Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SPC SharePoint 2010 features highlights, key note sessions.

The first 2 sessions of the conference were key notes with speakers such as: Steve Bulmer, Tom Rizzo, Arpan Shah, and many others. Some of the key highlights from the session are here.

So let’s start with..

Business Connectivity Suite

The concept of external content types makes it easier to connect external data sources from within SharePoint designer and to surface this info in familiar interface like office, with ability to edit / insert / delete data.

One of the examples that Tom Rizzo used was connecting sql "contacts" SQL table, map SQL fields to office properties, and managing these contacts from within outlook as if they were originated there.

SharePoint Workspaces allow you to take data off-line and work with it within SP workspace (previously Groove), with enhanced UI.

Rich mobile client for SharePoint, windows mobile 6.5 also supports SharePoint Workspace. There is no special SP implementation needed for the Mobile support, it's all based on MicroBrowser technology for mobile.

New Administration capabilities.

  • Easier to navigate UI
  1. Better scripting capabilities with Power Shell.
    1. Up to 500 commands OOTB
    2. Ability to create fully scriptable environments
    3. Managing farm remotely
  2. Proactive monitoring of the SharePoint farm from within SharePoint admin interface.
  3. Analytics capabilities of SharePoint pages performance.
  4. Central admin includes SharePoint Health analyzer.
    1. check security
    2. configuration
    3. performance
    4. databases

Usage analysis database that allows you to write your own custom reports.

Better upgrade experience, with the new model of upgrade “visual upgrade” providing an ability to preview pages with new UI before flipping the switch (remember 2003 to 2007 upgrades? :-)

In  between releases of CUs, Service Packs, etc. new upgrade features allow for much less down time during upgrades and patches.

Visual Studio 2010

First of all it becomes available to the public... TODAY! Go and download it, explore all the new features and support for development for SharePoint platform. The new enhancements are, but not limited to:

1. New templates, from workflows to Visual web parts development.

2. Explore SharePoint objects with server explore window

3. Solution explore, customized for features, packages, web parts. No more writing custom XML :-)

Visual web parts development.

  • Drag and drop controls
  • Productivity enhancements
  • Mapping folders to SharePoint that allow you to use relative urls images, ex: _layouts/.....
  • Support for threading
  • Support for debugging natively from within the Visual Studio
    • insight into what is happening during one click deployment
  •  developer dashboards, if enabled on the page, they allow you to take a look into the processes that are being run on the background during the rendering of the web part on the page
    • look into db queries
    • call stack

Sandbox solutions

  • Track and/or block server resources usage for sandbox solutions
    • Specify rules and granular development permissions
  • Even ability to upload written in Visual studio solutions to Sharepoint online
  • Solutions that are controlled and governed by IT

Cloud, SharePoint Online - this is one of my favorite topics. Not all companies can afford to be hosting their own SP environment for many reasons: licensing cost, support and maintenance resources, hardware investment. Or sometimes companies just cannot afford to put certain information onto the cloud. There are several scenarios available with SP 2010 online:

  • Mix and match on premises hosting and online
  • Internet sites hosting in the cloud - is a completely new offering
  • SP environment fully hosted in the cloud

SP 2010 Online is offering much greater depth of features in the cloud, even though it does not support full trust APIs, but is still offering a very robust development environment.

In general the are over 1 million users right now in the cloud, 7000 partners

This will revolutionize the Microsoft’s online offering.

I’m off to the next session :-)


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