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European SharePoint Conference Day 1

After a goodnight sleep and almost an hour of traffic we arrived at the Estrel Hotel. We were ready to attend sessions hole day and soak up information. The opening session from Bjorn Olstad gave us a refreshing view on the meaning of SharePoint as a platform and how most delegates agreed on that. At 10.00 we kicked-off with John Kleemans session on “Measuring Social Learning in SharePoint with Assessments”. His interactive presentation was a good start of the day. Especially his view on learning and forgetting curves and the 70:20:10 Framework by Charles Jennings. After John it was up to Jan Tielens’ session on Office 365. His perspective on the presentation was based uppon busting the ITPRO myths. Topics like management, public sites, enterprise features, user profile synchronization, Exchange and Lync past the review. Where most administrators or ITPRO’s stay on premise because of management, administration, off-premise storage and so on is out of their hands, light was shed on all topic and Jan tried to convince them otherwise. Also the possibilities and limits of custom code, PowerShell and sandboxing were addressed. The possibility to connect the Office 365 cloud with your own Active Directory for a full user import really lifted some weight of my shoulders. Not having to create every user again, but the ability for each user to logon with their own domain account in the cloud is a great feature. With all this together I think working in the cloud is ‘a thing’ for the small and medium sized companies. A full-size corporation would most likely still want to keep their data and application on premise. I’m glad Jan Tielens mentioned that as well. Before lunch I attended Rafal Lukawiecki’s presentation on BI, or as he called it PI. He planned on putting 90 minutes of content in 45 minutes time. So from the start till the end it was a rapid flow of information. All methods of BI came to pass. From the most popular Excel to the yet to be released PowerView. The PowerPivot review with his endless (over 100 milion rows) Excelsheet gave a excellent view on the possibilities and performance. Even with those amounts of data his virtual machines had to trouble generating calculations and filtered views in a matter of a second. The PivotViewer review got the crowd pretty worked up due the awesome animations of the pictures he showed. For Centric that is a everyday thing of course. Wait till they see our ‘Faceboek’! Other ways to gather and filter data where based upon the Bing Maps data connector and the SQL Reporting Services Report builder. His graphical demos were a good example on the possibilities of these tools. In the afternoon it was up to the best practices for SharePoint Enterprise Search by Agnes Molnar. The session was pretty straight forward and the shown options and points of attention were basic information. A few points on federated search are up for further research, but all other were pretty much known information. In the for last session of day 1 I went for Peter Viellefont’s session on templates. I expected some more on planning and structure on the basic business templates, but it turned out to be a sales pitch. So not much learned there. Last but not least we attended Matthew Hughes’ demo on “SharePoint branding from start to finish”. His demonstration on changing the look and feel on a site by using SharePoint designer made it look easy enough! He gave a few ins and outs on how to change headers, footers, the ribbon, menu’s and logo’s by using a custom masterpage and a style sheet. If he can do it in about 30 minutes I could at least put in an hour or 2 of effort to give it a try myself! Ending his session with the quote “I’m not an expert but I can do stuff” gave a nice touch to his demo. Day 1 is done and 2 more yet to come. See you tomorrow!

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Las Vegas: SharePoint Conference 2012 Day 1

Posted by andre | Posted in SPC12 | Posted on 13-11-2012


The first day of conference has passed and there’s been given quite some information on all fronts! But like most mornings it started with breakfast. In a large hall the morning meal was provided and hundreds of people shared tables, a good start to swap stories.

With a filled stomach it was off the large hall for the keynote. Assuming everybody was there, since it was the only session at that time, the hall was filled with about 10,000 people. The kickoff was a intro movie on SharePoint 2013, with a dozen meters wide screen, the loud music and the deep bass I did end up having a few chickenbumbs.

It started with some general information on SharePoint and where it’s standing now, Jeff Teper followed with some new added features to the 2013 edition. Search, tasks and off course social was mentioned here. After that there was a big thumbs up to the Yammer folks and their collaboration with the Microsoft team.

SharePoint and Yammer share a whole bunch of functionality in the new version. You can now show Yammer messages in your SharePoint feed and vice versa. Also linking your SharePoint documents in your Yammer feed is no more than a few clicks and you can simply view the document in Yammer by using Office Web Apps. After a some notes on Office 365 and the performance upgrades in the new SharePoint version it was off to the breakout sessions.

I started with a session from Dan Holme on tips, tricks and scripts on the SharePoint 2013 installation. A few new features were highlighted; request management (http://www.harbar.net/articles/sp2013rm1.aspx), distributed cache (http://technet.microsoft.com/library/jj219700(office.15).aspx) and the increased requirements for the query components (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj219620.aspx). Followed by the creation of the SQL answer file.

After the creation of the SQL answer file it was on to the SharePoint 2013 installation process, which was roughly the same as its predecessor. After a few more tips and examples on scripts the session was concluded.
The final session of the day was about adopting SharePoint 2013 services in a 2010 farm. It was a really interesting session, although it raises more questions than it answered. This is definitely a subject that needs to be tested thoroughly.

Tomorrow is day 2 and I’m ready!


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