ECMAScript 2015 (ES6)(JavaScript-ish) is here, time to use it

It's true, the title of this post is a little odd. But then, the history of JavaScript is too. Recently I have been trying to get a better understanding of the web technologies out there and how I can use them within the CRM or standalone projects. This has inevitably led me to the realisation that I am woefully out of date.

I will not discuss the history of JavaScript and ECMAScript here as you can find out more at the linked wikipedia articles; the point is that ECMAScript is the standard that JavaScript tracks.

Why am I looking at this anyway, you may ask, and you would be right to ask. I am a CRM Consultant with a technical background of development for the Dynamics CRM platform. The majority of my previous work had been in developing C# .NET plugins and workflows, with the odd bit of form scripting, not creating web interfaces and single page applications. However, what I have noticed with Dynamics 365 and especially Field/Project Services, is that Microsoft is starting to replace much of the “old” forms with new interfaces that appear to be developed in a single page app style; and I like it.

Many users/developers/potential customers in the past have loved the CRM functionality only to be frustrated by the UI issues (excessive whitespace, sub-grids, labels that fade/disappear, etc) and as a developer I have fought with the form rendering in the CRM for as long as I can remember. These days however we have a REST endpoint available to us that can do anything you may want it to do and natively ingests JSON objects, this makes developing a new interface for the CRM much easier than it used to be and this is showing in the approach Microsoft appears to be taken with recent updates (business rules and site map editors amongst others).

Having long been a fan of the JavaScript language this really does excite me, more than I should admit probably, and now I have a really good reason to get fully up-to-speed with the latest developments in the language. The main reason for all this is that I want to learn React and start building reusable components for our customer projects. That would be awesome. It also means I need to learn atleast the following supporting technologies:

    • ES6
    • Node.js
    • NPM
    • Babel
    • Webpack/Browserify
    • Flux (though not necessarily)

Lots of learning in my future so I thought I would try and blog about this as it happens, and I can be bothered. This post therefore is the beginning and I am starting with this excellent resource to learn ES6 - ECMAScript 6 Tutorial - brought to the web by Christophe Coenraets. I do not know this man, but the tutorial appeared high on Google and is a nice easy introduction to the topic so thought I would share.

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