Archive for July 2009

SharePoint 2010

July 13, 2009

I cannot express enough how happy I am that I am now able to talk about SharePoint 2010. Trying to bite my tongue, and keep it all in for the past months has been really difficult because there are so many things that have been greatly improved and are just so darned exciting. http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/2010/Sneak_Peek

Be sure to also look at their “Get Ready” for 2010 guidance: http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/2010/Sneak_Peek/Pages/Get_Ready.aspx. Personally I think they should also have a ‘get ready for end users’… but anyways.

SharePoint Ribbon:

My all time favorite is something that seems relatively simple/non technical but has a huge impact which is the inclusion of the Ribbon interface into SharePoint. If you think of the typical SharePoint page it has a ton of different navigation and option bars. My number 1 ‘surprise’ remark from clients and users is: I didn’t know it could do that! With the ribbon it brings the options to the user in an easy/obvious manner instead of hidden in menu’s. This will greatly improve/reduce the number of people that say “I didn’t know it could do that” empowering users even more than it has done previously.

It also makes training/user adoption significantly easier since things are logically grouped. I still remember when I first saw this how I jumped up and down (literally) with excitement.

SharePoint Dialog Interface:

Now you know where you need to look/take action without thinking. This is a great improvement in my mind and was also my second favorite change. It will greatly improve usability, user adoption and make using SharePoint a much more pleasant experience.

“Web Edit” and Rich Text Editing:

No more clunky menu’s and Rich Text Editor. Now it makes it much easier to modify a page’s content. The image browser/uploader is also a much needed enhancement that will greatly help end users with improving pages. (Ever tried to train a user to upload an image then copy source/urls? Not an easy task).

Silverlight:

Great if you have silverlight controls, but more importantly you can imagine the templates/silverlight controls they might include in the product release. This is also great news for those getting into the new UI/UX experiences Silverlight provides.

Rich Theming:

For anyone who has ever worked with branding this is a wonderful enhancement that can help greatly reduce the amount of effort involved in theming SharePoint (if any effort is necessary). You can also imagine how useful it can be to develop your own Rich Theming options for end users.

Multiple Browser Support:

Not going to say much about this one because I would hope this was expected from most people. Especially with the changes in SP2 that greatly improved alternative browser support.

SharePoint Designer 2010:

To be safe I am just going to say I LOVE the changes they have made with SharePoint Designer and the vast improvements done to make it even more indispensable to those working with SharePoint. (Especially power users/super users, not just designers).

Groove 2010 (Err SharePoint Workspace):

One stop super solution for offline synchronization. Not really more needs to be said here. (IMO)

Rich Media Support:

Really wish they went into more detail on this stuff. The features under Rich Media are very powerful and have been implemented in a very easy to use manner.

Business Connectivity Services:

Really it’s all about the connection in Office 2010 here that’s the most important part. Think about how much more robust/useful you could make Office 2010 solutions if you can easily have users access business data from other systems/places.

Visio Services:

Take what they did with excel and excel services and imagine that with Visio. That’s probably the best way to describe this one. Very powerful when you think about how many users don’t need/have visio. Think about process diagrams and workflows and how they will be impacted by this and Visio 2010 upgrades… *nudge nudge* *wink wink*

Admin Upgrades:

Just understanding that administration has been greatly improved and designed to be more automated (best practices analyzer) and to provide clearer visibility on issues, usage, and logging should give you the right idea of how administration experience has been GREATLY improved.

It’s also important to note the significant cost reduction in recovery with Unattached Content Database Recovery. Then there’s the Large List Resource Throttling which provides more information to end users and makes it easier to control/support large lists.

Lastly the upgrade process has been broken into two steps. First you upgrade the ‘back end’ and then you upgrade the ‘user experience’. This is my absolute favorite change from 2003-2007. As you can imagine this will make the entire process much easier. It also enables you to do it on a situational basis. So converting one area of the site that has little unghosting and little customization can be switched over, but converting the significantly customized areas can be done separately with lots of planning.

Developer Upgrades:

For me personally the Developer Dashboard is my favorite new developer change. No more ridiculous test harnesses/reporting modules that I have had to build in the past. 🙂

LINQ for SharePoint(might be new/a bit of learning for some developers but it’s a great improvement that will help speed up development and reduce potential performance issues, bad code, and reduce errors. (IMO)

The templates/process improvements they have made in VS 2010/Business Connectivity should really make it MUCH easier for new developers coming into SharePoint. Many of the other things aren’t really new so much as slightly improved (more automated) or centralized/included into VS 2010 (IMO).

Hope you are as excited as I am. If you are coming to the Conference in October and want to hang out/talk I will be there.
Richard Harbridge

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SharePoint Saturday Success

July 13, 2009

My presentation/session was called SharePoint Success and that is exactly what SharePoint Saturday in Toronto was. From all the incredible people I spoke with at the event it seemed like everyone learned new things and made some great new friends.

I want to make a special thank you to my fellow speakers for making me feel extremely welcomed and for providing some really great discussions throughout the event, feedback after, and for joining me for a delightful SharePint (twice! :P). Here are some pictures: http://picasaweb.google.ca/ruveng/20090712SharePointSaturdayToronto?authkey=Gv1sRgCNGiyoaDhuuVFg&feat=directlink# as well as a short video: http://video.msn.com/video.aspx/?mkt=en-us&vid=bef78262-0bba-4fbe-beba-ce9c2f5ad02c&wa=wsignin1.0.

My Presentation:

For my presentation slide deck I have added it to SlideShare here: http://www.slideshare.net/rharbridge/sharepoint-saturday-sharepoint-success – It should also soon be available on the SharePoint Saturday website.

Clarification “The Importance of Having All the Right People in the Room”:

I received quite a few questions at the end of the presentation and quite a few emails that I have been responding to. So thank you for all the wonderful contributions you have made (SharePoint Audience). I wanted to clarify a response to one of  those here:

The question was on whether it was a good idea to get all the developers in the same meeting as everyone else. At the time I responded that you need to be cognisent of who is in a meeting and who needs to be (as it’s costing money for everyone to be in that meeting when they could be doing other things). However I think I might have given the wrong impression. Sometimes it absolutely makes sense to have the developers in meetings when working out requirements and things like that. Especially if it saves time, money, or ensures everyone has a Shared Understanding (my whole point of the presentation pretty much).

I actually use a RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) model that I took out of the slides before presenting because I was afraid I would go over time as well as a slide on meetings in general (related to SharePoint which was under Governance), but basically just think about those four words and use them to help determine who should and shouldn’t be in a meeting. Always ensure you have “All of the right people in the room”.

I hope everyone who went enjoyed themselves and learned something and met someone new, I know I did and I am better for it,
Richard Harbridge

SharePoint Saturday Toronto Schedule!

July 7, 2009

Check it out! The schedule for SharePoint Saturday has been released!

http://www.sharepointsaturday.org/toronto/Public Documents/SharePoint Saturday Toronto Schedule.pdf

Excited yet?

The hardest part will be choosing between such incredible sessions. I know I am going to have some trouble picking anyways.

Speaking of sessions I intend for anyone coming to mine to take away at least 3 new things. This is my challenge to myself. So if I don’t succeed I want you to hold me to it (with a knife if necessary) and I will owe you more new things.

Don’t forget about SharePint at the Drake and Firken after!

Excited,
Richard Harbridge