Monday, October 26, 2009

My take on SPC 2009 and SharePoint 2010

Most substantial impression after attending SharePoint Conference 2009, is that the next version of SharePoint [2010] incorporates lots of modifications, improvements and extensions. SharePoint 2010 really has it in it to become a full-blown application platform. Of the large collection of changes and additions, the following are most significant for me (from a consultant + developer perspective):
  • Sandbox deployment model - enables us to push managed code to hosted SharePoint environments
  • Improvements in the UI - improved usage model and experience, more attractive Web2.0-kinda layouts, integration/embedding of the Office Ribbon, cross-browser support (via XHTML)
  • BDC evolution into BCS - symmetric client and server usage model, bidirectional transfer from+to LOBsystem, largely improved BDC Designer (SPD and VS) for defining the external system connections, part of SharePoint Foundation iso Server license, ...
  • SharePoint Workplace 2010 - Groove evolution provides SharePoint functionality and usage model when offline; and transparently synchronizes upon reconnect
  • InfoPath Forms handling - performance and robustness improvements, new and improved controls (e.g. DateTimePicker, PeoplePicker), improved rules management, modify list/library forms via InfoPath Editor,
  • Modifications to "My Site" - new visual organizational browser, direct status updates (cq LinkedIn, Facebook), knowledge mining, social tagging, ...
  • ALM extensions - new Visual Studio project templates, transparent deployment to SharePoint environment, TFS integration, navigate SharePoint from within VS 2010 context via Server Control, ...
  • VS 2010 development experience - graphically design a webpart, Client-side Javascript Object Model, Developer Dashboard
  • SharePoint Designer 2010 - transitioned into a fully functional tool within the SharePoint solution creation lifecycle, navigation focus around SharePoint artifacts, administrator able to restrict usage, export to solution package (WSP)
  • Seamless combine work of business analyst / functional designer and developer - the outline of a solution can first be prototyped in SPD, and then moved into VS 2010
  • Search extensions - improvements in the User Experience, Social Search enabled, incorporation of FAST Search (in the high-end SharePoint edition)
  • Data management - validation at list- and item-level, cascading Lookup reference deletes, lookup to multiple item-fields, large list support, LINQ to SharePoint
  • SharePoint capabilities OOTB - new and improved functionalities and capabilities; functional + technical
  • WCM improvements - adoption of the Ribbon UI, inline editing, in-place positioning within pagelayout ('igoogle'), limiting the number of full-page refreshes upon content owner actions, Multilingual UI enables runtime language-switch, extended granularity Audience targetting, monitor the usage + size of a site
  • Composites - Silverlight Web Part, REST, Business Connectivity Services, Access Services, custom workflows in SPD, Visio Services (ao workflow visualizations)
Another important aspect for me was the focus on SAP/MS interoperability. The conference gave me the chance to catch up with leading community members Kristian Kalsing and Matt Ordish. We discussed our past experiences, and future directions + expectations. And we strenghtened our mutual bond...
Last but not least; it's good to see the attention and recognition SharePoint receives. Within Microsoft - Steve Ballmer pronounced SharePoint 2010 as his lovebaby; from analysts; and the massive interest by the conference attendees. We all felt a common excitement about the forthcoming version. 7000 SharePointers (developers, architects, consultants, [power] users) can't be wrong, SharePoint is here to stay and prosper.

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