Tuesday, 20 October 2009

SPC09 - Day 1 impressions

So the first day of the SharePoint Conference 2009 (approx. 7400 attendees) I have attended the following sessions:

  • Keynote by Steve Ballmer and Jeff Teper on SharePoint strategy and highlights
  • Enterprise Search overview
  • ECM for the Masses
  • Web Content management

The keynote revealed the new product-line up ranging from on-premises to in the cloud and mixed.

In this new line-up the product formerly known as Windows SharePoint Services or WSS is now rebranded to "SharePoint Foundation (2010). I think this naming will make this core technology have a better fit in the stack.

Enterprise Search overview

The Enterprise Search session was most interesting as FAS and SharePoint are being integrated seamlessly to provide an optimal user experience. A new line-up was also introduced to support growing needs for search capabilities:

  • Search Server 2010 Express (quick, easy powerful search, free)
  • SharePoint Server 2010 (complete intranet search)
  • FAST Search Server for SharePoint (High-end search delivered through SharePoint)

In terms of innovation new functionality includes (using FAST):

  • Wildcard search (finally)!
  • Search as you type (dropdown list showing existing/related terms when starting to type in the search box)
  • Results refinement (similar to the faceted search web part, but integrated OOB. FAST also adds counters to this)
  • Previews of result content (e.g. thumbnails and a slider showing PowerPoint slides for a particular result)
  • Manageable sorting options (by specifying fields for this)
  • Query suggestions (did you mean) and related searches
  • Profile filtered pushed search results

ECM for the Masses

The new ECM capabilities were the highlights of the day. Using the new SharePoint 2010 platform, full and easy to use solutions can be built to support documents from creation to disposition.

Highlights include:

  • A farm-wide (and what I have understood also cross-farm) managed metadata service application to managed hierarchical multi-language corporate taxonomies. One of the usage scenario's is to filter large document libraries using the hierarchal metadata (also integrated with Office 2010 applications) and drill-down
  • Multi-stage retention plans
  • A new concept called document sets which provides management capabilities for related sets of documents
  • Documents ID's (content can now be labeled with unique numbers)
  • Improved support for records management e.g.:
    • Holding and e-discovery
    • Records declaration (e.g. without moving documents from their original location)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 file share content management capabilities (e.g. allowing for rules based uploading and archiving in SharePoint). This is especially interesting in a co-existence environment

Web Content management

By far the least interesting session (ranked level 300, but rated 100 by me J). Innovations on web content management are somewhat limited in the new platform. Apart from the ribbon (which does make life easier for WCM), not too radical changes.

Highlights include Improvements in the CBQ web part (you can now use a page field value in a filter to e.g. display related content and options to display additional fields). Some highlights on the enterprise wiki, where the "[[" syntax now provides suggestions for making links to existing pages when you type. Apart from this, the wiki capabilities were somewhat limited to my expectations. Yes, it is now easier to upload and link images in a wiki page, but what about the typical wiki syntax?

What is very promising is the support for rich media like audio and video using a special Silverlight web part (skinnable) and an asset library optimized for managing audio/video.

So far some of the highlights, next the in-depth sessions that will follow in the next days

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Exploring Vegas – a city of contrasts

So Today was the only day I have to explore Las Vegas…so I did

I forgot my camera at home, so I had to buy one. Great success at Fry's just outside the city limits. After that I took a cab to Freemont Street to see the famous video-ceiling. Even though it was nice, I suppose the real atmosphere kicks in after 9 PM.

After that I decided to walk back to the hotel and see the highlights on the way back. It's about six miles from Freemont to the Luxor, so my feet hurt a bit while writing this post J

Just after Freemont Street (up until the strip on Las Vegas Boulevard) there is different world. No glamour, no flashing lights, but poverty and loaning advertisement. An absolute contrast to what I now believe is the Capitalism capital of the Western world.

From time to time the over-aged buildings were split by e.g. a wedding chapel or something similar. I would not advice to visit this area during the night. At some point I even walked back from a particular street to find a different route. Didn't feel save at the time to walk there with my passport and wallet. I felt like a typical tourist.

Onwards the "strip" brings you the well-known hotels like the Sahara, Bellagio, Caesar's Palace and the Mirage.

Every hotel has a thematic gimmick (besides the shows) ranging from roller coasters to replicas of the Eiffel Tower (Paris hotel) or Manhattan (New York New York). One of the most spectacular ones is the Stratosphere hotel which includes a space needle type of tower approx. 329m. in height.

Small stop at the Bellagio's to check the famous fountain show. Just got there in time to see it J

Somewhere down the middle I had lunch at the Hard Rock cafĂ©. Nothing special…it's in every major city. This one had something interesting. A Microsoft Surface wall showing rock star artifacts. Using your hands, you can enlarge the images and retrieve additional information. Very cool stuff.

Finally I got back to the hotel passing the MGM Grand, New York New York and Excalibur (all connected using bridges and walk-throughs).

Arriving in Vegas for SPC09

So I arrived in Las Vegas last night to attend the annual SharePoint Conference. If you have never been to Vegas (like me) you are in for an exciting stay.

First of all, when you arrive in Vegas, the flight lands almost next to the "strip". So basically a 10 minute walk brings you to the hotel.

Another thing, I'm pretty used to commercials and advertisement, but LV is a different league.

On each item that has a minimal surface, you will find advertisement for e.g. nightlife, shows, clubs, casino's…and even guns.

Anyway, I got at the hotel just fine after a 13 hour flight plan.

Had some diner in one of the hotel's restaurants called "Tender" (great steaks btw) and got a good night's sleep (9:30PM-7:00AM).

Fully recharged, I walked to the Mandalay bay hotel this morning to get my badge. It's like a 25 minute walk from my hotel room to the registration desk….and the hotel is next door, right J

So I got the badge and some nice goodies (again more advertisement, but also a nice laptop sleeve). I think I was the first one to get the badge J

Today I will hit the town and do some sightseeing. Won't be too late, as Tomorrow it's time to suck up all that "2010" knowledge!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

impressions of tech-ed


Keynote by Jason Zander (General Manager, Visual Studio, Developer Division). See a summary of the keynote on his blog.


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Main hall of the CCIB, Barcelona, Spain.

More to come….

Live mesh rules

I attended the session from Angus Logan Today about the new Live Mesh platform from Microsoft.

I am really excited about the capabilities as these also extend (or going) to non-Microsoft platforms e.g. Mac. For some impressions on the upcoming Mac connectivity, have a look at the article on Angus’blog called “Detailed screenshots of Live Mesh for Mac”.

The best thing about the presentation was the demo in which a Media Center PVR was programmed to record a show. Nothing special, however it was done remotely via the Cloud.

I see a lot of potential in using this platform for Corporate environments as well. I will be watching how this develops.

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Sunday, 9 November 2008

Ready for Tech-ed Developer 2008

We just landed in Barcelona to attend the Tech-ed Developer 2008 conference in Barcelona, Spain.
The weather is great and after making though decisions in the conference schedule, I am all set to gain some in-depth knowledge on SilverLight, SharePoint, Mashups and SaaS.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

My first posting

Today I decided to share my ideas and experiences on Enterprise 2.0 concepts and Technologies with the outside World.