It’s been a month since the conference – wowzer, time flies when you having fun. Can you believe it? A month?
I guess this is how some customers feel when they hear that SharePoint 2013 is available while staring down an unused SharePoint 2010 license. Well, never fear, SharePoint 2013 should make it even easier to convince business stakeholders to invest in the deployment of this wonderful product. How do I know this? Well, I witnessed it first hand in Las Vegas and what a jol it was!
Arriving in Vegas I was immediately awestruck by the shear size of everything. I’ve seen a million movies shot in Vegas, but never quite understood the magnitude of things until you see them up close. I arrived on the Sunday morning and this meant that Philippe (@SharePointBru) and I had an entire day to walk down the strip, ride roller coasters and indulge in a cocktail (yes, just one, but it was ENORMOUS).
After recovering from “ONE” cocktail the conference kicked off with a brilliant keynote address. As always Microsoft pulled out all the stops and I really enjoyed how demo heavy the keynote was. Everything was “Office 365” and it was clear from the get go that “ONLINE” was going to be the biggest focus of this conference.
So many sessions, so little time
I’m happy to report that for the better part the sessions were grouped well, had good presenters and great content. With SharePoint 2013 being new (for those not on TAP) it was a bit of an information overload, but I went with specific goals – Find out what has changed, what is new and how to get going immediately.
I had a couple of great sessions but two that stand out had to be the one on building Knowledge Management Portals and another one on Integrating Metadata from desperate systems into SharePoint. The metadata one was great simply for the fact that the developer (Pete Gonzalez) presenting it was a total NINJA, but kept it light. Yes he introduced me to the “demo dance” and I will be using this in all my presentations going forward.
The other session – “How to Build great Knowledge Management Portals” by Lincoln DeMaris, made the entire conference worth while. It went into great detail, including demo’s on how to create portals using managed metadata’s new “pinning” feature, setting up FURLs (Friendly URLs) and playing with the CSWP (Content Search Web Part). All of this, obviously, made possible with SharePoint’s updated search (which now includes FAST), but does require the eCAL for most of it.
Other fantastic revelations around licensing included:
- SharePoint FIS falls away and websites can now be hosted by simply licensing the SharePoint Server
- Extranet’s are free for users that are completely outside of your organisation
- FAST Search is completely integrated into SharePoint’s search
Overall I think the conference was a major success. The 10,000 delegates were always fed, had Wi-Fi (eventually) and had plenty of opportunity to win prizes, listen to great speakers and mingle with the who’s who of the SharePoint community. I’m not 100% sure if I’ll be at every SharePoint conference going forward, but attending one where the version is refreshed is a must!