Browser extension for (dynamic) quick links for SharePoint Online

Browser extension for (dynamic) quick links for SharePoint Online

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$€®¥09@
·Sep 28, 2022·

4 min read

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Table of contents

  • Result
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This time I wanted to try something new and develop a browser extension, my first ever. The idea came to me spontaneously: An extension that offers various quick links to SharePoint, such as site contents, site settings, site permissions, etc. This saves a lot of "clicks". Who doesn't know it? A site is loaded, then it takes a while until the "⚙ settings/gear" icon is displayed. Then you (usually) have to make several clicks to get to "Site settings", for example. On a Modern Page, this is typically done via ⚙settings/gear icon => Site information => View all site settings. Of course, you can also "quickly" enter the URL in the browser. You probably know the URL by heart, don't mistype it, and are "faster" than the UI and the mouse clicks.

My idea is a kind of "favorites" list for SharePoint, so to speak. But why not use the favorites function of the browser? Quite simply, a URL that has been marked as a favorite is a static URL. So you can create a URL to the site contents of Site A and one for Site B. But not to Site contents of the current site collection you are on. And that was the idea. An extension that reads the current URL of the tab/window and makes the URL "dynamic". In the extension, the URL {weburl}/_layouts/15/viewlsts.aspx is replaced by the current web URL. If you are on https://tenantname.sharepoint.com/sites/siteA/SitePages/MyPage.aspx, the placeholder {weburl} is replaced by https://tenantname.sharepoint.com/sites/siteA. In this way {weburl}/_layouts/15/viewlsts.aspx becomes https://tenantname.sharepoint.com/sites/siteA/_layouts/15/viewlsts.aspx. The extension should have the following features:

  • First: it should be simple and fast to implement (at least for now, the next versions can be extended). I don't have any experience with extensions yet, so it should be rather simple.

  • Reading the current Tab/Windows URL

  • If it is not a .sharepoint.com domain, the extension should not be usable and a hint text should be displayed

  • No SharePoint API calls should be made to read out the URLs or to get the current user. The URL should only be "built up" using the browser URL of the current tab. This is helpful for performance reasons, but also for time and data protection reasons. An extension that makes an API call in the tab context, for example, is checked more strictly and longer by the Google team.

  • Due to the aforementioned requirement, the links are always displayed and it is not checked whether the user has the authorization to call up this link.

  • The extension should not store SharePoint data or forward it to third parties.

  • It comes with some "quick links" that I find helpful. These cannot be changed, but they can be de- and activated. And the label can be changed.

  • You can store your URLs, which are then also displayed and dynamically "replaced".

  • There should be the placeholders {webappurl}, {weburl}, and {pageurl}.

  • Only links that have been "enabled" by the user shall be displayed.

  • The placeholder {pageurl} is replaced by the current (SharePoint) page URL. If you are not on a page, the links are not displayed.

  • For me as a SharePoint developer and all other SharePoint developers, some URLs are of course also very useful for SPFx development. Therefore, in addition to the "normal" loadSPFx=true URL parameters (with which you can test the SPFx WebParts on the current page), there is also the option of loading an SPFx Application Customizer. For this purpose, the App Id is requested (prompt dialog) as soon as you click on the URL.

  • It should be available for Chrome and all browsers that use the Chrome Extension Web Store.

Result

This is how my extension looks like:

PopUp

PopUp

Configuration

Configure custom URLs

SPFx App Debug

Debug a SPFx App

Download

Feel free to download my extension. I am happy about your feedback. You can install the extension on all Chromium-based browsers (Edge Chromuim, Google Chrome, Brave etc.). You can download it directly via the link or by searching for "SharePoint Quicklinks" in the Extension Store.

You can also find the source code for this extension in my GitHub repository

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