Use Visual Studio for SharePoint framework development

When it comes to develop on SharePoint framework, you are free to use environment as your preference. It may be open source tool or proprietary. In the legacy models of SharePoint development, its highly coupled with the Visual Studio, but when it comes to this model you can use VS Code, Sublime, Brackets, Notepad++, Eclipse or any developer as you love most.

Following describes how to develop on SharePoint framework and you still like to develop with Visual Studio which is fully fledged development experience.

Step 1: Scaffolded your Office template to your dev folder.  Reference: SharePoint Framework Scaffolding

 Step 2: Install Node.js to to your Visual Studio. Following link for VS 2015 Community and search for your version of VS.

https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/features/node-js-vs.aspx

 Step 3: Create new project as below

 Step 4: Select where your node JS files are placed. This should be place where you have scaffolded office templates

Step 5: Select your startup file. This should be gulp file if you go with defaults nothing to change.

SharePoint Framework Tooling | Web Stack tooling

“SharePoint framework is all about typical web stack tooling”

Node.Js Hosting platform
Yeoman Generates templates
Gulp Task management and automation
TypeScript Typed JS
VS Code Source editor..or you can select any other
AngularJS/ Ember JS/ ReactJs/ Knockout..etc Client side framework

You can be selected client side framework as your preference. Angular and Ember is full option frameworks. If you are a less experienced or finding for lightweight frameworks React or Knockout would be better preferences.

SharePoint Framework tooling Legacy SharePoint tooling
Node.js IIS/ .Net framework
NPM NuGet
Gulp MS Build
Yeoman Visual Studio template selector
TypeScript C#

You can use any source editor as your preference. If you are mostly coupled with Visual studio you may need to install ‘node.js’ on it. If you free to develop with any development environment; VS code, Sublime, Brackets, Notepad++ ..etc are options.