific topics in the PnP, we have already also start to work on more specific interest groups. Idea of these Special Interests Groups (SIG) is that there’s more specific discussions on more isolated topics, since Office 365 and SharePoint is such a massive topic from development perspective. Here’s the currently planned interest groups on the specific topics. We have already created specific Yammer groups for some of them to have more specific discussions and communications in the Yammer network.

  • SharePoint Client Side Development – Core component for JavaScript, TypeScript development with SharePoint, other client side topics
  • PnP Sites Core component – PnP Core component, remote provisioning engine, remote timer job engine and other similar topics
  • Office 365 APIs and Microsoft Graph – Topics around the Office 365 end points within the Microsoft Graph
  • Scripts and on-premises – Scripts and tooling for IT Pro’s and administrators. Will be a spin-off with SharePoint PnP brand to differentiate the work around on-premises and hybrid deployments.

We’ll start PnP interest groups by piloting the model with SharePoint Client Side Development interest group. This group will be lead by Patrick Rodgers (Program Manager from Office 365) and team has already specific Yammer group and weekly calls where the detailed plans are being made. We’ll release more details around the other teams and their work slightly later.

If you are interested on joining on the Office Dev PnP SIG around the SharePoint Client Side Development – please use the following resources.

Depending on the interest and how the piloting goes with the SharePoint Client team SIG, we will spin up new interest groups in the future.

Monthly community calls

We have been doing monthly community calls since December 2014 where we concentrate on covering the monthly release details. This includes all the updates from past month cross different assets and areas in the Office Dev PnP initiate.

All monthly community calls are recorded and shared from the PnP Channel 9 video blog at http://aka.ms/OfficeDevPnPVideos. This way you can easily follow up on the latest development even though you could not participate on the actual call.  Community calls consist from roughly 15-20 minutes summary and live demos from the different community members on latest contributions. See for example February 2016 monthly community call as a reference below.

See in Channel 9.

What about PnP Core team?

Office Dev PnP Core team is smaller group of people who are responsible of the practical decisions around the PnP initiate and the direction of the shared solutions, like the PnP Core Component for SharePoint. We are looking to get more community members included in this team as well, but we’ll also need to keep the team relatively small to be able to keep the decisions and work as agile as possible.

We have currently three community members in the PnP Core team who are following:

Since PnP Core team is directly linked to the Office engineering, all members need to have proper NDAs signed. This is the reason why all the current community members in the core team are also MVPs. We are though looking to extend this team gradually from the people who have been actively involved in the initiate in general.


Thanks for your interest on the PnP initiate. If you have any questions, feedback or comments around the PnP, please use the PnP Yammer group at http://aka.ms/OfficeDevPnPYammer.

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Vesa Juvonen, Senior Program Manager, Office 365, Microsoft - 23rd of February 2016