Promoting and Demoting Site pages to News in Modern SharePoint Sites using SPFx extension and Azure Function

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The requirement that I will be addressing in this blog is how to Promote and Demote site pages to news articles in Modern SharePoint sites. This approach allows us to promote any site page to News, add approval steps and demote news articles to site pages if the news need to be updated. The news also shows in the modern news web part when the site page is promoted.

Solution Approach:

To start with, create a site page. For creating a Modern page using Azure Function, please refer to this blog. After the site page is created, we will be able to use a status column to track the news status and promote a site page to news status. The status column could have three values – draft, pending approval and published.

We will use a SPFx extension to set the values of the status column and call the Azure Function to promote the site page to news page using SharePoint Online CSOM.

Promoting a site page to news page

Below are the attributes that need to be set for site pages to promote as news article.

  1. Promoted State Column set to 2 – set through SPFx extension
  2. First Published date value set to published date – set through SPFx extension
  3. Promoted state tag in the news site page to be set to value 2 – done in Azure Function
  4. Site page needs to be published – done by Azure Function

For a detailed walkthrough on how to create a custom site page with metadata values, please refer to this blog. In order to set the values of ‘Promoted State’ and ‘First Published Date’ metadata values, use the below code after the page is created.

For calling Azure Function from SPFx extension, which will promote the site page to news, can be done using the below method.

Inside the Azure Function, use the below to promote a site page to news article

Demoting a news to site page

Below are the attributes that needs to be set for demoting a news article to site page

  1. Promoted State Column set to 0 – set through SPFx extension
  2. First Published date value set to blank – set through SPFx extension
  3. Promoted state tag in the news site page to be set to value 0 – done in Azure Function
  4. Site page needs to be published – done in Azure Function

For setting the metadata values, the method calls as done above during promotion of site page, can be used. Next in Azure Function, use the below to demote a site page.

Conclusion:

Hence above we saw how we can use SPFx extension and Azure Function to promote and demote site pages to news articles in Modern SharePoint sites.

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