SharePoint 2013: Create a Metro Live Tile using MetroJS, JsRender and the new REST API

August 11, 2012

Hi guys,

One of the biggest changes made in SharePoint 2013 is the UI. And of course I’m talking about The Metro UI Style.


We see it ,feel it and interact with it since Microsoft introduced Windows phone 7. and later on in Windows 8 etc…

As stated on Wikipedia “A key design principle of Metro is better focus on the content of applications, relying more on typography and less on graphics (“content before chrome”).”

More and more websites are adopting the Metro UI Style, web sites like, and more examples you can find here.

We will focus on the Metro Live Tile. I decided to create a custom Live Tile using JavaScript library that Drew Greenwell has created based on the Windows Metro Style , JsRender library that provides a template-based rendering that works great with JSON and the new SharePoint 2013 REST API that really makes our development experience much more easier with CRUD operation using OData and REST web technologies.

It’s worth pointing out that SharePoint 2013 has the option to create tiles but I didn’t find a way doing it programmatically. Nevertheless it will be a good practice for us to play a little bit with the JavaScript libraries and the new REST API as i mentioned before.

In our example we’ll create two tiles that read data from two lists, first tile shows the pictures from the picture library and the second tile show items from a list.

Let’s Begin Smile

1) We will work with VS2012 . open vs2012 create a new project,choose Apps then App for SharePoint 2013 and call it “MetroStyleApp”.


2) Create new folder and call it Lists, then add two lists,the first is a custom list, call it “CustomList” and the second is picture library, call it “pictureLibrary”.


3) Add three JavaScript files, Jquery 1.7.2metroJS and JsRender to the Scripts folder, and MetroJs.css file to the Content folder.


4) Add the JavaScript and the css reference to PlaceHolderAdditionalPageHead in the Default.aspx

<script type="text/javascript" src="../Scripts/jquery-1.7.2.min.js"></script>

     <script type="text/javascript" src="../Scripts/MetroJs.js"></script>

     <script type="text/javascript" src="../Scripts/jsrender.js"></script>

    <!-- Add your CSS styles to the following file -->

    <link rel="Stylesheet" type="text/css" href="../Content/App.css" />

     <link rel="Stylesheet" type="text/css" href="../Content/MetroJs.css" />

    <!-- Add your JavaScript to the following file -->

    <script type="text/javascript" src="../Scripts/App.js"></script>

Add the tiles html and the two Xsl List View web parts we created(pictureLibrary,CustomList) to the PlaceHolderMain.

<!-- Apply blue theme as default for all tiles -->

h1>Live Tiles Example</h1>

div class="tiles red">

  <div id="tile1" class="live-tile" data-initdelay="4500" data-delay="2500" data-mode="flip">

       <div><p>This will be replaced with items from the hidden &lt;ul&gt; with the class'itemsSource'

          <span class="tile-title">First Tile</span>





               item content will be here




   <!-- im using a ul here, but this pattern can be used with div, p, span etc. -->

   <ul class="itemsSource">


   <div id="tile2" class="live-tile blue" data-direction="horizontal" data-initdelay="500" data-delay="3000">

       <div class="customList">



           <img class="full" src= alt="first" />

       <span class="tile-title">back title</span>



    <!-- Green Static Tile -->

   <div class="green live-tile">

       <span class="tile-title">static tile (figure 2d)</span>

       <p>Static tiles can take advantage of theming too!</p>


/div>  <WebPartPages:WebPartZone runat="server" FrameType="TitleBarOnly" ID="full" Title="loc:full" >

WebPartPages:XsltListViewWebPart ID="XsltListViewWebPart2" runat="server" ListUrl="Lists/pictureLibrary" IsIncluded="True" NoDefaultStyle='TRUE' Title='pictureLibrary' PageType='PAGE_NORMALVIEW' Default='False' ViewContentTypeId='0x'>


WebPartPages:XsltListViewWebPart ID="XsltListViewWebPart1" runat="server" ListUrl="Lists/CustomList" IsIncluded="True" NoDefaultStyle='TRUE' Title='CustomList' PageType='PAGE_NORMALVIEW' Default='False' ViewContentTypeId='0x'>



5)Add this Code to the app.js file. in this code you can see two REST API calls,

first is to get all urls from the picture library and their ‘created’ date.second is to get all the items from our custom list.another thing you can see here is the two templates we created for each ajax call. and of course the cool use of the metroJS library.

function sharePointReady() {



    $(".green live-tile").liveTile();


function requestPictureLibraryListItems()


    var url = _spPageContextInfo.webAbsoluteUrl + "/_api/web/lists/getbytitle('pictureLibrary')/items?$select=EncodedAbsUrl,Created";

    jqxhr = $.getJSON(url, null, pictureDataReturned);



function requestCustomListItems() {

    var url = _spPageContextInfo.webAbsoluteUrl + "/_api/web/lists/getbytitle('CustomList')/items?$select=Title";

    jqxhr = $.getJSON(url, null, customDataReturned);



function pictureDataReturned(data)



    var dataResults = data.d.results;

    $.templates("picturesTemplate", "<li><img class='full' src='{{:EncodedAbsUrl}}'</><span class='tile-title'>Created:{{:Created}}</span></li>");


    //get the first item from the list

    var $item = $(".itemsSource>li").first();

    //set the back tile to have content of the first item by default


    //set up tile


        pauseOnHover: true,

        animationComplete: function (tileData, $front, $back) {

            //get the next item from the list or the first

            $item = $"li");

            if ($item.length == 0)

                $item = $(".itemsSource>li").first();





function customDataReturned(data) {

    var dataResults = data.d.results;

    $.templates("customListTemplate", "<p>{{:Title}}</p>");




            mode: 'flip',

            //choose images randomly from the array

            backIsRandom: true




function renderPictureTemplate(data) {

    var html;

    html = $.render.picturesTemplate(data);

      return html;


function renderCustomTemplate(data) {

    var html;

       html = $.render.customListTemplate(data);

       return html;


function onError(error) {



Deploy the project,add some pictures and couple of item to the lists
 and We’re done Smile.

Here’s The final result:



the full project. See u next time.

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  1. choroshinSeptember 23, 2012 ב 22:07

    Hi Bogan,
    thanks for your comment.
    it nice to know that people like my posts 🙂

  2. Mano MangaldasOctober 14, 2012 ב 18:44

    Hi Alex,

    It is easy to create a custom tile programmatically using SharePoint API. You will need to create your Webpart inheriting from TilesViewWebpart. Here is a sample of the same ..

  3. OliphantNovember 30, 2012 ב 10:52

    Hey there! Wonderful stuff, please do tell us if you
    post again something similar!

  4. RashmiDecember 13, 2012 ב 22:34

    I am unable to get Picture Library item in VS 2012 but it is available in OOTB for the site….What am i missing 🙁

  5. RatliffDecember 15, 2012 ב 11:36

    Because a Newbie, I am always hunting on that the internet for articles that can
    help me. Thank you

  6. choroshinDecember 18, 2012 ב 18:10

    Hi Rashmi,
    Are you talking about Picture library on the site or on your app site?

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    Good Post

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  12. FalcoJanuary 14, 2013 ב 2:22

    Hi Alex,
    good article! What do you think about this Solution?
    This article describes nearly the same like yours. But I think the tiles looks more like SharePoint.

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    Hi Falco,
    I loved you article.
    Keep the good work.

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    Thanks for finally talking about >SharePoint 2013:
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    REST API – Choroshin Alex Reply

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